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maggiethecat

The Old Fashioned Cocktail: The Topic

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when a muddler was called a "toddy stick"

Slightly off topic here but this brings me to something that's been puzzling me for quite a while now, the connection of the Scottish Toddy to the American Cock-tail.

Their DNA is very similar, spirit-sugar-water-spice for toddy, spirit-sugar-water-bitters for cock-tail, and both were consumed for their remedial qualities (morning drinks, pick-me-ups and as a cure-all). And then there's the toddy stick...

:unsure:

There's not really much question that the Cocktail is inexorably linked in its origins to the toddy/sling is there?


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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when a muddler was called a "toddy stick"

Slightly off topic here but this brings me to something that's been puzzling me for quite a while now, the connection of the Scottish Toddy to the American Cock-tail.

Their DNA is very similar, spirit-sugar-water-spice for toddy, spirit-sugar-water-bitters for cock-tail, and both were consumed for their remedial qualities (morning drinks, pick-me-ups and as a cure-all). And then there's the toddy stick...

:unsure:

There's not really much question that the Cocktail is inexorably linked in its origins to the toddy/sling is there?

I shouldn't think so, no. Although I should suppose that there is plenty of question as to whether the Toddy is of Scottish origin or somehow uniquely or distinctively Scottish in provenance.


--

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Although I should suppose that there is plenty of question as to whether the Toddy is of Scottish origin.

From my own research and findings, I'm pretty sure that it is Scottish in origin. I've just posted this another thread;

But there is more to read there.


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Many 19th-century bars--even unto the end of the century--had a sugar drawer under the bar, that would be full of granulated sugar (and, no doubt, insects).

Let's hope that none of the pre-prohibition style bars today are willing to get that authentic!


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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I do have to say that, after many years swearing by rich simple syrup (i.e, 2:1 Demerara syrup) in sours, I've come back to stirring in granulated sugar with the citrus juice before dding the booze and the ice and shake-shake-shake. It takes almost no time at all and it seems (to me, anyway) to make for a brighter-tasting drink. So sugar drawer? bring it on. Bugs are protein, right?


aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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I do have to say that, after many years swearing by rich simple syrup (i.e, 2:1 Demerara syrup) in sours, I've come back to stirring in granulated sugar with the citrus juice before dding the booze and the ice and shake-shake-shake. It takes almost no time at all and it seems (to me, anyway) to make for a brighter-tasting drink. So sugar drawer? bring it on. Bugs are protein, right?

Agreed. If I get the itch for a Daiquiri or a Ramos at home and haven't got any Caster Sugar, I'll make something else. Can't explain quite why, but I feel like it is just clutch in some drinks. I'm very willing to entertain the idea that it is perhaps just slightly sweeter per given volume, and coupled with it's easy-dissolving nature, it probably just balances drinks better at the given ratios I tend to use. Wonderful stuff, though rather pricey as sugar goes (about $4/lb)


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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How is the pricey stuff different from regular ol' superfine? I just whip up another batch in the food processor when I run out. The thought of someone going without daiquiris makes me sad.


 

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I do have to say that, after many years swearing by rich simple syrup (i.e, 2:1 Demerara syrup) in sours, I've come back to stirring in granulated sugar with the citrus juice before dding the booze and the ice and shake-shake-shake. It takes almost no time at all and it seems (to me, anyway) to make for a brighter-tasting drink. So sugar drawer? bring it on. Bugs are protein, right?

Hmm. Gives a whole new meaning to the term 'protein shake.'


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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How is the pricey stuff different from regular ol' superfine? I just whip up another batch in the food processor when I run out. The thought of someone going without daiquiris makes me sad.

It may well be the same thing. I have recently become the proud owner of a new food processor so I'll have to give that method a try; I keep forgetting about it for some reason.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Caster sugar and superfine sugar are the same thing, the former designation being preferred in Britain and the latter in the States.


--

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Caster sugar and superfine sugar are the same thing, the former designation being preferred in Britain and the latter in the States.

Good to know, though the only thing I can find labelled as "superfine sugar" has starch added to it to prevent clumping.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Are you sure you're not finding powdered or confectioner's sugar rather than superfine sugar? Powdered sugar has an even finer grain size than superfine, so fine that it appears to have a texture similar to AP flour. Most of the powdered sugar you might find in a US grocery store includes a good bit of cornstarch, although it's possible to get it without on a commercial basis. Regardless, superfine is the one you want, not powdered.


