Cocktail purists and experts, read no further. What follows may cause your skin to erupt in red, itchy spots.
My knowledge about spirits is next to nil, but I've reached a time in my life when I can imagine a weekend night in with just me, the radio, and a cocktail.
First, what's a true Old Fashioned? Secondhand information suggests this American invention originally called for a combination of spirits, sugar, bitters, and water. Over time, spirits came to mean American whiskey, typically rye (mainly rye) or bourbon (mainly corn). (By the way, today I heard Peggy Noe Stevens of Bourbon Women say on Good Food that more than 95% of the world's bourbon is produced in Kentucky.)
That's the original. Now here's my twist. First, I used a scotch whiskey (whiskey made in Scotland) that is probably best sipped neat and not in a cocktail. It's what I had, and this being my first homemade cocktail, I wasn't ready to go out and buy an entire bottle of American whiskey for the sake of tradition. Second, I added the juice of the Golden Nugget mandarin. Purists challenge the presence of citrus in an Old Fashioned, but people who, like me, are new to whiskey, citrus is a welcome buffer.
This is one of the easiest cocktails to make, so give it a try. I might need one tonight as a study break.
Old Fashioned with Mandarin
Adapted from Chow.com
2 wedges mandarin (or orange)
1 tsp. sugar
2 dashes angostura bitters
1 tsp. water
2 oz. whiskey (rye or bourbon, though scotch whiskey worked for me)
- In an Old Fashioned glass or small tumbler, muddle 1 slice of your citrus, sugar, bitters, and water. Remove the citrus rind.
- Add the whiskey and ice. Stir.
- Garnish with a slice of citrus and serve. Or: Twist a piece of the citrus peel instead, and add that to the drink.