| Old Fashioned Cocktail featuring Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey |
While we were vacationing in the Outer Banks, we had dinner at 1587, a fabulous restaurant in the historic district of Manteo on Roanoke Island, N.C. After we were seated, Kerry placed our drink order and when I came back to the table I saw the most perfectly made Old Fashioned cocktail sitting in front of him. My husband knows that my “go to” drinks are beer and prosecco because I typically don’t like really strong cocktails. But this Old Fashioned cocktail was so delicious looking, I had to try it. One small sip was all it took to make me completely change my mind about this cocktail. We had a moment together and I have to say that I was a little pissed about the fact that I had been missing out on this cocktail for so many years.
I had sampled Old Fashioned cocktails in the past, but never enjoyed the flavor. They tasted too dry and too smokey and I didn’t get why people liked them. I chalked it up to “to each his own” and didn’t give it much thought. I can’t say that about this cocktail. It goes to show you how important the right blend and exact quantity of ingredients can make or break the taste of a cocktail. I thought about it so much that I actually called the restaurant last week and spoke to the bartender to ask him how he made the drink. He generously gave me his recipe! The key difference for me was that he used bourbon instead of rye (bourbon is sweeter than rye).
In preparation for game night with friends, I made an Old Fashioned Cocktail Bar and I want to share some photos and the recipe that was given to me. Cheers!
DELICIOUS OLD FASHIONED RECIPE
A note about the type of alcohol: traditional Old Fashioned cocktails are made with rye, however, the drink that was made at 1587 was made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon. We didn’t have that on hand, so I used Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey which is one of the finest brands out there. Here’s what you’ll need:
1 ice sphere or 3-4 ice cubes
2 teaspoons of simple syrup
1 dash of bitters, Angostura is one of the most popular
2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey
1 piece of orange peel
1 to 2 maraschino cherries soaked in brandy
Many people believe that some ingredients, such as the orange peel and cherries are optional. I am adamantly against that opinion because all the ingredients are what makes the recipe. If an ingredient is optional, the original recipe changes and it is no longer the same. It’s like ordering an ice cream sundae and asking them to hold the hot fudge and whipped cream. Enough said.
DIRECTIONS: Using a lowball glass, add ice sphere, simple syrup, bitters and the whiskey. Stir well then garnish with orange peel and cherry.
- Have fun with the ice! You can certainly use regular ice cubes, but one of the pleasures of the Old Fashioned cocktail we had at 1587 was the ice sphere. I picked up my ice sphere at a kitchen store, but they are available here. The advantage to using a large ice sphere is that the ice melts more slowly and it prevents the cocktail from becoming diluted. You can use ice spheres for many other drinks too!
- Cherries are an important ingredient to a delicious old fashioned cocktail. You need a little bit of their sweetness to balance the whiskey. I soaked my cherries in brandy.
- You can use a potato peeler to peel a piece of orange, I used a small cookie cutter in the shape of an acorn to make it more festive. Either way, be sure to squeeze the peel into the cocktail to impart the essential orange oil into the drink and then drop the peel into the glass.