The Old Fashioned, is there any more satisfying drink at the end of the day? Well, yeah, sure there probably is — but let’s ignore that and pretend there isn’t. Some bourbon, a touch of sugar, a hint of bitters, put them all together and they’ll help you forget your troubles.
As September is National Bourbon Heritage Month (yeah, that’s totally a thing), I knew we couldn’t not do an Old Fashioned. Ignoring my younger days when at the end of the night I was having a whisky sour (let’s not talk about those days), I’ve always held a special place in my heart for bourbon.
On a quick side note, yes bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon — hence why I’m reminded of my remiss younger misspent youth days. Clear? Fine, fine, to clear it up, whisky that’s called bourbon is: made in the USA (‘merca!), made with at least 51% corn, made in new charred oak barrels and a few other odds and ends, but those are the basics. It’s American, it’s corny and it’s charred oaky.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I typically drink my bourbon straight or on the rocks. Sometimes though, you want something just a touch sweeter, something a little easier to go after dinner and that’s when our good friend the Old Fashioned comes in to the picture.
Now, you might see recipes out there saying you should add water. Don’t. At least not at first. It’ll help the bourbon open up and you’ll get more of a whiff on it, but you know what else does that? Melting ice. You’re welcome.
Also, when you get this at a bar or restaurant and see all kinds of crazy garnishes (I’m looking at you muddled orange and added cherries), that’s typically because they’re using cheap booze. At home, you’re the master of your own destiny, treat yourself to something nice. The orange peel is to perfume the drink, not mask it. This is a celebration of bourbon!
One final note, if you can make one big, sexy piece of ice do that. It’ll help chill your drink without watering it down too much.
Onto the Old Fashioned!
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 tsp. sugar (or a sugar cube)
- Few dashes of bitters
- Orange peel
- Glass type: Old-fashioned (naturally)
- Put the sugar in the glass, add a few drops of bitters and a splash of bourbon.
- Swirl the glass to dissolve the sugar.
- Add in your big, sexy piece of ice.
- Pour in the rest of the bourbon.
- Garnish with the orange peel.
- Sip slowly and let your troubles fade away.