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maggiethecat

The Old Fashioned Cocktail: The Topic

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Red Heering: Jeebus that's an excellent name. I think you stole a march on a number of folks who would eventually have wanted to grab that name...

As far as the "What's an Old Fashioned" line: Screw it. You're talking about >=2 oz booze + bitters + sugar in a rocks glass with ice. Beyond that, I think anything goes.

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As far as the "What's an Old Fashioned" line: Screw it. You're talking about >=2 oz booze + bitters + sugar in a rocks glass with ice. Beyond that, I think anything goes.

2 oz rye whiskey, 2 oz sweet vermouth, 1 tsp maraschino liqueur, 2 dashes bitters. On ice in a rocks glass. Old Fashioned?

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2 oz rye whiskey, 2 oz sweet vermouth, 1 tsp maraschino liqueur, 2 dashes bitters. On ice in a rocks glass. Old Fashioned?

Manhattinez :biggrin:

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As far as the "What's an Old Fashioned" line: Screw it. You're talking about >=2 oz booze + bitters + sugar in a rocks glass with ice. Beyond that, I think anything goes.

2 oz rye whiskey, 2 oz sweet vermouth, 1 tsp maraschino liqueur, 2 dashes bitters. On ice in a rocks glass. Old Fashioned?

Really, you want to call any drink served over rocks an old-fashioned?

I guess it is literally an Old Fashioned Manhattan. At least it is, without the twee addition of Maraschino, what you would get if you asked for a Manhattan in an Old Fashioned Tavern or Old Fashioned Supper Club in Wisconsin.

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As far as the "What's an Old Fashioned" line: Screw it. You're talking about >=2 oz booze + bitters + sugar in a rocks glass with ice. Beyond that, I think anything goes.

2 oz rye whiskey, 2 oz sweet vermouth, 1 tsp maraschino liqueur, 2 dashes bitters. On ice in a rocks glass. Old Fashioned?

Really, you want to call any drink served over rocks an old-fashioned?

Not at all! Which is the point I was making.

Personally, I don't think there is much room in an Old Fashioned for liqueur, and certainly none for something like vermouth. Spirit, sugar, bitters, ice, garnish. That's an Old Fashioned in my book. If you want to use more than one spirit (e.g., tequila and mezcal) that makes sense to me. But once you start adding liqueur, I don't think it's an Old Fashioned. I could get behind the idea of an Old Fashioned that incorporates a small amount of amaro under the idea that amari can be thought of as potable bitters.

To me this is all part of the point of having drink naming conventions that extend to a wide number of formulations within a certain framework. It only makes sense to use the convention if you stay within the framework. Otherwise, the naming convention begins to lose meaning. Having expandable naming conventions is a good thing. It allows us to have a Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned, a Genever Old Fashioned, and even something like an Oaxaca Old Fashioned (base spirit being tequila and mezcal) -- and all of these names tell us something important and fundamental about what the drink will be like. Similarly, it allows us to have a number of short drinks appropriately named some kind of Daiquiri, so long as the principal constituents are rum and lime. What this also means is that we shouldn't make a drink with tequila and lemon and call it a Daiquiri and we shouldn't make a drink with vermouth or liqueur and call it an Old Fashioned.

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Personally, I don't think there is much room in an Old Fashioned for liqueur, and certainly none for something like vermouth. Spirit, sugar, bitters, ice, garnish.

What about dashes of Curacao, as per JT 1862?

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There was no "Old-Fashioned" Cocktail in 1862, uh, because they hadn't gotten that old yet. They were still fashionable.

;-)

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There was no "Old-Fashioned" Cocktail in 1862, uh, because they hadn't gotten that old yet. They were still fashionable.

;-)

Old Fashioned = Cock-tail.

;)

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

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Heck, I never said it was an Old Fashioned, but rather that I was playing with the concept (using liqueurs instead of the muddled orange and cherry, and amaro for the bitters).

Maybe it's a New Fashioned?

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

Okay, Old Fashioned Curacao Cocktail it is then. ;)

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

Sam's got it here. This is exactly why it's called an Old Fashioned. When people started screwing around with the basic formula, trying to make something new, then someone eventually to ask for a "whiskey cock-tail in the old-fashioned style." Old Fashioned is all about no frills. That's kind of the point. One frill, and you've moved away from that category.

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

Okay, Old Fashioned Curacao Cocktail it is then. ;)

Sure, if you want to make a drink with curaçao as the base. Although I don't see why you'd want to add sugar to that.

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

Sam's got it here. This is exactly why it's called an Old Fashioned. When people started screwing around with the basic formula, trying to make something new, then someone eventually to ask for a "whiskey cock-tail in the old-fashioned style." Old Fashioned is all about no frills. That's kind of the point. One frill, and you've moved away from that category.

A Whisk(e)y Cock-tail, yeah, but there was good reason why they introduced dashes of Curacao to Gin or Brandy Cock-tails. Adding a dash or two of Curacao does not take it away from being an Old-Fashioned Cocktail.

