The Old Fashioned is a formerly popular cocktail made by combining sugar, bitters, a brown alcohol and a citrus rind. Most frequently, it is made with whisky or brandy. The drink was exceedingly popular in the 1960s – so popular that it has a glass named after it: the Old Fashioned glass, most frequently referred to as a rocks glass today.
The Old Fashioned should be part of anyone prospective bartenders basic knowledge, as it is a perfect example of ingredients complimenting each other to make a wonderful drink.
Old Fashioned Cocktail Ingredients
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 splash water
1 tsp sugar
1 lemon peel
How To Make An Old Fashioned
An Old Fashioned must be made in a tumbler with a sufficiently thick bottom to allow ‘muddling’, which is the process of mashing the sugar around the glass to provide a coating. First add the sugar, then add the bitters and water. Then begin the muddling – using the back of a teaspoon is fine for this, but if you’re in a bar, use a muddler. Some recipes recommend muddling fruit along with the sugar, such as an orange or the ubiquitous maraschino cherry. All this succeeds in creating is a sickly sweet cocktail, rather than a well-balanced drink.
Once the muddling is completed, simply add the whiskey and an ice cube or two. Depending on the sweetness of the liquor used, you can add less sugar. Some cheap whiskies are already very sweet, so the cocktail can become too sweet with too much sugar.