Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend Whiskey Old Fashioned

I'm not big on whiskey cocktails.

Sure, I'll order a Manhattan when I'm having a nightcap in a hotel bar. And I've got a mint plant on the back deck for juleps in the spring and summer.

Well, and the hot scotch and lemons in the fall and winter. Oh, and I'm getting fond of rye bucks. And if you want to get technical, I suppose egg nog with bourbon might count.

So okay: I'm not huge on whiskey cocktails. Eight or nine times out of ten, if I've got a glass with whiskey in it, it's just whiskey (give or take some water or ice).

But one cocktail that you would never have found in my double Old Fashioned was an Old Fashioned. Not because I don't like Old Fashioneds, but because I'd never tried one.

This, I'm happy to report, has been corrected. I've not only tried 'em, I have endured the necessary experimentation to develop my own house recipe, one that even my wife the G&T drinker says she would drink. And if you drop by, as you're welcome to do, and I ask what you're drinking, and you say, "I'm feeling Old Fashioned today," here's how I'll mix your drink:
Cover the bottom of a double Old Fashioned glass with triple sec. Add two sturdy dashes of Angostura bitters. Fill the glass halfway with cracked ice. Add enough rye to float the ice, and stir. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
It's a dry, even peppery drink, at least with the Pikesville rye I have. The lack of soda water may be less controversial than the lack of sugar or simple syrup, but the triple sec adds enough sweetness (along with the citrus notes) that I don't miss the sugar.


  1. Nice variation using sec and no added water (the ice brings enough). I could see doing a "tuxedo" version with Cointreau and higher end rye (like Russel's Reaerve 6 or Rittenhouse 100).

    I've been doing the Chuck Chowdry version with bitters, rye, and sprite. It's definitely downscale by comparison.

  2. I do believe I would enjoy one of your tuxedo Old Fashioneds. (No doubt mixologists would also upgrade to ginger-acai bitters or some such, but I'm too old fashioned for that sort of thing.)

    As for the Chuck Chowdry version, I'd call that a "Rye Swizzle," in memory of the day Bertie Wooster's life was saved at Wembley.