The Old Fashioned
2 oz. bourbon or whiskey
1 sugar cube or 1/2 teaspoon of superfine sugar
2 or 3 dashes Angostura or orange bitters
2 or 3 oz soda water (optional)
Orange slice and maraschino cherry (optional)
Use an Old Fashioned glass or squat glass for the drink. Put sugar cube in the bottom and pour bitters over it to soak the sugar. Add liquor and orange slice if desired. Use a muddler, an instrument with a blunt end, to muddle the mixture. Make sure the sugar cube is crushed and the fruit juice released. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda if desired. Garnish with a cherry.
When freshmen parents arrive in Cambridge this weekend, impress them with your newfound college sophistication by sipping on one of America’s oldest and most refined cocktails: the Old Fashioned. This classic cocktail was invented in the late 19th century at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Ky., for a prominent Southern colonel and whiskey connoisseur. Since that time the Old Fashioned has been a favorite of the stylish. From speakeasies to lawn parties to Hollywood soirees, the Old Fashioned was such a staple it inspired a Cole Porter song, “Make it Another Old Fashioned, Please.”
Because of the long history of the drink, competing recipes abound. Regardless of which you choose, remember that the Old Fashioned should be sweet and fruity. The original recipes probably did not include oranges or cherries, but many bartenders today experiment with colorful garnishes. It is also possible to use a simple, sweet syrup instead of the sugar cube. The final addition of soda water is controversial. Traditionalists complain too much fizz causes the cocktail to become a spritzer. Feel free to experiment and tweak tradition. No matter how it’s mixed, sipping an Old Fashioned evokes the sweet, alcohol-soaked grace and style of a bygone age.