You know what really hits the spot on a chilly Friday evening? A good old-fashioned Old Fashioned. Now full disclosure, I’m not a big whiskey/rye/bourbon drinker myself BUT my other half loves the stuff. Regardless, it’s always handy to have a classic cocktail recipe up your sleeve when company stops by, you’ll look super classy!
I’m loving the trend towards the old world inspired cocktails that’s occurring in Edmonton right now and I have a suspicion that much of this can be attributed to one man, Brendan Brewster, currently of North 53 fame but from what I understand he also helped craft the incredible Woodwork cocktail list. If you don’t feel like concocting your own Old Fashioned, belly up to the North 53 bar and kindly ask Brendan to mix you up a Smoke + Oak Old Fashioned made with oaken gin (I don’t even know what that means but it’s a beautiful drink).
However, if you’re feeling like you’re ready to take the next step towards Don Draper like coolness here is my tried and true Old Fashioned recipe. You’ll need:
- A rocks glass (a short wide glass)
- A muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon)
- Orange Infused Simple Syrup (recipe to below but you could use store bought plain Simple Syrup as well)
- Maraschino cherries
- A slice of orange
- Augusta bitters (available at some Safeway’s, I purchased at the Oliver Square location OR you can be fancy (like me) and go to the Italian Centre and check out the selection of Fee Brothers bitters)
- Your favorite whiskey/rye/bourbon – My guy prefers Marker’s Mark but she’s a pricey one so we’ve started experimenting with the Wild Turkey (pictured below). Another old standby that I’ve used many times is Canadian Club (which is also Don Drapers go to drink on Mad Men so it’s a safe bet)
- Still or sparkling water
Ok now I know that sounds like a lot of ingredients for a cocktail but trust me it’ll be worth it! First you need to make a batch of the Orange Infused Simple Syrup (you can purchase plain simple syrup, I’ve seen it for sale at the Italian Centre and sometimes it’s called Cane Sugar Syrup) which will last you months and months and months I promise AND it’s easy peasy!
- Measure out equal parts of sugar and water (I usually do 1 cup of each) into a sauce pot
- Get an orange and use a vegetable peeler to get larger slices of orange zest but avoid getting a lot of the white pith (it’s bitter), throw the zest in with the sugar mixture and bring the whole thing to a boil
- Stir the mixture to dissolve all the sugar. When you notice there is no sugar left in the pot you’re done! Let it cool and then store it (I bought a little olive oil dispenser from the dollar store)
Now the fun part begins! Put on a Frank Sinatra record, change into your dinner jacket, and light up your faux cigarette (no real ciggies please)!
- Get a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry or two into your rocks glass. Add in a drizzle of Orange Infused Simple Syrup (honestly, you could even just use a sugar cube for sweetness, I’m not going to tell you what to do) and 7-9 dashes of bitters
- Muddle all that up! Which just means bash and crunch everything together to get some of the juices out of the fruit and combined all the flavours
- Add in 2oz (ish) of your poison of choice as well as a couple of cubes of ice
- Top it with still or sparkling water
- Enjoy getting your Friday night buzz on in the classiest possible way!