You can’t be more classic, on the cocktail side, than an Old Fashioned.
It made a comeback on menus thanks to a certain Don Draper in Mad Men.
It’s a timeless cocktail that has spanned decades and trends in mixology.
It’s also one of my favorite cocktails, very strong and tasty.
A perfect trio of ingredients
Very simple to make, an Old Fashioned is nothing more or less than the perfect blend of a trio of ingredients: bourbon or rye, sugar and bitter.
Like many classic cocktail recipes, the Old Fashioned is now prepared in several ways, sometimes using maple syrup as sugar or rum instead of bourbon.
In this version of Old Fashioned, we use bourbon and add amaretto to it.
The amaretto brings more complexity to the flavors of the bourbon.
The almond and vanilla notes of amaretto blend particularly well with those of bourbon, where hints of nuts and caramel are often found.
And for a little local touch, we replace the sugar with maple syrup.
How to prepare an Old Fashioned like a pro
As you can imagine, an Old Fashioned cocktail is quite simple to make. It requires few ingredients and no complicated techniques.
In short, a cocktail as we like them!
You can make this cocktail right in the glass, but to make it proper, here’s the method to prepare it like a bartender.
It doesn’t take much longer and these steps will improve the result a lot!
You will need the following materials:
- A mixing glass
- A long spoon for stirring
- Cocktail strainer
For the service: a short glass with a wide rim and a robust base (whisky thumbler).
Here are the steps to prepare the Old Fashioned:
- Pour the bourbon, amaretto and maple syrup into a mixing glass.
- Add the bitter and mix a little.
- Fill the mixing glass with ice cubes.
- Using a large spoon, stir the ice using smooth rotations, until the proportion of liquid has doubled.
- Then pour the cocktail into a low glass using a cocktail strainer to hold the ice.
- Add cherries, an orange zest and ice cubes, if desired, and serve immediately.
How can you make sure to have a cold cocktail glass?
While preparing the cocktail, place the glass in a refrigerator or freezer.
Another option is to fill the glass with ice while you prepare the cocktail. When ready to serve, empty the ice before pouring the cocktail into it.
The perfect ice for a cocktail
For the perfect experience, it’s best to have large ice cubes, even if you only use one, rather than several small ones.
Why use large ice cubes? Quite simply because they will melt less quickly and therefore will dilute your cocktail less.
- 1 part of bourbon
- 1 part of amaretto
- ¼ part maple syrup
- 1-2 dashes of Angostura bitter
- Cherries and orange zest (optional)
- In a mixing glass, add all the cocktail ingredients except the cherries. Mix gently.
- Fill the rest of the mixing glass with ice cubes.
- Take a visual measurement of the liquid then, using a large spoon, stir the ice using smooth rotations until the proportion of liquid has doubled.
- Serve in a short Old Fashioned glass, using a cocktail strainer to retain the ice.
- Add a cherry and orange zest.