Should an Old-Fashioned Contain Fruit?

The central question of the Old-Fashioned may be in regards to a spirit base of rye or bourbon, but there are other points of contention. At Table Matters, Robert Simonson, author of The Old-Fashioned, offers a quick history of muddled fruit in the classic drink. Simonson describes it as, “a battle between purity and frippery, between paring the drink down and loading it up.”

The trend of incorporating fruit (often an orange slice and a muddled cherry) crept in even before Prohibition, but became the rule after WWII when cocktails suffered the backlash of Prohibition’s lost years. Fruit-salad style drinks were already subject to much disdain in humor columns in the early-20th century where characters requested, “not too much orange and that kind of damned garbage.” Whether you prefer yours dressed up or dressed down, Simonson includes three Old-Fashioned recipes to suit your taste. [Table Matters] [Photo: Daniel Krieger]