Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Summary

Yield
Servings
Sourcearduous research ;-)
Prep time5 minutes
Region

Description

Old-FashionedThis trusty old favorite is easy to make badly. The key is to remember that the essence of the drink is a balance of home-sweet-homey orange, zippy bitters and orange oil, and good virile whiskey. I tried this with bourbon (usually Maker's Mark)  but found it sweet. That's a common problem with this drink (the most common problem, really) an over-sweet unchallenging soft-drink with a fruit salad, no different in principle from a "ladies drink".  That kind of old-fashioned reminds me of the harmlessly cheery and meaningless decor at a retirement home.
How to restore the Old-Fashioned to what it should be - all the best things you remember about your grandparents without being reminded of those relentlessly optimistic and soulless walls?
The solution is to back off the fruit salad but keep the flavors by muddling the peel for flavor without diluting everything with orange juice, reduce the sugar, and balance the Bourbon with rye for added complexity and spiciness.
Note: this might work well with a drier Bourbon like Knob Creek and no rye, but all this research takes it toll on your humble researcher; I simply could not drink any more Old-Fashioneds and still record the results of my researches!

Ingredients

1 1⁄2ozBourbon whiskey (I use Maker's Mark)
1 1⁄2ozRye Whiskey (I use Old Overholt)
1sliOrange Zest, short (about 3 inches by 1 inch)
1⁄2tSugar
1⁄2tWater
2dsAngostura Bitters
1eaCocktail cherry
1sliOrange Zest, long (about 7 inches by 1 inch)

Instructions

In the bottom of an old-fashioned glass, muddle the small strip of orange zest well to express the oils. Add the sugar, water, and bitters and mix well.

Add the two whiskeys and stir well.

Garnish a second old-fashioned glass with the long strip of orange zest and the cherry. Add a few ice cubes.

Strain the cocktail over the ice, stir to chill and serve.

Notes

This might work well with a drier Bourbon like Knob Creek and no rye, but all this research takes it toll on your humble researcher; I simply could not drink any more Old-Fashioneds and still record the results of my researches!
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thinking ahead?

Here's a useful discovery: you can mix the rye and Bourbon ahead of time and you can mix the sugar,bitters, and peel ahead of time, but do not mix them together or the orange will dominate everything.