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2 oz Inner Circle Blue Rum

1/3 oz Hibiscus Simple Syrup

Dash Bittercube Corazón Bitters (Ancho Chile, Black Mole, Lime notes)

Lime Peel Garnish

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Right. The Old Fashioned from the beginning was meant to be, well, deliberately old fashioned. Thus it didn't cotton to none o' that new-fangled flim-flammery like straining out the ice and dashes of curacao and what have you. Why, the next thing you know, they'll be sayin' it's okay to put maraschino in there, and that it ain't polite to suck it through your beard.

Sam's got it here. This is exactly why it's called an Old Fashioned. When people started screwing around with the basic formula, trying to make something new, then someone eventually to ask for a "whiskey cock-tail in the old-fashioned style." Old Fashioned is all about no frills. That's kind of the point. One frill, and you've moved away from that category.

A Whisk(e)y Cock-tail, yeah, but there was good reason why they introduced dashes of Curacao to Gin or Brandy Cock-tails. Adding a dash or two of Curacao does not take it away from being an Old-Fashioned Cocktail.

I'm not sure this is precisely so, although the argument can be made. The Old Fashioned first appeared in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks, in versions with Holland Gin, Tom Gin, Brandy and Whiskey. None of them contains any liqueur. In fact, a survey of historical Old Fashioned recipes (there is a nice collection here) shows that a small minority may allow for as much as a "dash of curaçao," but no other liqueur ever seems to be mentioned. Meanwhile, the vast majority of recipes is remarkable for a lack of any kind of liqueur. It's worthy of note that the Old Fashioned was not conceived as an old-timey service of the contemporary state of the cocktail. When it first appears, it represented an attempt to make a deliberate return to an earlier conception of the cocktail -- the one that existed (or was thought to have existed) before the likes of Jerry Thomas fancied it up with their corrupting dashes of curaçao and what have you. Looking at the preponderance of Old Fashioned recipes, and considering the reasoning behind its origins, I still feel comfortable saying that there shouldn't be any liqueur in an Old Fashioned. But at the same time I acknowledge that the addition of a small amount of curaçao has some tradition. Then again, so does muddling the fruit. Doesn't mean it's a good idea.

I probably wouldn't take as much as a half-teaspoon of Grand Marnier (I can't think of any other brand I'd use for this) amiss in an Old Fashioned, as it more or less serves to accentuate the effect of the twist. But I'd just as soon leave it out. Regardless, this amount is hardly likely to make a major impact, and certainly doesn't open the door to half or whole ounces of strong-flavored liqueurs.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

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I probably wouldn't take as much as a half-teaspoon of Grand Marnier (I can't think of any other brand I'd use for this) amiss in an Old Fashioned, as it more or less serves to accentuate the effect of the twist. But I'd just as soon leave it out. Regardless, this amount is hardly likely to make a major impact, and certainly doesn't open the door to half or whole ounces of strong-flavored liqueurs.

I was skimming through an original version of Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide last night, and he listed a drink category that starts with "S" and that contains, iirc, base spirit, liqueur, and bitters. Anyone know what this is?

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I probably wouldn't take as much as a half-teaspoon of Grand Marnier (I can't think of any other brand I'd use for this) amiss in an Old Fashioned, as it more or less serves to accentuate the effect of the twist. But I'd just as soon leave it out. Regardless, this amount is hardly likely to make a major impact, and certainly doesn't open the door to half or whole ounces of strong-flavored liqueurs.

I was skimming through an original version of Trader Vic's Bartender's Guide last night, and he listed a drink category that starts with "S" and that contains, iirc, base spirit, liqueur, and bitters. Anyone know what this is?

Sling?

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No, it's something I'd never heard before.

Scaffa? I seem to recall seeing this (maybe in Duffy?) classified as spirit/liqueur/bitters, served mixed but unchilled and undiluted.

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Yes, that's it exactly.

Just came across a thread over here, where that definition is challenged...it looks like there's some historic basis for thinking a scaffa was just a sort of pousse-café.

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Room temperature mixed drinks, huh?

That makes me think of this: I've put a few new drinks on a menu that, I notice, seem to improve as they sit on the bartop. They're served in chilled rocks glasses and the flavors change as the drinks warm. Actually, come to think of it, I've heard that said about the Sazerac, as well. These drinks are mostly in the same vein: lots of base with a dash of this and a drop of that. Anyway, it was very interesting to me to learn that they actually improved at room temperature.

So I guess I could see some scaffas being really good.

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I'm not sure this is precisely so, although the argument can be made. The Old Fashioned first appeared in George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks, in versions with Holland Gin, Tom Gin, Brandy and Whiskey. None of them contains any liqueur. In fact, a survey of historical Old Fashioned recipes (there is a nice collection here) shows that a small minority may allow for as much as a "dash of curaçao," but no other liqueur ever seems to be mentioned.

But the Old-Fashioned is a Cock-tail, and some Cock-tails call for Curacao, so I stand by my point; adding a dash or two of Curacao does not take it away from being an Old-Fashioned Cocktail. It may not be the drink to please everyone, but it works...

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