Just to clarify, my thoughts on the construction of this cocktail are not intended as an affront to anyone's professionalism or dedication to the craft--just my opinions. I confess that here in Texas the drinking public is only vaguely aware of a drink called the Old Fashioned, without much idea of what it is or why it is significant. If I am to introduce it to them properly, I feel like I have to do it The Hard Way, to drive home the higher significance the drink has to history. This is not the kind of thing that is ordered very often by people at tables in the dining room, it is normally the kind of thing that I am pushing on people sitting at the bar, trying my damnedest to wean them off of Crown and Coke.
I am enthusiastic user of syrups of all kind, which I can make in creative flavors and concentrations to expand the palette I have to work with. They also have limitations, though, and it seems to me that the OF mix outlined above would make a much sweeter drink than I am accustomed to but this is a matter of taste, of course. As I typically don't include fruit unless requested by the customer, sugar is the only thing I am muddling anyway.
And how I do that for recreational use or when I have the time to discuss it with my guest and really tell them what that's about is very different than being functional in the heat of service on a busy shift in a high volume restaurant. Doesn't mean I'm not taking it seriously, nor that I don't recognize the difference. In fact, I think I'm finding the very best/most flavorful possible shortcut given the circumstances. I'm still muddling real brandied cherries with a wee bit of the brandy and a fresh wedge of orange in that Old Fashioned mix.
Ms. Loeb, I hope that you are not as offended by my remarks as it seems. I think that this is actually a good example of what I was trying to say about philosphies--you have a clear and laudible emphasis on making sure that everyone has a drink, and that it has been made in a unique way, with items that you have made ahead of time (Cherries) with great thought and care. I am more likely to make the next person wait their turn while I perform as much "show" as time allows while making someone's drink in front of them. When the next person gets their turn, they get the same treatment. Neither way is better, it is just a different philosophy. It was certainly not my intent to imply a lack of seriousness on anyone's part, especially yours.
Clearly during the midweek dinner rush when I am by myself and have 14 people sitting at my bar and the restaraunt is on a wait and the printer is buzzing incessantly, folks aren't going to get the full 20 min shpiel on the Old Fashioned's place in American history