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Do people hate the Old Fashioned?

Every year for Christmas, we have a theme drink for our party. My husband is partial to bourbon and does NOT want any vodka drinks. Last year we did the Manhattan and the theme was "uptown in midtown" since that's where we live. We were thinking this year we'd do an "old fashioned" Christmas, (he likes bourbon) but we've had a couple of turned up noses. I'm not a huge bourbon drinker, so I'm just soliciting opinions - any other suggestions? Is the old fashioned hopelessly out of fashion?

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  1. Old Fashioneds, are hard to get down, at least the ones I have had at bars mostly in the L.A. area. I don't know what it is, maybe the sugar but the hangovers are the worst. Once darnk them for an entire night out and spent the next in bed all day.
    I would search for a good recipie and maybe you can modify it or pardon the pun, "modernize" it.
    But I am not a bartender just know from my experience.

    1. The Old Fashioned is now back in fashion. I like to enjoy one or two when I am out at a place with a good bartender who knows how to mix one up. I have tried making them at home, but I just can't seem to get it right. I think that I use either too little or too much bitters.

      Like your husband, I too am a bourbon fan. My wife and I threw a small holiday party last year where I wanted bourbon to be the featured alcohol and Manhattans the featured drink. I didn't win out and we ended up having a mixed bar. I guess that I am glad we did because the bourbon just sat there with only a couple of people drinking it.

      I guess my point is to know your crowd. If last year the Manhattan went over well then you shouldn't have people complaining about the Old Fashioned. The only downside is that you have to make them individually, which can take some time if you're muddling the sugar.

      1. The Old Fashioned was the drink of winter celebration in our New England household. But I have never had a Old Fashioned in a bar which held a candle to the one my father used to make and I have unfortunately been unable to replecate after his death. He would add a little Seville Orange Marmalade to his sugar muddle to give it just the right flavor.

        The best part of these drinks when I was a kid was eating the maraschino cherry and orange slice which had been macerating in bourbon most of the day.

        Once again this Thanksgiving and Christmas I will try again.

        Take Care

        - P.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          "Seville Orange Marmalade" sounds good, I will have to try it this way...

        2. Bourbon is one of my favorite liquors, but I don't care for the Old Fashioned - it's probably the added sugar, as sweet drinks aren't usually my thing.

          Adding a bit of marmalade to the Old Fashioned as mentioned by Matt above sounds like it might be a good way to give it a little depth.

          You could make bourbon Sazeracs (which also have added sugar, but I like them a lot - go figure): http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink6999....

          The above is not a traditional Sazerac, which has rye, Peychaud's bitters, and Absinthe, rather than bourbon, Agnostura bitters and Pernod, but since you asked for bourbon drinks, there you go.


          1. In my experience, most people don't know what an Old Fashioned is (even 30+ people), and if they're set in their ways, won't try it if offered by name. The fastest moving booze at our holiday party one year was Stoli Raspberry (sigh). But, I was surprised by a request to make one for a guest last year. The act of making it stirred some interest from others, as it looks unusual to most people. If anyone in the house cares for bourbon, they may be induced to try it if there is a catalyst in the group.

            1. I myself love Old Fashioneds. I think most people's problem with the drink is that they've never had one, or they've never had a properly made one.

              Yes, an Old Fashioned contains sugar, but the drink itself shouldn't be sweet. And if I'm not mistaken, the sugar isn't the object of the muddling, the orange is. The sugar should already be disolved in a splash of water before even beginning to muddle the orange slice. To get around dissolving the sugar, you should make up a batch of simple syrup ahead of time, place in a squirt bottle, and squirt in about a teaspoon of syrup per glass. And there should never, never, ever be any soda water in an Old Fashioned.

              Anyways, here is a very good read on the Old Fashioned cocktail: http://drinkboy.com/Cocktails/recipes...

              1 Reply
              1. re: martymitz

                I would leave the sugar undissolved before muddling it with the fruit. The granules of sugar act as a mild abrasive, and help get the essential oils in the peel into your drink, which is the whole reason for muddling in the first place.

              2. The main concern for having an Old Fashioned party is having to make each drink individually, which can be a royal pain in the @#$. I have been a bartender for about 12 years, and anytime an order would come in, deep down I would cringe.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bethd127

                  I'm not too worried about the individual drink thing. Most people will drink beer or wine - there will probably be maybe three people who will want one or two, and my husband loves having the bar to tinker with at parties. Saves him some of the other hosting duties.

                2. A rather nice bourbon cocktail that I encountered while out west was called the "Beezer." 2 Ounces Bourbon, 1/2 ounce B&B, a dash of peach bitters. You need to use a high proof bourbon like Wild Turkey or something else that gets over the 90 proof range in order to interact with the B&B, but it is a wonderful cocktail.

                  1. I always drank Old Fashionds made with rye whiskey until bars stopped stocking rye, at least in Florida. The rye eliminates the issue of sweetness.

                    Since this is my holiday season cocktail, I was quite surprised to find several bars -- high quality bars -- that also didn't have Angostura bitters this year.