Monday, May 10, 2010

The Old Fashioned a national institution

This is John Apodaca from Daddy-O's Martinis. One of my favorite classic cocktails of mine and has been honored in music and movies is the Old Fashioned. It was invented around 1900 at the Pendennis Club in Louisville Kentucky by Colonel James E. Pepper ( a Kentucky distiller of bourbon) and the bartender. It was once referred to as a "palate-paralyzer" by bartender David Embury and has a song in it's honor Make it another old fashioned please by Cole Porter. It's also mentioned in a scene of the movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World were Jim Backus plays a rich lush with a twin-engine plane.  Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett convince him to fly them to a buried treasure. Backus asks Mickey Rooney while flying the plane to make him an Old Fashioned and after having two of them tells the other two characters to fly the plane because he's going to make an old fashioned the old fashioned way that dear old dad used to make them. Mickey Rooney says, "what if something should happen and Backus tells them, what could happen with an Old Fashioned?

I've done research on this cocktail and have made it and after several trials along with tastings at home and at some of my favorite drinking establishments have found a delicious balance. It's build in an old fashioned or double rocks glass without muddling fruit. Some recipes call for muddling orange and maraschino cherries with sugar, bitters and water. I find it become too sweet but after tasting it at Seven Grand in Downtown Los Angeles and 320 in Seal Beach, I found the taste was just right and the only fruit in it was a flamed orange peal. I followed this method at home and found that's the only way to enjoy it. Give it a try or go to bar that serves up vintage style cocktails this way. Let me know how you liked it.


John Apodaca

The Old Fashioned

1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey ( Rittenhouse Rye or Buffalo Trace )
2 - 4 Dashes of Angostura bitters
1 Sugar cube
1 Splash of soda water
Flamed orange peel

Place the sugar cube at the bottom of an old fashioned or double rocks glass. Soak the sugar with 2 - 4 dashes of Angostura bitters and add a splash of soda water and muddle (crush) the ingredients until dissolved with a muddling stick or with the back of a bar spoon. Add the whiskey, slice an orange  peel very thinly
(about 2 inches long), light a match hold it underneath the peel with a back and fourth motion for a few seconds, turn it over and do the same for a few seconds while holding it over the glass. Pinch the peel while still holding the lighted match it to release oils, you should see a spark from the release of the oils. Put out the flame and wipe the rim of the glass along with the peel and place it in the glass and enjoy the drink.

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