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Yes, I found one brand labelling what would otherwise be powdered or confectioner's sugar as superfine though the ingredient list included starch (tapioca starch I think). I should add that my recent move to a town of no more than 11k has limited my everyday grocery selection a bit. Domino sugar is not universally available in Texas, which still has strong ties to Imperial Sugar, even though it is no longer produced here.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Made a variation on Phil Ward's Oaxaca Old Fashioned:

1 1/2 oz Herradura añejo tequila

1/2 oz Chichicapa mezcal

2 t smoked pineapple syrup

dash Bittermens xocolatl bitters

dash Angostura bitters

Stir; strain; flamed blood orange peel around the rim and in.


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Made a variation on Phil Ward's Oaxaca Old Fashioned:

1 1/2 oz Herradura añejo tequila

1/2 oz Chichicapa mezcal

2 t smoked pineapple syrup

dash Bittermens xocolatl bitters

dash Angostura bitters

Stir; strain; flamed blood orange peel around the rim and in.

Looks like more of an "Improved Oaxaca Cocktail"

Tried that smoked syrup in an East India yet?


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I tend to go for the gift-pack glasses that came with a bottle of Drambuie for my old fashioned cocktails. They have a thick bottom and a smooth lip. I like to use a glass out of the freezer to counteract my small ice cubes. The disadvantage is in dissolving the sugar in a cold glass.

Do you have a favourite old fashioned glass? Do you pre-chill it?


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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My favorite glass to use for an OF, much like my favorite whiskey and indeed my favorite Old Fashioned itself, is the one in front of me. I do have some glasses I particularly enjoy for Sazeracs though. They came with some Crown Royal I was gifted many years ago and their small size, sloping sides, and very heavy bottom makes them perfect.

Old Fashioned though I'll take what I can get, so long as it's not too big.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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As far as the whole orange peel thing.

Orange slice? Do you mean like a wedge of orange with pulp in the drink? People do that?

I used a flamed orange peel (not expressed or flamed over the drink) about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch that I slide in between the ice cube and the wall of my old fashioned glass. I find that flaming it allows the oils to come out slowly. I do not stir or agitate after the peel goes in.

My wife has been making what she calls a "Mount Fuji". Picture attached

Mt Fuji:

Sugar cube

teaspoon water

2 dash Ang. Bitters

Muddle well

2 oz bulliet bourbon

1/2 oz plum wine

stir, add a big ass ice cube and slide a flamed orange in

I'm a purist and I kinda gave her a hard time about the idea until I tried it. An old fashioned it's not, but man it's good.

mt fuji.jpg

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I've been a lurker on this thread for a while, so I thought I'm chime in...and maybe bring it back from the dead while I'm at it.

In San Francisco I'm lucky to have a couple of bars that make an honest Old Fashioned...they are strong but not overpowering, don't have seltzer water, and aren't like a muddled fruit cocktail with a splash of whiskey in them.

After many trips to The Alembic, I started paying close attention to how they make them, since I could never get it quite right at home. So, fueled by a couple of them tonight, I thought I'd share my recipe that is strongly influenced, or perhaps somewhat stolen, from said bar...

1. Place 3/4 teaspoon of sugar, two or three dashes of bitters, and 2 ounces of good bourbon in a glass, swirl with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off a slice of the lemon skin from one end to the other. Twist over the bourbon mix, and then wipe the inside rim of the glass with it. Leave it in the glass.

3. Add 4 standard sized ice cubes, swirl with a spoon 25 times to melt the ice a little and mellow it.

4. Drink up!

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I've been a lurker on this thread for a while, so I thought I'm chime in...and maybe bring it back from the dead while I'm at it.

Sounds good! I'd try right away if I hadn't just started sipping a Sazarac.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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So let's be clear about this. There are two very distinct styles of Old Fashioned. There's the Old School with simple syrup as the sweetener, bitters and expressed peels, and there's the "garbage" style with muddled sugar cube, bitters and orange slice and cherries being turned to a paste before the ice and whiskey is even introduced to the glass, and a splash of club soda on the back end. Both are perfectly acceptable iterations of a classic. My "house" Old Fashioned is Jim Beam Bourbon, garbage style. My off-menu (for now) rum Old Fashioned is spiced simple syrup, two rums, Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters and a flamed orange peel. There's room for both. They are both delicious in their own way. No problem here.


Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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My off-menu (for now) rum Old Fashioned is spiced simple syrup, two rums, Whiskey Barrel Aged bitters and a flamed orange peel. There's room for both. They are both delicious in their own way. No problem here.

That sounds tasty. Gonna have to keep that one in mind for when I get my hands on the whiskey barrel bitters...


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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