In lieu of Thomas's birthday weekend I thought I would share our favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned. I'll never forget one of the first long phone conversations that we had when we had just started dating. You know the kind of conversation that you have when hours go by and it feels like minutes and your cheeks hurt afterwards from smiling so much? Yeah, that kind. He was with his friends on a road trip up heading to North Carolina for a weekend of skiing and I'm almost positive we talked his entire drive there. I'm sure all his friends were annoyed as hell from us two gabbing away! Somewhere in the midst of talking about childhoods, our all-time favorite movies, and what our ultimate vacation destinations would be, we discovered that both of our favorite cocktail is a good Old Fashioned.
It's our go-to drink whether that's any where we go in Portland or hanging out at home on the weekends. My drink usually has to match my surroundings though. Do you know what I mean? If it's the dead of summer in Florida and I'm sitting on the beach I want a cold margarita, or if I'm having a night with the girls it's all about wine, wine, and more wine. But 9 times out of 10, our surroundings consist of being cozy at home or in a quiet bar and an Old Fashioned is just the ticket.
We're not cocktail craftsman by any means but we do know that a quality OF takes good bitters, a smooth bourbon or rye, and most importantly, a solid ice cube. There's nothing more disappointing when you go somewhere and you order an Old Fashioned and it comes out with crushed ice (albeit I love the crushed ice at a Sonic drive-thru), and your drink is watered down after a minute. Here in Portland PDX ICE company is the absolute best. It's a perfect 2 inch, crystal clear cube that fits perfectly in your glass. At home I just use a sphere ice mold that's made by Tovolo. We love Bull Run, which is a local distillery in our neighborhood in NW Portland that produces the most amazing whiskey's and bitters. I bought Thomas "The Bitter Housewife" bitters for our Anniversary funnily enough and it's some of the best I've ever tried. Is it weird that I put like 5 dashes? It's liquid gold so I don't want to waste it, but it is GOOOD.
Our Favorite Old Fashioned
-1 teaspoon simple syrup
-2 dashes of bitters (Angostura or whatever other kind you prefer!)
-1 slice of orange peel
-a little squeeze of fresh orange juice (skip this if you don't want it as sweet)
2 ounces (60 ml) good-quality rye or bourbon
1 maraschino cherry (we prefer the Luxardo cocktail cherries)
what to do
-Place simple syrup, bitters, squeeze of orange juice, and whiskey in an Old Fashioned glass, stir well then add your ice cube. Stir 2 to 3 times to chill. Twist the orange peel to release oils and fragrance (is that the fancy way a bartender would say it?) before placing the peel in a glass and adding a fancy cherry.
Cheers friends! And happy birthday to my hottie of a Fiancé :)
I hope that if you've never tried an Old Fashioned than you'll give it a whirl this weekend!