In the canon of classic drinks, the Old-Fashioned is as traditional as they come: a simple mix of spirits, sugar, bitters and water, which appears in 1806 as the first printed recipe for a cocktail (“cock tail”). Other alcohols were permitted, but the whiskey or rye version of this over ice is what we now know as the Old-Fashioned, thought to be named later that century after more elaborate new-fangled cocktails entered the canon. During Prohibition, new versions appeared adding fruit and cherries to distract from the available crude spirits. After repeal, this version stuck as the most common interpretation until the recent cocktail revival brought the original recipe back from the brink of extinction. Instead of layering muddled fruit with spirits and topping with soda and/or shaking, the PUNCH version sticks to tradition via the (light) muddle, stir and strain method.
The Old-Fashioned made new.
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 brandied cherry (preferably Luxardo)
- 1 orange wheel
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: orange peel
- In a mixing glass, muddle sugar cube with cherry, orange wheel and bitters.
- Add whiskey and ice and stir well.
- Double strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice (preferably an oversized cube).
- Garnish with an orange peel.
Luxardo cherries are a luxury, but if you can find them, plop one in.