Let me introduce you to my favourite drink. The Old Fashioned. A surprisingly simple drink which just makes you want to put on a suit and listen to jazz music. This potent potable has recently seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks mainly to the awesome TV show, Mad Men and Don Draper’s somewhat worrying penchant for them, at any hour of the day.
I recently took it upon myself to have a Mad Men Marathon; the first four seasons are on Amazon Instant Video, so it would be rude not to. Once I decided that this was how I was going to spend my weekend, I knew I would have to go all out. It wasn’t going to be as simple as pressing play.
I knew that I would have to mentally prepare myself for the blurred line between reality and TV, like the time I watched 30 episodes of The Sopranos and kept telling people to “fuhgedaboudit” and calling them a “schifosa” despite having no idea what it means.
For my initiation into the world of advertising in the 50s, this meant I wound up wearing a suit and eating steak (rare, in case you were wondering).
However, about four episodes in, a thought dawned on me. My mouth was a little parched, probably because I had covered my steak in tabasco sauce and served it with chips covered in salt and vinegar. I knew I couldn’t just pour myself a normal drink. I needed a classy drink. I needed an Old Fashioned.
So, with introductions well and truly out the way, let’s do this.
*NB: There is no official, agreed upon method or recipe for an Old Fashioned. This is just how I make it*
Ingredients and Tools:
Whiskey or whisky (don’t just pick up a random bottle. The choice of alcohol plays a massive part in the taste of the end result)
Orange Peel (just a small wedge will do, try not to get any pith because this will make it bitter and awful)
Ice (big chunky ice, you want it to chill your drink but not melt quickly and water it down)
Optional: A Drop of Water
You need a small tumbler for this, like in my picture up there. That was a glass I got free with a bottle of Jura.
- Put about half a teaspoon of sugar in the glass, I had sugar cubes so I just used one of them
- Add a few drops of bitters and stir it in, this is where a drop of water comes in handy as you need the sugar and bitters to dissolve so you don’t end up with a saccharine sludge at the bottom of your glass
- Fill the glass with ice cubes and give it another stir, get the ice coated in the sugary bitters
- Put as much whiskey/whisky
- in as you like, it’s your drink, I won’t judge
- Point the orange side of the peel at your drink and give it a squeeze over it. This releases the oils and gives a light orange taste to your drink.
- Rub the peel around the rim of your glass and drop it in
- Final quick stir
- Slowly sip your drink and bask in its manliness. You’ll probably sprout a wicked moustache and talk like Ron Swanson, so prepare yourself for that
- Lose track of time and reality as you click ‘Next Episode’ for the 15th time
There are loads of variations on this recipe and as I make them, I will share my experiences with you!