Whiskey Sour

of the Old-Fashioned riff was ushered in. We’re still living in it. Your favorite saloon probably has an Old-Fashioned variation on the menu. Your regular bartender probably has one, too, up their sleeve. Some early examples included the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, which used tequila and mezcal as a base instead of whiskey. That drink was invented by Phil Ward, a prolific New York bartender who worked at Pegu Club, Death & Co., and his own bar, Mayahuel. So was the Elder Fashion, which called for gin and a touch of St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur that was all the rage in the late ’00s. With the Prime Meats Old-Fashioned, the house drink at the late-lamented Brooklyn bar of the same name, bartender Damon Boelte showed that you can utterly change the cocktail by using a different bitters; in his case, homemade pear bitters made from a pear tree that grew behind the restaurant. Don Lee of PDT, the famed speakeasy in New York’s East Village neighborhood, went a bit further with his experimentation. In 2007, he took Four Roses Bourbon and mixed it with bacon fat from the prized Benton’s bacon of Tennessee. He then put the liquid in the freezer. Once it was frozen, he scraped away the fat, leaving behind bourbon that tasted delectably of smoky bacon. With this he created the Benton’s Old-Fashioned. The drink remains the most popular menu item at PDT today. New Orleans bartenders got in on the game as well. At Arnaud’s French 75 bar, Chris Hannah created the Rebennack (named after famed local musician Dr. John). It contained rye, Amaro Averna, Clément Creole Shrubb, Peychaud’s Bitters and an orange twist. At the now defunct cobbler palace Bellocq, they came up with the Old-Fashioned Cobbler, basically an Old-Fashioned served over cobbled ice and crowned with orange, cherry, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. When I wrote my 2014 book, The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail , I had no problem filling up the recipe section. Old-Fashioned with an absinthe base; one with a Grand Marnier base; ones that leaned in a tiki direction; a specimen that came out bright purple. They all found space in the book. Such spins are not desecrations of the Old-Fashioned name. The drink has been through this before. In fact, substitution and improvisation are built into the cocktail’s DNA. For the Old-Fashioned was never just one cocktail; it was many cocktails, a whole genre. Look in the old bartending manuals of the 1890s and 1900s and you’ll find recipes for Old-Fashioned Gin Cocktails, Old-Fashioned Rum Cocktails, Old-Fashioned Brandy Cocktails, Old-Fashioned Applejack Cocktails and so forth. Though we know the Old-Fashioned primarily as a whiskey cocktail, historically it was more of a blueprint, a format rather than a specific, hard-and-fast recipe. The important thing is that that blueprint has now been recovered. With it in hand, we have the tools to build whole cities of Old-Fashioneds well into the future.

What you will need: 2 ounces bourbon 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon simple syrup Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters Half-wheel of orange, for garnish

how to prep: Fill a shaker with ice, and add all ingredients except the orange. Shake vigorously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with the orange.

Mint Julep

What you will need: 2 ounces bourbon 2 teaspoons water 1 teaspoon powdered sugar 4 mint leaves

how to prep: In a rocks glass, gently muddle the mint, sugar and water. Fill the glass with ice, add

bourbon, and stir until the glass is well frosted. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Kentucky Mule

What you will need: 2 ounces bourbon ½ ounce fresh lime juice Ginger beer, to top Mint sprigs, for garnish

how to prep: Fill a mug, preferably copper, ¾ full with crushed ice. In a cocktail shaker ¾ full with ice cubes, shake the bourbon and lime juice and pour into the mug. Top with ginger beer and more crushed ice. Add mint sprigs for garnish.


What you will need: 2 ounces rye or bourbon 1 ounce sweet vermouth 2 dashes Angostura Bitters Cocktail cherry, for garnish

how to prep: Chill a coupe glass by filling with ice or putting in freezer. Mix all ingredients, except cherry, in a mixing glass and stir over ice until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with cherry.


OLD FORESTER is America’s first glass-bottled bourbon, dating back to 1870. Before that, bourbon was commonly sold by the barrel. It is also America’s longest continuously distilled bourbon, having been made before, during and after Prohibition. Old Forester is a Kentucky Straight. The term straight bourbon is used to indicate whiskey that has been aged at least two years. The distillery produces several varieties, including 1920 Prohibition Style, part of

What you will need: 1½ ounces bourbon ¾ ounce sweet vermouth ¾ ounce Campari Orange peel, for garnish

how to prep: Chill a cocktail glass by filling with ice or putting in freezer for about 5 minutes. Pour the liquid ingredients into a mixing glass. Fill mixing glass ²⁄₃ full of ice and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into chilled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series, which celebrates the brand’s continued distillation during Prohibition, when it was produced and sold as medicinal whiskey.

Old-Fashioned &Sazerac Recipes + more on page 24



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