“An Old Fashioned please” – ordered in equal measures by appreciative taste-buds and hipsters looking to earn speakeasy street credibility. Whatever your motives, the The Old Fashioned is a “cocktail” in the truest sense of the term- sugar, a splash of water, a couple of dashes of bitters, and 50ml of whiskey. It’s rich, smooth and silky taste is equal to its ‘reputation’ as a drink for the macho-man who is too- rich, smooth and silky. There are references to the Old Fashioned dating back to the 19th century, it’s stood the test of time- and for good reason, whichever drink is en vogue throughout history, punters come back to the Old Fashioned for it is a delicious taste, it looks good in the hand and is universally known by even the most novice of bartenders.
The aforementioned recipe is simple, but there is a consideration. Do you choose bourbon, the sweeter option or a rye whisky, a spicier choice. For those of you who want to know why, essentially, it depends on the quantity of grain in the ‘mash bill’ – bourbon whiskey is made from a mash consisting of at least 51% corn whereas rye is similar to bourbon, but made from at least 51% rye instead. It’s also worth noting that as the Old Fashioned is a cocktail- there is little point in spending big money on rare whisk(e)- only to be mixed with the added ingredients. Below you’ll find three readily available anywhere options that still taste great and won’t break the bank.
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 50ml whiskey
- 1 large ice cube
- 1 orange
Sugar first, with 4 dashes of Angostura Bitters and a splash of water into a rocks glass. Stir and dissolve. Add 1 sizeable ice cube and the whiskey, stir until well mixed. Cut a 2 inch piece of orange peel, then bend the orange peel over the glass so the oil from the skin settles on the surface of the drink. Drop the orange peel into the drink, stir, enjoy.
Three of The Best
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey is the first bourbon to be distilled in New York and from 100% New York corn mash bill. Yes, 100% corn- meaning it has a sweeter profile. It’s aged in much smaller barrels than normal meaning more surface to liquid contact, leaving a unique bourbon that’s very smooth. You might also consider old faithful Jack Daniel’s here- a classic, and a favourite of Ape to Gentleman.
Wild Turkey 101 with its high rye content and bold and spicier flavour is aged in American White Oak barrels with the deepest char for a rich, smooth flavour and deep amber colour. Wild Turkey is aged for longer than most bourbons to ensure a richer flavour.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon possesses a solid balance of corn and rye, with more corn (sweetness, caramel, vanilla notes) after ageing. You’ll get a smooth taste but with some subtle hints of spice.
The Old Fashioned was originally designed to be made with rye whiskey. However, the question is do you prefer sweet, or spice? With an Old Fashioned, rye will balance it out and bourbon will make it even sweeter. The choice is yours, both are legitimate options and a deliciously stylish drink to sip and hang at the bar with.