10 Mar Cocktail of the Month: The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest classic cocktails, appearing at the front of a number of bartender’s guides. The earliest cocktails were simply known as Old-Fashioned, but the recipe for what we know as today’s bourbon whiskey old fashioned was supposedly invented at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s to honor Colonel James E. Pepper, a wealthy bourbon distiller. (Note though, that the father of American cocktails, Jerry Thomas once wrote, “Drinking and storytelling go hand in hand, so treat any tale of cocktail invention with a bit of skepticism.”)
In the 20th century, bartenders tinkered with the classic, adding supposed improvements like lemon and pineapple, mashing fruit, shaking the cocktail (shudder) and topping it off with seltzer, soda water or even beer. The Old Fashioned has made a comeback thanks to a resurgence of classic cocktails, and with a special thanks to some guy named Don Draper. It certainly remains though, that a good Old Fashioned can be hard to find.
The Ravens Club Old Fashioned is special, but sticks to the roots of the classic. We make bitters in house to specifically impart the traditional fruit characteristics of the cocktail. Our version of cherry, orange and Jerry Thomas’s own Decanter Bitters are carefully crafted and finished with a 4 to 6 week barrel-aging process. Once mature, they are bottled ready for use.
Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare 10yr single barrel bourbon, rich demerara syrup and purified water are then mixed together appropriately and vesseled into a five gallon cornelius keg, most commonly used for home brewed beer and home draft beer systems. We use a traditional hand pull to draw the whiskey out of the barrel over a 2-inch block of ice, add a few dashes of our barrel-aged Old Fashioned bitters and add a fresh orange peel for a final touch.
You can’t make this Old Fashioned at home, so stop by and try ours.