In recent years, the Old Fashioned has made a massive comeback in the wake of masculinity. Whether its Ryan Gosling or Jon Hamm stirring up their favorite whiskeys, pop culture seems to be falsely reintroducing this age-old cocktail as an exclusive drink for men. We disagree. In fact, here at BASTION &CO we believe an O.F. can be the perfect drink for the modern woman in both strength and femininity.
1 The traditional O.F. is served in a plain rocks glass. We've opted here for a stemless tulip mainly used for wines. This challenges the masculine ambers of the whiskey with a more effeminate aesthetic. Keep in mind, because tulip glasses are characteristically thinner and more delicate than the brawny rocks tumbler, they will absorb the heat of your palm quicker. To maximize the life of your ice-cubes, we recommend pre-chilling your glass by leaving it filled with a mixture of ice-water while you make the drink in a separate vessel.
2 Whiskey can be an intimidating spirit to those not familiar with its flavors. To mellow that pungent intensity, the O.F. calls for a sugar cube as its first ingredient (a teaspoon will do). Whiskey already contains a large amount of sugar, so instead of simply sweetening the drink the sugar you add will taper off those spicier notes and make the final product much more drinkable.
3 Don't worry; bitters do not make your drink taste bitter! This second ingredient, found in the cocktail's original recipe, draws together the spicy and sweet tastes of your O.F. What bitters add are aromatic botanicals, herbs, and in our case fruit. Instead of going with the staple Angostura bitters, we like using an orange infused rendition by Regan's. This won't transform your drink into some fruit-medley, but it will compliment that signature spicy-sweet dynamic you'll come to love with a modest touch of orange.
4 In spirit of the previous ingredient, we also like to use an actual orange in the making of our O.F. Start by skinning the peel from the fruit, keeping it in tact as best you can. What you will do here is utilize the natural oils found in the orange peel.
5 Last but certainly not least, we have our whiskey. Though there are all sorts of whiskeys out there, traditionally only rye's and bourbons are considered for an O.F. We definitely think you should stick with bourbon because sweeter and smoother than a rye. Our favorite bourbon is distilled by Bulleit, which makes for a silky sweet cocktail that goes perfect with the orange bitters.
An O.F. is the perfect drink for the modern woman because of its strong yet sweet character, but also because of its simplicity. To create the perfect O.F. true to its heritage, drop your sugar into a mixing glass while your tulip pre-chills. Then dash 2-3 spurts of bitters on top, allowing it to soak the sugar. Now add no more than 2oz. of your bourbon. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Dump out the ice-water from your tulip, add 2-3 fresh ice-cubes, and pour in your bourbon mixture. On a cutting board, slice a strip of orange peel and twist it into a curly-q to garnish the drink. Finally, grab the remaining orange peel and wring above your glass so that the aromatic oils can coat the brim. And there you have it, an old fashioned true to its roots and tailored for the modern woman.
By: Mats Meyer