When I was the ripe old age of seven, I had the unfortunate--or fortunate, depending on your morals and ethics towards childhood drinking--experience of tasting rye whisky. It was nobody’s fault but mine; as a curious child I found myself sticking my nose and fingers into a variety of foods and beverages, few of which were actually mine to violate. Nonetheless, this amber, seemingly innocent-looking drink sat in a glass on our living room table, and in my state of know-it-all childhood, it was clear that this drink was meant for me.
No reservations, time to chug. Mmm...apple juice!
No, not apple juice. Not even close.
When my dad heard my cries of pain and disgust from the rather large swig of rye I’d just taken, he came into the room, laughed, and proceeded to drain the rest of the drink. From that moment, I made a rule that I would never touch the stuff again.
Old Fashioned image via Shutterstock
I’ve always been a firm believer that rules were meant to be broken.
Fast forward 14 years: I’m at a bar in Manhattan, partaking in its ever-growing cocktail renaissance. I sidled up to the bar and asked for something with whiskey, with a hint of sweet but kind of spicy as well. Without a thought, the bartender walked away and came back a few minutes later with an Old Fashioned. The thought of drinking rye, a spirit I hadn’t “indulged” in since my fiasco over a decade ago, was daunting. But after a sip, I was hooked. It was sweet and smooth, with a hint of spice from the rye (Rittenhouse, to be exact).
I’ve chosen the Old Fashioned as the Cocktail of the Month not only because it’s a warming drink, perfect for these chilly months, but because it’s also the best example of achieving perfection through simplicity. The Old Fashioned has just four ingredients, and each one stands out in its own special way in this concoction. Mix one up at home tonight, and let the flavors mesmerize you.
Below is a great recipe for an Old Fashioned from cocktail aficionado Dave Wondrich. We hope you enjoy this drink as much as we do! Cheers, and always remember to take a whiff of a liquid before you drink it.
Love this recipe for an Old Fashioned? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.
Recipe from Dave Wondrich, Esquire.com
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Rye Whisky (We recommend Rittenhouse)
Place the sugar cube in an old fashioned glass. Wet it with a dash of Angostura bitters and a splash of club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, and swirl the glass around so the sugary liquid coats the inside. Add a large ice cube, and pour in the rye. Serve with a stirring rod.