The Old Fashioned is the original “cock tail,” dating to the early 1800′s. In this humble bartender’s opinion, it is the pater familias of all other drinks, and it has taken its place as such in the recent cocktail revival….. So, here’s the challenge: We will be sticking to the traditional ratios of spirit, bitters and sugar, but I’m challenging you to step outside the box with your selections. In addition, how will it be chilled or garnished? Do you want to add a secondary spirit or rinse? Go to town!
Challenge accepted! 🙂
Christa thought it might be fun to use dark brown sugar in place of white sugar, and take advantage of its rich molasses flavor. Rum seemed an obvious choice to pair with it, so we went with aged rum and a touch of black strap for depth. We rounded it out with a combination of chocolate and Angostura bitters.
- 1 packed bar spoon of brown sugar
- 3-4 drops Angostura
- 1 dash of chocolate bitters
- 1 bar spoon of water
- 1 1/2 oz aged rum
- 1 bar spoon of black strap rum
Muddle sugar and bitters in an old fashioned glass. Add water and stir until sugar is partially dissolved. Place a large ice cube in the glass. Pour aged rum over it. Add black strap rum. Stir and enjoy.
- Nose: Sugar cane, molasses, charred wood, burnt sugar, hints of chocolate and barrel wood, tiny bit of lemon
- Palate: Clove, vanilla and camphor on the front. Cedar-y barrel notes, sweet molasses and milk chocolate on the mid-palate. Angostura spice, little bit of smoke and char, burnt sugar on the finish.
Next up, Shaun wanted to try something with gin. But what sweetener and bitters would work with that? We looked through the fridge and cabinets, and thought “hey, fruit jam might work to sweeten things up.” So we tried a touch of peach/apricot jam with the gin, and it was pretty tasty. So on to the bitters. Citrus seemed like the right way to go, so we tasted through orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon, settling on the lemon for bringing both brightness and bitterness without overwhelming the other flavors. We still wanted a few more fruit notes, so we tried adding a dash of cherry bitters as well. To round out the fruit flavors but not add sweetness, we added a bar spoon of peach brandy to top the drink off.
- 1 bar spoon peach apricot preserves
- 1 dash black lemon bitters
- 1 dash cherry bitters
- 1 bar spoon water
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 1 bar spoon aged peach brandy
Muddle preserves, bitters, and water in a glass. Add ice cube. Pour gin over the ice. Add bar spoon of peach brandy. Stir and enjoy.
- Nose: Gin botanicals, peach, lemon balm, juniper, lavender, thyme, dry peach brandy. Very full and appealing.
- Palate: Fruit flavors on the front. Lemon, little bit of cherry, then peach. Herbal aspects of the gin on the mid-palate – resinous or aromatic floral like thyme flowers or lavender along with herbaceous citrus notes like lemon balm. Bitter sweet finish. Fairly sweet throughout, which is surprising given how little sweetener there is in this drink.
Overall this was fun theme. It’s always great to get back to the basics and see what sort of fun and delicious drinks you can create with a small number of ingredients. Thanks Laura for picking the theme and hosting. We’re looking forward to everyone else’s entries.