In my humble opinion, there is NO OTHER WAY to make an Old Fashioned cocktail then with the twist of orange. Not to say that the rest of the ingredients don’t matter because, trust me, they absolutely do.
The Old Fashioned is one of those cocktails that dates back well over 100 years…pre-prohibition. I would guess that this great cocktail helped get the law that enacted Prohibition passed. It is THAT GOOD.
Traditionally made with either bourbon or rye whiskey, this cocktail is all about how you make it and absolutely this drink requires ridiculously high quality ingredients. Yes, you can screw this up. I have tried several over the past month and even debated it with Iron Phil, various bartenders, and even pursued the recipes online and so on…
I have stumbled, I have fallen. I have tried various interpretations, albeit similar and familiar, and have gone from detesting this age-old drink to falling in love. In fact, there are some that are saying that the Manhattan, which has made a HUGE comeback, is falling to the wayside because the Old Fashioned may be one of the perfect old-school, old man, classic cocktails.
There are several “traditional” ways to make this…some swear by the sugar cube and the muddle, others ditch the cherry. Me? I think that simple syrup, the cherry, and the twist of orange is the key. It is ALL about breathing it in. As you breathe in the citrus (oils extracted), the cherry, and the rest…that is what transports you back to your favorite bar, before alcohol was prohibited.
So, after trial and error, and more bad drinks then good, I have arrived at what I think is the perfect way to make this cocktail at home.
The Old Fashioned
3 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce simple syrup
5 dashes bitters
garnish with orange peel (lemon OK) and cherry
Place ingredients in cocktail glass and stir to the count of 30 with plenty of ice. Strain into your old fashioned glass. Garnish with orange and cherry.