Cocktail Mixers 101: The Old Fashioned

So I want to try something new here straight from the Food Dudes. We have hit you with our classic reviews, beer chat, and other rather interesting takes on our favorite dishes, but now we want to introduce something new to you that you may just find useful when skimming through our articles. 

How about some of our favorite and classic drink recipes?

That’s right! We will be giving you some direction, or our version of our favorite cocktails. In each cocktail mixer article we will give you the history of the drink (the Food Dudes “Cliff Notes” version) as well as the recipe itself. Yeah, you can find them on the internet, but what a better place to learn than from us? After all, fellow Food Dude Robert Koch and I are nationally licensed bartenders.
Let’s start by giving you a brief and funny lesson, or legend, as to the origin of the “cocktail.” Once upon a time, drinks were served in a glass called French egg cups, or a coquetier (pronounced coke-a-tay for those who are unfamiliar with French pronunciation). Anyway, some American went to a bar and mispronounced the word and thus cocktail was born. There are many variations of this, but this one I found more entertaining. The old fashioned is considered to be one of the first cocktails. By definition of cocktail an alcoholic drink mixed with a spirit or many spirits as well as fruit or citrus juice and traditionally with sugar. Over the years, drinks changed, adding or subtracting such ingredients, but still held the title of cocktail. Now we have many kinds of cocktails that don’t have such ingredients like a martini, or a rum and Coke, yet it is still called a cocktail. So when one asks for an old fashioned, essentially what they are asking for is the olden traditional way of how the cocktail was made, a traditional whisky, brandy or rye cocktail.  
How it’s made:
Step 1. Take a rocks glass and add a bar spoon or about a tea spoon of sugar followed by 2 to 4 dashes of angostura bitters (depending on taste). Add one of water and muddle or grind until you have a solution containing little or no grains of sugar.
Step 2. Add a silver dollar sized slice of orange peel and muddle some more.
Step 3. Add ice to the glass, filling it to about the brim, or as I like, the single large ice cube.
Step 4: add 2 ounces of your favorite whiskey, rye, or brandy, and garnish with a slice of orange, and a maraschino cherry.

There are several variations of this drink where you can add an ounce of simple syrup which is pretty much a sugar water solution or you can muddle the whole orange slice and cherry in step one above. Though in the version above you muddle orange peel, when muddling orange slice and cherry, it breaks down the taste of the bitters. Muddling just the orange peel adds zest where muddling the fruit itself adds the sweetness of the juices to the drink, making it somewhat sweet. I have had this drink both ways and have made it both ways. None the less, I was pleased by both. So drink up, my friends.

Enjoy!

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