Booze52

The Old Fashioned

By • February 21, 2013 • 16 Comments

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Some things just go together -- and the obvious accompaniment to food is drink. Welcome to Booze52, in which we explore all manner of libations that do much more than just wash down a meal. 

Today: A drink with a name that lies -- walk through our step-by-step photos to make a cocktail has never gone out of fashion. 


A lot of cocktails come and go. This one has hung around -- for at least 200 years. What’s with all the staying power?

That depends on who you ask. Rye or bourbon lovers stand by its side for the clear breakthrough of flavor. “It’s strong, square-jawed, with just enough civilization to keep you from hollerin' like a mountain-jack,” describes cocktail historian David Wondrich. It’s a smart drink, offering enough complexity in taste without obliterating the very spirit that makes it good in the first place. Others appreciate its simplicity; they admire its marbled color and its timelessness.

This is the cocktail holy trinity of spirit, sugar, and bitters, people. Which means that we should venerate Old Fashioneds -- and drink lots of them. 

Old Fashioned

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Water
Ice
2 oz. 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 then and stir until well chilled. Garnish with an orange twist.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

How do you fancy your Old Fashioned? 

Photos by James Ransom 

Jump to Comments (16)

Tags: booze52, old fashioned, whiskey, classic, cocktail, drink, recipe

Comments (16)

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about 1 month ago Greg4

Use bourbon instead of rye preferably a high proof like pappy, fighting cock or wild turkey... Bourbon was the initial main ingredient when the old fashion was invented in the heart of bourbon country, Louisville

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about 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Nice, huh? The rocks glass isn't mine; let me try to find out for you.

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about 1 year ago ttiff

That rocks glass is amazing! I've been scouring the ends of the earth looking for something like that. Where is it from?

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about 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Nice huh? The rocks glass isn't mine; let me try to find out for you.

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about 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

sorry for the delay. Try FishsEddy--think it's the DOF Lexington glass...
http://www.fishseddy.com...

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over 1 year ago Jesse Anthony Marcano

Where is the muddled cherry?

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over 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

no muddled cherry...but remind me to tell you about our family's famous purloined maraschino cherry story! Involves an Old Fashioned with Southern Comfort, a generous grandma and a mom who, well, wasn't so generous.

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over 1 year ago Nick R

Traditionally it didn't even have orange peel. I throw the cherry in mine but I don't muddle it. I love popping a rye soaked cherry in my mouth at the end.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Laura Dierks

Can't wait to try this with Van Brunt Stillhouse rye when it's ready!

Chris_in_oslo

over 1 year ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

The Old Fashioned was the only cocktail my mother mixed (instead of my father who was their usual bar tender and wine steward). I have one on occasion and would be happy drinking them most every day.

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over 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

I have really happy memories of my mom and grandmother ordering an "Old Fashioned with Southern Comfort" every time we went out to eat.

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over 1 year ago Erika Kotite

Erika is the founder of Toque magazine and is guiding us through classic cocktails from A to Z in the Booze52 series.

Muddling with the orange gives the drink a more intense citrus flavor-yum!

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over 1 year ago Lesliebling

Nice choice of cocktail to feature! The instructions and pics are inconsistent about the twists, though - lemon and orange or just orange? Muddle with the sugar or add at the end? Please clarify!

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

Glad you like it! We've fixed that detail -- orange is traditional, but feel free to give lemon a try if you like! And the sugar is muddled at the beginning, as the pictures show.

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over 1 year ago Lesliebling

Thanks so much for the response. To clarify, my second Q was about whether you suggest that the orange twist be involved in the sugar muddling (as in the pics, which I've seen done) or only added at the end (as in the text, which I've also heard).

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

Aha! So sorry for the confusion. We muddle with the peel, and then add another garnish, but it's up to you! Some people just leave the muddled peel as is. (Delicious both ways!)