Old fashion

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Old fashion

The Old Fashioned is a great style of cocktail.  That’s right, it’s a style not a drink.  What I love about ordering this drink is the many different interpretations of the Old Fashioned.  What I hat about the old Fashioned is the many different interpretations of this drink.  If you get the basics right, the possibilities are endless.  

The Old Fashioned is first mentioned in Louisville, KY by James E. Pepper.  He worked at the Pandennis Club and started serving this drink in 1881.  It really grew to fame when he took it to New York at the bar at the Waldorf Astoria.  This is accepted as the beginning of this drink.  I heard another account of how this drink came into our world.  It started as a breakfast drink to settle your stomach after a heavy night of drinking.  The bitters would cool your stomach down, the spirit would give you a little hair of the dog.  People called this The Breakfast Cocktail.  It fell out of favor and a select few started referring to it as the Old-Fashioned Breakfast Cocktail.  During its renaissance it dropped the “Breakfast” out of the name.  It is probably a combination of all of both of these stories.

When I refer to the Old Fashioned as a style rather than a drink, I mean that this cocktail does not have to be made with 1 particular spirit.  It can be made with a litany of spirits depending on your region or your taste. The basics of the style is that it is served on the rocks, in a rocks glass.  The Old Fashioned must have bitters, spirit, sugar, and a citrus twist.  Things can be added, but generally if it is missing any of these 4 basics, it is not an Old Fashioned.  This is also a stirred cocktail.  You stir this drink because there is no fruit juice being integrated with liquor, just some sugar and bitters.  

Like many other drinks this cocktail has taken a journey through the cocktail world.  The 80’s were not a great time for many cocktails.  The Old Fashioned suffered like the fashion and the music.  When I was first introduced to this style, I wondered why anyone would ever drink one of these.  I have since discovered the proper way to make this.  The style that I prefer requires no muddling, no cherry, and simple syrup rather than sugar.  When you drill down into this cocktail ingredients, you can really hone the flavor to make a great spirit.