The last couple of days I’ve been making Old Fashioneds, just like the way it used to be. Actually, didn’t Frightened Rabbit do some concept album about mixed drinks? I should look into that. The Frightened Rabbit would be a great cocktail.
Old Fashioned (particular variation mine, but, you know):
- 2 oz American whiskey (Eagle Rare Bourbon, in this case)
- 2-4 dashes bitters (Angostura + Bitter Truth Orange)
- 2 cubes Demerara sugar
- long strip orange peel
In a rocks glass, muddle the orange peel, bitters, and sugar cubes to make an ad hoc oleosaccharum. Add the whiskey, fill the glass with ice, and stir well to mix. Add a brandied cherry if you’ve got one.
Another desert island drink. A proper Old Fashioned is something of a blank slate. It can be pushed in so many directions by changing minor variables; for example, muddling or not muddling the citrus peel, adding a dash of liqueur, or changing up the bitters can result in a totally different drink. Plato and Lévi-Strauss would cry at the perfect realization of their ideas: one Old-Fashioned, while unique in its own way, is clearly a reflection of some ideal, theoretical Old-Fashioned.
At the same time, the Old Fashioned is a deeply comforting drink. The warm, harsh whiskey and the spicy bitters are perfect for cold evenings or crises of conscience. Muddling the orange peel certainly isn’t necessary, but, with snowbanks as tall as I am, I’m eager for any sign of life.