How to Make an Old Fashioned Like the Bridge Cafe

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail loaded with history. IMG_0736It has a sweet start with a smoky bourbon finish and although at first glance, its combination of cherry and orange would demand it be treated as something a girl would order on her 21st, its actually a pretty strong drink. The fruit really only shows up in notes, and doesn’t overwhelm it at all. It's a whiskey drink, pure and simple.

It’s also quintessentially American. The first reference to the Old Fashioned actually comes from a reference to its recipe in The Balance and Columbia Repository, a newspaper in Hudson, New York. In the May 13, 1806 issue, in answer to a reader’s request to define the word, “cocktail,” the editor answers that it is a drink of spirits, bitters, water and sugar—basically the ingredients in an Old Fashioned.

 

Now, according to some references the first use of the term, “Old Fashioned” for a cocktail originates in Louisville, Kentucky gentlemen’s club in 1880. However, for years well before then, people would order a drink from the bartender at any given tavern or saloon, “made the old fashioned way,” meaning mixed like the above recipe.

In the video below, Adam Weprin, the manager of Bridge Café in New York City makes one of the best Old Fashioned cocktails we’ve ever had. The secret is in the time he takes to make it. He muddles the fruit completely and fully dissolves the sugar. It’s not a quick drink or a simple drink, but it’s worth it once it’s made. Enjoy!

Ingredients
Pack and 1/2 of sugar (about a tablespoon)
1 maraschino cherry
1 orange wedge
dash of bitter
1-1 1/2 ounce bourbon whiskey (for a true OLD taste, use rye whiskey)
1/2 cup ice

Instructions
Muddle cherry and orange wedge in a highball or short cocktail glass until completely mashed. Empty sugar in glass with fruit. Add bitters. In shaker add ice and whiskey. Empty contents of glass and shake until sugar is completely dissolved. Empty into original glass, top with orange wedge. Let it rest for ten seconds, then enjoy!

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