Did you know that the classic old fashioned recipe dates back to the 1800s, and features the use of high-quality whiskey, a muddled sugar cube, a couple dashes of bitters, and an orange peel for garnish? With just three ingredients, it’s difficult to mess up this quintessential aperitif, but what many people don’t realise is that it’s also extremely easy to get creative with this classic, courtesy of a few easy tweaks.
A cardinal rule when it comes to a true old fashioned, is that it should be stirred and never shaken. While many prefer the old-school version, it doesn’t hurt to explore using different liquors, bitters, and sweeteners, so here are some tips from the experts:
Consider Switching Up The Spirit
When Philip Ward, a bartender at Death & Co. in New York City, took a chance by swapping out whiskey for tequila and mezcal, the Oaxaca old fashioned was born. This rendition has the perfect balance of both smoky and sweet flavours, courtesy of the mezcal, agave, and chocolate bitters.
If tequila is not your thing, you can whip up an old fashioned with alternative spirits like rum, brandy, or even cognac.
Get Creative With Sweeteners And Bitters
While Angostura bitters and sugar cubes is the key to perfecting an old fashioned, there are many other flavours that pair well with the boldness of whiskey or bourbon. For example, honey, demerara syrup, or fresh fruit jams, like fig or dark cherry, add a different complexity to your drink. Chocolate, and wormwood bitters are also a good choice.
Consider Seasonal Flavours
You can also enhance your old fashioned by adding seasonal produce and flavours. For example, replace the traditional orange rind and try muddling fresh, juicy peaches or tart blackberries during the warm summer months. And since we are heading into fall, consider adding some pumpkin puree and a dash of cinnamon for the most delicious fall cocktail.
Know The Different Types Of Ice
Different types of cocktails require specific types of ice. It may sound silly, but the shape and texture of the ice used in a drink can really make or break it. For a cocktail like an old fashioned, it’s always a good idea to use a big square cube or orb. Not only does it look fancy, but it also ensures that the ingredients don’t get diluted and become too watery.
We hope these suggestions will help you mix a delicious Old Fashioned to ring in the weekend. Happy Friday everyone!