Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recipe for an Old Fashioned

In my last post, I talked about how all these old school drinks are getting trendy again. One of the classic cocktails I wrote about is a drink called the “Old Fashioned.”

In this post, I am going to go over how to make an Old Fashioned and review it in the end. When I say review, I’m really just going to talk about how delicious I think it is.

 Lets dive in.

Step One:
Gather a rocks glass, shaker tin, stir straw, muddler (the thing you use to mush ingredients up), a bar cherry, a slice of orange without the peel (cut the size that you would garnish a Blue Moon with), 1 or 2 packets of sugar, soda water, ice and bitters.

Step Two:
Put the cherry, orange slice, 1/4 to 1/2 ounces of soda water and 1/2 to 2 packets of sugar (depending if you like it sweet or not) in the rocks glass. You are going to “build” this drink- this means mix all the ingredients in the glass.

Step Three:
Cut a hole in the box!
Just kidding, but I love that song.

Real Step Three:
Muddle the crap out of it. In other words- mash it until you can’t really tell there used to be fruit in there and all you see now are fruit-colored chunks.

Step Four:
Add 1-3 dashes of bitters into your mix. I like 1 dash. Then add ice. You can add just a few cubes, or you can fill the glass to the top. If you like your drink more watery towards the end, then put in lots, but if you like it a little warmer and more concentrated, then only a little.

Step Five:
Add an ounce and a half of bourbon. I like Marker's Mark for this drink, but use whatever bourbon you want- just don’t use shitty rail bourbon. Again, I’ll talk about why use good booze later on. Just keep trusting me for the time being ;)

Step Six:
The drink needs a little mixing because all the fruit is still on the bottom, like a yogurt. I’ve seen this done a few ways- you can either shake it, roll it (pour into a shaker tin, then back into the glass one or more times) or just agitate (poke with a stir straw). I like to roll it because it cools the drink down a little, gives you a pretty even mix and is easier than putting everything into a shaker. Plus I think rolling it is the most fun. If you shook it, then pour back into your rocks glass. Garnish the drink with a stir straw.

Set Seven:

My Review:
Delicious! Old Fashioneds are a pain in the ass to make but I actually don’t mind because they're so yummy. The drink is a little sweet, so if you're a bourbon purist, I don't know how you will feel, but just try it- it has been around this long, so there has to be something to it.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to the Old School

“What did you get?”

This is one of my favorite questions to ask someone with a cocktail in front of them. Sometimes it’s a simple answer, “rum and coke,” “vodka soda” or “gin and tonic.”

If you ask this question, you will hear similar answers. However, recently, what you will hear more and more are drinks that have been around since the start of the 20th century. That’s right- lots of the great classic cocktails are that were popular before World War II are becoming the newest trend. What are some of these drinks?

Have you ever has a Sidecar, Planter’s Punch, Old Fashioned, Nutty Irishman or Brandy Alexander? These are the most recent of the old school drinks to become popular again. There are also some classics that are better known such as Martinis, Manhattans and Cosmopolitans.
There is also a whole category of modern type martinis- Chocolate Martini, Apple-tini, Blueberry Martini, Pomegranate Martini… the list goes on and on. There are even entire bars that pride themselves on their extensive martini menus.

It used to be that either nobody, or at most, old people drank these. Now I am serving them to hipsters and young urban professionals left and right!

How did this happen? I don’t have a complete explanation (besides they are delicious!) except for TV and movies.

What was James Bond’s drink? A Martini- now I feel like a cliché whenever I am about to make someone’s martini and I ask them if they would like it shaken or stirred.

Cosmo- this was the preferred cocktail of the ladies on Sex and the City. This show was so popular that it became a movie. This is why the Cosmopolitan is now know as a total chick drink.

I have never seen Madmen, but I heard that they drink classic cocktails on that show, like the Sidecar and Old Fashioned.

So there you have it- this is the new hotness in cocktails- drinks from the old school are in again. I highly recommend that you go and try them because they are delicious!!
I have two recommendations when you do:

1) Go to an upscale place with well-trained bartenders. The bartenders will more likely know how to make the drinks right and still be reasonably priced. A club or lounge or something will more likely than not make them the wrong way and rip you off.

2) Order them with call liquors- it will taste WAY better. I will get more into why the name brand booze later, but just trust me for now.


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