Which is why, before I can consider making plans for any extracurricular activities, I'm going to make myself an Old Fashioned...and I think you should, too. Treat yourself, it was a long week!
I've only been enjoying Old Fashioneds for about a year now, so I'm quite the newcomer to this antique drink. Because this is the first time I am actually concocting this cocktail, I wanted to know a bit more about it...this is what Wikipedia said:
"The first known definition of the word "cocktail" was in response to a reader's letter asking to define the word in the May 6, 1806 issue of The Balance and Columbia Repository in Hudson, New York. In the May 13, 1806 issue, the paper's editor wrote that it was a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.
Some claim the first use of the specific name "Old Fashioned" was for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail in the 1880s, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe is said to have been invented by a bartender at that club, and popularized by a club member and bourbon distiller, Colonel James E. Pepper, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City."
Thanks, Colonel Pepper! (Colonel Mustard's cousin??) Thank God for over the privileged white men who invented these fantastic drinks. Anyway, let's get down to business. Here is how one makes a proper old fashioned. (Disclaimer: this is actually what I personally decided was proper after perusing various recipes...that may be up for discussion in sophisticated bourbon drinking circles)
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura Bitters, plus more to taste
1 slice orange
1 twist of lemon
2 ounces good-quality rye or bourbon (I used Bulleit)
2 maraschino cherry
In old-fashioned glass, plop down a sugar cube. Saturate it with bitters. Now add a splash of soda, and crush the sugar cube with the back of a spoon, or a muddler if you're fancy enough to have one. (Needless to say I went the spoon route). Then add 2 maraschino cherries and muddle THOSE. Add 2 square ice cubes and bourbon. Give it a stir and garnish with orange slice, another cherry if you'd like, and lemon twist.
How fancy do you feel?!!? Hopefully fancy, because that's how I currently feel. Swirl your drink, twirl your mustache if you've got one and imagine yourself in a more civilized time...at least until the bourbon kicks in.