I am a faithful listener and devoted fan of Christopher Kimball’s “Milk Street,” every Sunday on NPR. He really got my attention recently when he reported that his favorite drink is an old fashioned and that he likes to mix his in a cocktail shaker for a shaken old fashioned.
The original and classic old fashioned is made with whiskey, bitters, sugar and ice. It is always stirred and not shaken.
Kimball breaks with tradition and makes his old fashioned with part whiskey and part rye. I usually make mine with all rye because the whiskey is too sweet. Kimball’s solution to use a little of each creates the perfect balance for this delicious sipping cocktail.
You will need a cocktail shaker to prepare this drink. Use a brown sugar cube such as demerara and muddle the sugar with a mixture of orange bitters and regular bitters or any bitters of your choice and a splash of water.
Once the sugar is muddled, add the rye and the whiskey and some ice cubes. Gently shake the whiskey mixture to chill the drink.
Pour into a old fashioned or rocks glass that has fresh ice. Kimball likes to garnish his old fashioned with a couple of brandy soaked cherries.
Some recipes for old fashioneds muddle the fruit, such as an orange slice and a cherry, with the sugar. Kimball claims that he is not interested in drinking a fruit salad so he does not adhere to this tradition.
I prefer to add an orange zest to the cocktail and a couple of Luxardo cherries. Try my kumquat old fashioned for another remake of the traditional old fashioned. Cheers to breaking with tradition and a remake of the classic old fashioned!