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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

The Old Fashioned

December21

Its the Holiday season.  I don’t advocate drinking a lot. But, when you do, style counts.

As the days get shorter and the air turns crisp, the fruity beverages of summer give way to something more robust – like whiskey cocktails.  Drinks made with whiskey are a varied lot.  But, the Old Fashioned is the grandaddy of them all.  It’s one of the oldest cocktails on the books (whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters) – but, not all bartenders get it right.

The Old Fashioned was the drink that my Granddad always ordered first at a bar, just to get a handle on how well bartenders understood the craft of the cocktail.  He would often say that the Old Fashioned is all about a balance of flavors and making sure there’s nothing in the drink that says “Hey, pay attention to me.”

The secret to a proper Old Fashioned is the simple syrup – because it blends into the mix better than raw sugar. Instead of messing with muddled fruit, cut a half-dollar-size piece of skin from a fresh orange and, holding the skin between your thumb and forefinger, squeeze it over the ice to release the fruit’s fragrant oils into the drink. Many bartenders top off the drink with soda water – which, claimed Granddad, ruins the cocktail.

Finally, always use quality ingredients.  An Old Fashioned crafted with superior American whiskey is like drinking a dose of history.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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