Ben Domenech and I hoisted a glass or three together at RightOnline last week, and in that spirit he offers you his take on the classic Old Fashioned.
My friend’s uncle was courting his current wife many years ago. When they ended up at his ranch after the date she asked if he had anything to drink. “Scotch” he said. She asked if he had anything to mix it with. “Water” he said. Happily married for a long time.
I agree Gentleman Jack would make a dandy Old Fashioned–it’s smooth and sweet, almost to the point of being a bit bland. Almost. When putting bourbon in a mixed drink, an overly-spicy bourbon can easily blend badly with the other ingredients, so smooth is important. After all, a lot of the classic bourbon cocktails started out as classic rye cocktails.
At Chez Neil, though, we go a bit down-market for a smooth and sweet bourbon. Ezra Brooks is about 1/3 the price of Gentleman Jack (which we reserve for sipping late at night), but is a solid bourbon and quite smooth. Lacking a bit in flavor for a sipping bourbon, but really perfect for an Old Fashioned or Manhattan. My second choice would probably have to be plain old Jim Beam, which is a better bottle than it usually gets credit for.
A little simple syrup (which ensures no sugar grit in the bottom of the glass), Angostura and Peychaud’s, ice, a twist, and a cherry. Done!
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