Pour Yourself a Drink: The Old-Fashioned

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
February 7, 2014

Photo credit: Food52

It’s Friday. You made it. Have a cocktail. A serious cocktail. 

Have an old-fashioned. 

The drink made its first cameo in  an 1886 publication called “Comment and Dramatic Times,” according to drinks historian David Wondrich. It dipped in and out of fashion for quite a while; it became a Big Deal again in the 1960s, but then went into hibernation until Don Draper had to go and look so foxy drinking them all around Manhattan.

It’s a simple drink, all three-ingredient-and-a-garnish magic, but when done right, it’s one of the best, too. Use rye—or bourbon, if you like your spirits a tad sweeter. Muddle a whole orange slice or just use its peel as garnish, swiping it around the rim of the glass before dropping it in.

If you’re lucky when ordering one of these out on the town, the bartender will read your mind and throw in a Maraschino cherry or two. If you’re making this at home, you’re the boss, so definitely add cherries. Nice ones. They’ll soften the bitters almost as well as this drink softens the end of a week. 

Recipe from Food52

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey
Orange peel (for garnish)

Place sugar cube in bottom of a rocks glass. Add bitters and a splash of water. Crush sugar thoroughly with a wooden muddler or strong spoon.

Pour in the whiskey, place a few ice cubes in the glass, and stir until well chilled.

Garnish with orange peel.

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