Hey guys! I was making one of my favorite cocktails tonight and decided to share. It's my take on an Old-Fashioned - one of the oldest drinks in the history of mixology. The original recipe calls for rye whiskey (or sometimes bourbon,) simple syrup, Angostura bitters, and some type of fruit garnish (common ones are maraschino cherries, lemon/orange wedges, etc.) It's easy to make: you just build the ingredients in a rocks glass with ice, stir, and enjoy.
I like to mix this up a bit (pardon the pun.) I generally use some type of liqueur instead of the simple syrup - it supplies the sweetness, but also allows me to slip in additional flavors. Some of my favorites are Averna, St. Germain, Benedictine, Chartreuse, and Luxardo - but feel free to experiment, it really depends on what you like. Other than the whiskey, this is where most of the flavor will come from, so choose carefully!
Next, you have to select some aromatic bitters. There are various kinds, but all are designed to give a little "oomf" with just a dash or two - it's the glue that brings the different flavors of the drink together. Angostura bitters are the most popular, but I also like using Peychaud's, Orange, Mint, or others! The key is to choose something that blends well with the liqueur you've chosen. If you're interested in bitters, check out Fee Brothers - they make all sorts of them.
Finally, for the base of the drink, you'll need some whiskey. The traditional choice is rye - it's fairly dry, and has some bite to it, but most importantly, it has a nice grainy flavor, which acts as a nice canvass to "paint" the other ingredients on. If you prefer something a little sweeter, bourbon is a great choice too. Some Irish and Scotch whiskey can work too, but you probably want to avoid anything that is heavily peated, as it will take over the drink.
To make the version pictured above, build:
- 1 oz Averna
- 2 oz Rye Whiskey
- 2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Once you get these fundamentals down, the Old-Fashioned becomes one of the most versatile cocktails under the sun - you can tailor it to your mood. For this reason, it's probably the drink I make the most, though my favorite is probably a Manhattan.