On my first trip to Lake Chalet, I ordered their Old Whiskey Cocktail. I'd struck out with their Dark and Stormy and didn't want to order a drink with a silly name. Also Lake Chalet uses rye whiskey for their Old Fashioned. While Wild Turkey is available in a rye version, I've had a soft spot for rye whiskey since The New Low Down poured me a dram of Old Potrero. How long ago was that?
For whatever reason, the Old Fashioned clicked this year. My first scrounge for a recipe went the usual way - everything I thought I knew about the old fashioned was wrong, because I hadn't read this. Tasty stuff:
'Young impudent sir, he screamed, '...Man and boy I've built Old-Fashioned cocktails these 60 years... and I have never yet had the perverted nastiness of mind to put fruit in an Old-Fashioned. Get out, scram, go over to the Palmer House and drink.' I was rebuked.
Me too. And the adulteration goes further. In place of sugar I like to add just enough cane syrup to get the cocktail slightly viscous. Please be tolerant of this backward, blurry, and uncomposed photo. I'll replace it one day soon:
My new-fangled old-fashioned cocktail recipe goes something like this:
- 2 full shot glasses of Bulleit Bourbon, aka the best of the cheap stuff at Trader Joe's. Here's Liquor Snob's review.
- Angostura Bitters, three dashes plus that first splash that splashes out unbidden.
- Water. Maybe 1/2 a shot's worth.
- Blood orange if you've got it, an obnoxiously large wedge a la Cafe Van Kleef.
- Depaz Cane Syrup, to taste and feel. At least 1/2 tsp.
- Your favorite dried cherries. Will impart hardly any flavor, but are tasty after the fact. My digging for them, as I read in bed, has led to some grumbling from Amy who usually goes to sleep earlier than me.
- Directions: Get your orange wedge into the glass somehow. It may take shoving, and some incidental juicing is encouraged. Don't go crazy. Cherries if you like. Then dash in the bitters. Pour in the cane syrup, then the bourbon. Then the water. Somehow 3 ice cubes always seem to fit into our Crate and Barrel highballs.