Try this quintessential Old Fashioned cocktail with your favorite bourbon. It’s been said that the original cocktail contains sugar, bitters, whiskey and water. This variation, made by cocktail legend Dale Degroff, adds muddled fruit and soda water for a lighter, fruitier taste.
Long family history...the above recipe is perfect, just skip the soda (just lots of ice). Substitute raw sugar for even better. The problem is the modern Old Fashioned-boat load of simple syrup, super strong, huge cube, and an orange peel. A local restaurant insists their way is better no matter what you tell them, they will serve their version. They even go so far as to insult the customer by saying "Oh, you want the Wisconsin Old Fashioned". Note: serve customer what they want and they will return.
Why is everyone so crazy when it comes to Old Fashioned cocktails? They have branched in every part of the world from whatever the "correct" one was. If you only want your drink a certain way, communicate that to your bartender and get on with your life.
One really good way to make them would be: In a glass shaker or pint glass; Orange Slice, a brandied cherry (not post nuclear red maraschino), 1/2 a bar spoon of a coarse sugar, angostura and muddle. Fill with ice, pour 3-4 oz of an over proof rye over and let it rest for a few seconds, stir until the glass fogs. Double strain (to remove the grit) and finish with whatever makes you happy, maybe that's an orange twist, maybe its a wedge, maybe its a puppy, live your life.
“I once entered the bar of the Drake Hotel in Chicago where an ancient presided over a veritable American wing of glasses and bottles, and tried to explain that I wanted an Old Fashioned without fruit except the lemon. The Nestor of the decanters waxed as livid as a Marxist on May Day, smashed a champagne glass he was polishing and danced up and down on the duck-boards in an ecstasy of rage. ‘Young impudent sir,’ he screamed, ‘my hair is hoary with eld,’ he added as an afterthought. ‘Man and boy I’ve built Old Fashioned cocktails these sixty years. Yes sir, since the first Armour was pushing a wheelbarrow in a slaughterhouse, and I have never yet had the perverted nastiness of mind to put fruit in an Old Fashioned. Get out, scram, go over to the Palmer House and drink.’”—Lucius Beebe in the introduction of Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion. 1945
I bartend in Wisconsin where we are known for Old Fashions , predominantly Brandy. I pour 3 1/2 to 4 ounces of the desired liquor (brandy, bourbon, scotch, rye, Southern Comfort) to this I add 2-3 shakes of Angustora bitters, 1/2 ounce bar syrup, ice and Mix ( 7-up, club soda, sour or a 1/2 combination of club soda and the other mixes making and Old Fashion pres) then garnish with the customers favorite usually an orange and cherry but often a mushroom or olive even hand stuffed blue cheese. As a small Supper Club we sometimes make as many 50 in a night (no time to muddle). We are consistently complimented on our Old Fashions. Also noted for our original Manhattans and Martinis.
I have to completely agree with MTL and RomRom.
Fizz has NO place in an Old Fashioned! Bourbon, sugar syrup or a well dissolved cube, bitters and ice.
Donald.murray - I can't argue with you either. However, if you like fizzy drinks, fine. But don't sully the name of a classic with that nonsense. Call it something else!
This is an interesting drink but please don't call it an old fashioned. Keep it simple, that's the beauty of the Pld Fashioned. This is like cross breeding a German short haired pointer with a French poodle. It produce a pet but it's not a hunting dog!
As the manager of a whiskey bar and a bartender with over 25 years of experience, I have to say the most irritating thing I experience is very rarely going a week without some self-important person declaring, "The ONLY way to drink X (X=any cocktail or liquor) is Y (Y=any of the various methods of preparation). It amazes me that anyone would treat drinking as if it were a passage from the Old Testament that needed to be followed with a fear-of-eternal-damnation-dread that doesn't allow for various & individual tastes . Every week different guests, bartenders, former bar owners, hobbyists, and enthusiasts explain to me how bourbon, rye, or scotch should ONLY be consumed neat, or with one rock, or with a splash of water, or with one rock and a splash of water, or with a good amount of ice. It boggles my mind. It goes completely against my own reason for drinking: to relax and enjoy life, away from the watchful eyes of persnickety rule lovers.