Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: Old Fashioned

Unlike last week's Happy Hour post on the Pink Lady, this week's post features a drink strictly for the gentlemen. Well, ladies are invited, but few accept. The name for the drink comes from the supposed "old fashioned" way of preparing a cocktail. Here's a recipe from Old Forester's 1950s-era "Favorite Recipes":

As we observe, this drink was created at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, now more than 100 years ago. It's a simple combination of some sugar, bitters, and whiskey (usually bourbon), with some soda added, if desired. By way of comparison, here's a recipe from Old Crow:
So, the amount of sugar and bitters -- and even the whiskey -- can vary, according to taste. Some recipes omit the soda and add water instead, as we see in the following recipe from Fleishmanns:

So, the precise combination of water, soda, bitters, sugar, and whiskey isn't precise. Basically, whiskey, with a little flavor from bitters and a little sweet, and some sparkle from the soda if you're in the mood. A man's drink. However, maybe you're picking up on the baroque garnishments that accompany this otherwise simple drink. There's practically a Carmen Miranda fruit basket hat in this drink! Lemons, oranges, pineapples, cherries -- no worry about getting your daily vitamins with this one.

Gee, we thought we were just having a whiskey. And they go and make it pretty. Cheers!


Thaddeus Smith said...

Thank you for the recipe comparison. Is there a property of the sugar cube that makes it particularly well suited for mixing an old fashioned? Don't have any on hand; in fact I believe the last time I used sugar cubes was in the construction of a model of Mission Santa Ynez for Sister Theophon's California History class in the 4th grade (circa. 1969) Would a teaspoon of granulated work as a substitute for the cube?

M and J said...

Well, the sugar cube is old school. You know, vintage. But, sure, you could use just a teaspoon of sugar. Actually, I use simple syrup -- like the pros do.