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Old Fashioned’s History: The Recipe and History of this Elegant Cocktail

Total time: 5 min.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist

The Old Fashioned is a the cocktail made for whiskey enthusiasts, and has a long and exciting history. It was classified by the IBA among the "unforgettable" drinks, and was born in New York at the end of the nineteenth century. That's where its name comes from, but also from the "old fashioned" glasses in which it was served. It can be prepared with Bourbon or Rye Whiskey, a sugar cube dissolved in the glass, two drops of Angostura, a little soda and some ice. Its alcohol content is really high, around 30 degrees, but the Old Fashioned is still a refined cocktail both for its amber color and for its strong and spicy taste.

Old Fashioned's History

The history of the Old Fashioned cocktail begins at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a well-known luxury hotel in New York. Colonel James Pepper was a regular at the Waldorf and was also a member of the Pendennis Club of Louisville. There, at the club, he had tasted a drink very similar to the Old Fashioned, which had been invented for him, since he loved old-fashioned whiskey. Once he arrived at the Astoria, he taught the recipe they had created for him, back at the Pendennis club, to the barman, and ended up giving life to a cocktail that made history.

Old Fashioned's Variants

Instead of using a sugar cube, when preparing the Old Fashioned, you can use a drop of simple syrup. It happens quite often, in bars, to use curaçao inside the drink, instead of the splash of soda. In case you don't like oranges, instead, you can replace the decorative one with a slice of lemon.

4,5 cl
2 drops
1 cube

How To Prepare the Old Fashioned

Place a sugar cube in an old fashioned glass and sprinkle it with two drops of angostura. Make a splash of soda and crush with the muddler until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add ice until the glass is filled, add the whiskey and mix. Stir with a bar spoon and decorate the glass with a slice of orance after leaving its essence on the edge of the glass.

Place a maraschino cherry in the glass and serve the Old Fashioned cocktail.

Some Advices to Follow

The cocktail should be paired with substantial dishes, such as grilled meat and fish, but also roasted veal or baked first courses.

The Old Fashioned isn't a difficult cocktail to prepare, but it is necessary to perfectly balance and dilute the ingredients to obtain a well-rounded and elegant drink. If you have difficulty with whiskey, you can also pour it in three batches: the first third after the splash of soda, the second third after adding ice and the third at the end. Remember, however, to always mix the ingredients at each step.

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