Happy Hour: The Old Fashioned

One of THE original cocktails. Do you know how it originated?

The Old Fashioned, unlike most other of the earliest recorded cocktails, wasn’t invented in New York City. The year was 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. A gentlemen’s club called the Pendennis Club was the workplace of a bartender who wanted to dedicate a drink to a local bourbon distiller, James E. Pepper. Most cocktails to this point were created with a standard setup of spirit, water, bitters, and sugar. The bartender at the Pendennis didn’t see any reason to change that around, so he created the Old Fashioned as a drinkable cocktail that was still booze-forward.

In 2015, Louisville named the Old Fashioned as their city’s official cocktail. Each year, bourbon festivals take place during the first two weeks of June, described as “Old Fashioned Fortnight”, culminating on June 14th, which is National Bourbon Day.

Outside of Louisville, the cocktail became a slight bit antiquated until it’s major rise in popularity thanks to it being Don Draper’s, the main character in AMC’s Mad Men, favorite drink. Now, it’s a cocktail staple in any bar and has been redesigned in a plethora of ways.

Old Fashioned’s are great at the bar with a meal and are also easily made at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

2 oz. Bourbon or Rye

3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 sugar cube or .5 oz simple syrup

If using a sugar cube, place it in an Old Fashioned glass and dash the bitters over the cube. Muddle the two together until the cube is no longer solid. Pour in the bourbon or rye and add ice. Stir for 15 seconds or until the burn of the spirit has been deluded. Garnish with an orange twist.

header image via seriouseats.com

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