Due to circumstances beyond my control, well laziness basically, I am going to recycle this MxMo post from a year and a half ago. Besides, I’m off to my home state, Wisconsin, land of the Brandy Old-Fashioned. Ya so, dat Old-Fashioned ting is perfectly apropos of the “Local Flavor” theme, dere hey.

Cheers to Kevin Kelpe of Save the Drinkers for hosting this round.

Cole Porter, 1940
there are moments, sooner or later
When it’s tough, I got to say, love to say … Waiter

Make it another old-fashioned, please
Make it another, double, old-fashioned, please

There’s an art to the Old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a simple thing, yet when you order it in two bars, you will seldom receive the same cocktail twice.

By the time Jerry Thomas published his “Bartender’s Guide” in the late 1800s, a whiskey cocktail had come to be a shaken “up” cocktail. Due respect to Mr. Thomas, I stirred, and did not shake with crushed ice.

Whiskey Cocktail

Whiskey Cocktail
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup. (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 dashes of bitters (Boker’s). (Angostura)
1 wine-glass of whiskey. (2oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Fill one-third full of fine ice ; shake and strain in a fancy red wine-glass. Put in a piece of twisted lemon peel in the glass and serve.

Some authors posit that the Old-Fashioned Cocktail came by its name as a shortened version of something like, “I’ll have a Whiskey Cocktail made in the Old Fashioned Manner”. That is to say, not shaken and served on the rocks. Presumably, a “Really Old-Fashioned” would be whiskey, water, syrup and bitters. From the Savoy Cocktail Book:

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Old-Fashioned Cocktail
1 Lump Sugar (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky (2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Crush Sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc., instead of Rye Whisky.

Some time in the 20th century, Bourbon replaced the Rye as the whiskey of choice in the Old-Fashioned, and even stranger, bartenders began to muddle the garnish in the glass with the bitters and sugar. Also, for better or worse, soda crept into the mix. From Charles Schumann’s, “American Bar”:

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned
1 Sugar Cube (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Bourbon (W.L. Weller 12 Year)
soda (skipped)
stemmed cherry

Place sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass saturate with Angostura, add orange and lemon wedges, press with a pestle, add Bourbon, stir well, add ice cubes, fill with soda or water, stir again, garnish with cherry.

Even odder, in Wisconsin, the liquor of choice in Old-Fashioneds is not Whiskey at all, but Brandy (preferably Korbel). Wisconsinites, being cold weather folk, also have a tendency to make these rather large, and sometimes give you a choice of “Sweet” or “Sour”. “Sour” includes a spritz of Soda and “Sweet” a spritz of 7-Up.

Brandy Old-Fashion, Sour

Muddled Brandy Old-Fashioned (Sour)

Recipe identical to the Schumann Old-Fashioned recipe; but, with a generous 2 oz pour of Korbel Brandy instead the Bourbon.

Lately, however, I have found a return, in a few local bars, to the Savoy style stirred Rye Old-Fashioneds, with or without the orange and cherry garnish. This makes ordering an Old-Fashioned somewhat less of a crap shoot. Though, the bartenders do tend to ask if you’re sure you want it that way.

Cole Porter, 1940
So, make it another old-fashioned, please

Leave out the cherry,
Leave out the orange,
Leave out the bitters
Just make it Straight Rye.

Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye Whiskey

Sazerac 18 year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a drink of real old fashioned rye whiskey.

For further, more erudite reading on the Brandy Old-Fashioned subject, check Robert Simonson’s Off the Presses for this article: Brandy Old-Fashioned

Edit – Fixed song lyrics. Thanks Bryndon!

Damn-The-Weather Cocktail

Damn The Weather Cocktail
Damn-The-Weather Cocktail

3 Dashes Curacao. (Brizard Orange Curacao)
1/4 Orange Juice. (3/4 oz fresh Orange Juice)
1/4 Italian Vermouth. (3/4 oz Cinzano Rosso Vermouth)
1/2 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Tanqueray Gin)
(Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters.)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

If there is any single type of Savoy Cocktail Book cocktail that I’m getting a bit bored with, it’s probably these Bronx type things. They’re perfectly fine and all, they just never really seem exceptional.

For example, I know I would prefer the Damn-The-Weather without the orange juice.

Heck, then it’s a Martinez! Yum!

Are these type cocktails supposed to be Breakfast/Brunch picker-upper type things?

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.