Whiskey Cocktail Basics: the Old-Fashioned.
The Old-Fashioned claims roots dating back to the 1880’s in Louisville, Kentucky. The Pendennis Club, a new formed (and prestigious) gentleman’s club of the time, was a hangout for men to escape their wives and enjoy a few cold ones.
A trend at bars and clubs of the latter part of the century was elaborate cocktails with many ingredients. Bucking the trend for these cocktail variety, a Pendennis Club member would simply ask for an “Old Fashioned.” As in “Make me a cocktail the old-fashioned way! The way my Old Man would drink it...Not what these late 1800’s photograph-taking sissies drink!”
The cocktail gained popularity amongst members and invited guests alike.
The cocktail’s road to national prominence first came when it was featured in George Kappeler’s 1895 book, Modern American Drinks. Also, around this time, a Pendennis Club member, Colonel James Pepper, was a regular guest of New York City’s original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Col Pepper would order his beloved cocktail and evidently passed the enjoyment on to other guests. Once it became a hit in New York City, popularity and recipe quickly spread to spirit establishments around the country.
Travel Plans & Libations….
Any Old-Fashioned Fans out there? Louisville’s doubled down on it stake for the Old- Fashioned. It’s now the official cocktail of Louisville. Every year the city spends the first two weeks of June celebrating Old Fashioned Fortnight. An entire two-week celebration of cocktail-inspired parties and events. Concludes on National Bourbon Day (June 14).
New to the Old-Fashioned…or need a reference for the unexperienced chain-restaurant bartender?
1 jigger (2 ounces) of Bourbon or Rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube (or substitute 1 teaspoon of simple syrup)
Few dashes plain water
Step 1: Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with 2 dashes of bitters, add a dash of plain water.
Step 2: Muddle (mix) until dissolved. Doing so aggressively while smiling will make you look like a pro!
Step 3: Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey.
Step 4: Garnish with orange twist, and a cocktail cherry.
Enjoy, the Old-Fashioned Way!
Boom! Another shot of knowledge!