Hey Pavla! Old Fashioneds are my go-to drink because they really are so simple once you get the process down. The trouble is, there are so many ways to go about making this drink that I also had a little trouble getting it “just right” at home at first.
I think there are a couple keys to getting it right:
- You need to like bourbon/whiskey (obviously). This drink is mostly straight booze so if you don’t like the spirit, there’s no covering up the flavor.
- I recommend starting with a mid-range rye whiskey or bourbon that’s tasty enough to stand on it’s own. Try Redemption Rye, Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig 12yr, or Makers Mark.
- The trick for making an Old Fashioned at home is being patient. Ice is an ingredient not to be overlooked in the recipe, and you’ve got to give it some time to melt. That’s what will bring it all together.
Now that those basics are out of the way, we’re ready to build your cocktail! Here’s how you do it:
- Put a sugar cube in your rocks glass and give it four shakes of Angostura bitters (or the bitters of your choice). Add a quick splash of water and muddle.
- Fill your glass about 3/4 of the way with ice.
- Add 2oz of bourbon/rye.
- Using a spoon, stir everything together for 30-45 counts. If you are clumsy like me, you’ll make a mess of this repeatedly. I think the secret is to catch the topmost edge of the ice and just push it with your spoon, rather than stick the spoon straight down into your glass.
- Now that your ice has melted down some, add more ice to fill out the glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel and a cherry (I like the Morello cherries at Trader Joe’s). Make sure you peel that swath of orange right above the cocktail and then twist it a bit to bring out the oils. Swirl it around the inside and even the outer lip of the glass before you drop it in.
Let it sit for another minute or so and then taste. It should be good to go.
Good luck, Pav - let me know how it goes for you!