The history of the Old Fashioned is for another time, another article. (But it’s fascinating, nonetheless.) For now we’ll keep it simple. The Old Fashioned came to be at a time when cocktail enthusiasts were divided. The contemporaries were exploring ever more complicated concoctions. The traditionalists rebelled and brought back the more simple, “old fashioned” cocktails. Thus, we have the Old Fashioned, made with just a few important ingredients.
Maraschino cherries, orange slice, bitters, No 14 Bourbon, and ice.
The ingredients in the Old Fashioned are all about balancing bitterness and sweetness, to make for a subtly sweet, yet mature bourbon drink. Bitters adds flavors that bring the other ingredients together, but its primary job is to balance the sweetness. While most Old Fashioned recipes would have you add a sugar cube, we prefer a Luxardo maraschino cherry instead. The cherry itself adds just the right amount of sweet to mellow out the bourbon. (In the 1800’s high quality bourbons weren’t as easy to come by, so more sugar was generally added in order to mellow them out.) In our recipe, we select cherries and orange to highlight the wonderful cherry vanilla and oakey spice of the bourbon.
No 14 Old Fashioned
1 or 2 Luxardo maraschino cherries
1 slice of orange
2 or 3 dashes of your favorite bitters
No 14 Bourbon to taste
In a rocks glass, add cherries, orange slice and 2-3 dashes bitters. Muddle fruit and bitters. Fill glass with ice. Add No 14 Bourbon to taste. Garnish with orange twist.