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Feb 8, 2012 09:03 AM

i think i like old fashioned's now

Had one this weekend, it had house made bitters, Makers Mark 46, and a luxardo cherry with crushed ice

sure if was a riff on a regular old fashion, but what is the traditional recipe and what is the diff between markers mark regular and that bouron or whiskey

Seems the concensous is demarra sugar is the best sugar cube for the drink? hard to search for it because it brings up glasses and drink ideas

anyway give me some ideas for prep at home since i have recently discovered i like whiskey / bourbon and had stuck to rum and gin

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  1. I'm just getting into cocktails myself, but I use this recipe from Robert Hess:

    Sometimes I use a (standard, table) sugar cube instead of the syrup depending on how much of a hurry I am in, but I don't find much taste difference as long as the cube is fully dissolved. I'm a poor recent graduate so I'm using Old Overholt, the only lower-priced rye in my most convenient liquor store, although I've seen a lot of recommendations for Rittenhouse 100 and Wild Turkey. Also, instead of an orange wheel I use a twist.

    1. My feeling on the difference between Makers and Makers 46 (I have both in the house) is that 46 is a smooth more rounded taste. If you start drinking bourbons (or whiskeys - I'm not stepping into that argument/discussion) you'll find that they can have very different flavor profiles and "harshness" to them. Sometimes I like the harshness, sometimes I don't.

      If you want something else to try at home, the next logical step is a Manhattan (in my opinion). They are very related but instead of sugar you are getting our sweetness (and some other flavor profiles) from a sweet vermouth.

      Next step after that would be to play around with different bitters. Fee brothers makes a lot of very good bitters.

      If you're still really excited about this line of cocktails you'll want to either track down luxardo cherries (which I really like) or you can start making your own cherries (several threads on here with links to recipes as well).

      Welcome to the next step in cocktails! ;)

      7 Replies
      1. re: thimes

        I generally like less harsh so probably 46 is the right call for me, - i have antica carpano sweet vermouth, out of punt y mas right now so but the antica is a couple months old but has been kept in the fridge hopefully it is not totally dead

        i have angostura so im set on the bitters - I enjoy drinks with crushed ice so i want to keep the crushed versus cubed ice, so not sure if i should be adding water to the muddle due to different dilution rates...

        ...any ideas there?

        1. re: Dapuma

          I love antica - why do you have that if you're not a bourbon drinker? I only use it in Manhattans.

          A couple of months is pushing it for a "traditionalist" when it comes to vermouth but in all honestly I go through manhattan phases and have ended up keeping mine for that long before. it will be fine, you'll just loose some of the more subtle "nose" notes (I know that couldn't have sounded more pretentious but . . . . ) but it won't taste spoiled or anything. Use away!

          Crushed ice is fine if that is what you like. I would not add water, crush iced if anything will more quickly dilute your drink than a big cube. So adding water would be counter productive.

          ENJOY! I think I"m going to have one here in a few after typing all this.

          1. re: thimes

            i like making bijou - which is gin green chartuese and sweet vermouth

            also like negronis

            1. re: thimes

              FYI, a manhattan is a rye drink (not bourbon). It's become popular to make them with bourbon, but the real thing uses rye.

              1. re: monopod

                Yes, rye, and no cherry, but a lemon twist.

                1. re: monopod

                  A couple of points:
                  1. I am no expert on the history of drinks.
                  2. Things change. Until rye has recently become trendy, people haven't drank rye in ?? years. Unless you count Canadian which really isn't rye but a mix of all kinds of grains, etc. Bourbon is way more popular, in the US at least.
                  3. Is this better or worse. I don't know, but I do know that it is true.
                  4. A bourbon manhattan is pretty good.
                  5. The "real thing" is pretty subjective. Supposedly the original Martini had bitters in it. However, i'd be hard pressed to tell a bartender that served me gin, vermouth and an olive or 2 that this wasn't the real thing.

              2. re: Dapuma

                I actually use both crushed and cubed in the old fashioned. I use a small amount of crushed to melt faster after I mix the sugar and bitters, then add the big cubes ( I like the specialty square ones) with the whiskey and stir. Makes for the perfect amount of melt -without being watery.

                I confess, this is one of my favorite it doesn't sit around long enough to get very watery anyway......

            2. The house Old-Fashioned at work:
              Cut a swath of zest about half an inch wide from an orange.
              Put it and a sugar cube into a double rocks glass.
              Soak the sugar cube with a few dashes of the bitters of your choosing (We use Fee Brothers' Rhubarb Bitters)
              Muddle the sugar and zest to release the orange oil in the zest.
              Add a shot of whisky. Stir a little to dissolve the sugar.
              Add ice cubes to fill the glass. Stir briefly so that the ice is fully marinated. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

              I think that muddling an orange slice is not wise; you end up muddling the bitter pith into the drink.

              All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is American (usually from Kentucky), made from mostly corn, and aged in new, charred oak barrels.
              You can certainly make an Old-Fashioned from some aged rum... I'll bet it would be pretty nice.

              Oh, one of my fellow bartenders mentioned that Four Roses bourbon is worth seeking out. It's been made for decades, but after US discontinuation back in the 1950s, it's back on the market.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                The Four Roses comes in several variations such as small batch, single barrel, etc.. The low level one is great for cocktails. Makes a great bourbon manhattan, Old fashioned, whiskey sour, etc.

                1. re: JMF

                  I had one made with old grandad's and a lemon in it, i have to say i much prefered the Makers 46 and the luxardo cherry version of it with the crushed ice

                  Would that put me closer to liking the Four Roses or put me further away (as i know every little about whiskey / bourbon)

                  I have Bulliet Bourbon at home which is pretty good but i havent made a proper old fashion with it yet