2 ounces of American Whiskey, Rye or Bourbon (I prefer Rye in this drink)
.5 ounce Simple syrup
2-4 dashes bitters (more bitters for more spice)
Orange to peel for garnish
Add simple syrup to a rocks/old fashioned glass. Next splash in your bitters to taste (I like four). Stir it up real well with a bar spoon. Place two fresh clean ice cubes in glass and add one ounce of your whiskey, again stir with the bar spoon to blend the tincture and let the ice dissolve a little. Add more ice and your last ounce of whiskey and repeat the stir process. Lastly, with a vegetable peeler slice off a good peel from the orange over the glass. Trim it up, then twist over the glass to get the oils out and run it round the rim for an extra touch. Pop the peel in the side of the drink and serve. The essence of orange really compliments the spirit.
This aperitif's title says it all and does not lie, for this drink can be traced as far back as 1806 in which it was first described as a cocktail. President Truman and his wife Bess enjoyed this beverage without orange peel, lemon peel, bitters or sugar. (Essentially double Bourbon rocks) FDR was served one made with scotch once by an assistant and cried: "Silly, I've never heard of such a thing. It's absolutely sacrilegious".
It seems everyone has an opinion on not only what makes a good Old Fashioned but also on the proper method right down to the stir. Fruit? Fruit muddled? Sugar? Simple syrup or none? How many dashes of bitters? etc. etc. etc. Do an Internet search and you will find a thousand variations of this simple drink, each proclaiming it is "the Best". Me? I'm all in, because my ego cannot be bruised by some eejit who thinks an Old Fashioned should be a "fruit cup", or any other prattling child who believes that it is but whiskey on the rocks.
For them I say; "Get back in your pram."
A True Old Fashioned is somewhere in between those two extremes, a blend of sugar, water, and high quality spirit, put together in such a way so as to lighten the heart but so too, to tempt the appetite. Crafted with care, an Old Fashioned is a wonderful, refined cocktail, that speaks to another age, more dignified. This is my recipe, "the Best", in which I use simple syrup, for the sake of ease, instead of pure cane sugar and water.
Next game day, I will be making the Old Fashioned for our thirsty crew, both with Bulleit rye which has a really nice spiciness to it and Maker's Mark bourbon, which is sweet yet subtle. Hopefully this old American classic will meet with their approval.
I know that if you like whiskey then this old drink is sure to please not only yourself, but any of your stodgy old guests, like me.