The Old Fashioned Cocktail
To all of my bourbon-loving friends, I have no aspirations of replacing your favorite Old Fashioned Recipe. I, too, love the classic and appreciate any bar tender or mixologist that takes the time to make a proper one. You can see the passion when a proper Old Fashioned comes together. The choice of ice and maraschino cherry, the decision to include an orange slice or orange peel, the choice of using a sugar cube, granulated sugar, or simple syrup, and the bourbon itself all give each version of these classic cocktails a character of its own. But, maybe you don’t always have the time to make a proper Old Fashioned and just want a tasty but similar alternative. That’s where the Head Honker Easy Old Fashioned comes in.
- 1.5 ounces Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
- 4 dashes Bitters
- .5oz Ginger Ale
Put simply, add ice to your glass, add bourbon, bitters, and ginger ale. Stir lightly. This is one of the easiest and most satisfying cocktails to make, in my humble opinion. The variation comes in your choice of ice, bourbon, and bitters.
There are many choices for ice these days. Kitchen freezer ice is a good old standby, but large balls or cubes have become more popular in recent times. My favorite molds for making them can be found here.
Countertop Ice Makers are also a great way to keep plenty of quality cocktail ice on hand without worrying about using the normal kitchen supply.
There are so many wonderful bourbon options these days, it is difficult to choose. It is also important to remember that a good Old Fashioned can be made with bourbon or rye whiskey. And while the choice is purely subjective, I do have a few favorites.
- Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whiskey – Smooth with a hint of nuttiness, this is a favorite that I find myself buying often.
- Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select – A classic choice for any bourbon cocktail and the bourbon of choice for many restaurant cocktail menus.
- Rebel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – I discovered this several years ago, and at this price point, one would be hard pressed to find a better bourbon. I prefer it to many higher priced brands.
- Bulleit Straight Rye Whiskey – I’m not sure I’ve found a Rye I didn’t like, but Bulleit Rye is a solid, full flavored choice, sure to please anyone.
If my favorites aren’t to your liking and you are looking for great prices on your own top picks, Caskers is a great online shopping option. They offer a great selection and fast shipping.
However, if you don’t have a favorite, or are looking for a new way to try multiple varieties, check out Flaviar. Their subscription service and endless selection allow you to try all kinds of bourbons from around the world with a convenient and affordable membership.
I’ve enjoyed bourbon for several years now, and while my palate may not be as developed as the experts, I’ve found the flavors I enjoy. A classic, no-nonsense Old Fashioned is still, and will likely remain, my cocktail of choice.
But, on days when I have neither the time nor desire to make a proper one or go out for one made by someone else, this simple recipe makes a delicious and refreshing drink in a fraction of the time.
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