If I could drink but one cocktail for the rest of my life, it would be the Old Fashioned. In part because I love it, but also because an Old Fashioned can be made 1,000 different ways (and no, that’s not cheating). The Old Fashioned is beautiful in its simplicity, elegant in its flexibility. Just three ingredients—spirits, sweet, and bitters—combine to make a drink that is utter perfection. But enough about my love affair—on to this particular interpretation of my favorite drink.
Blood Runs Free is my take on the Fancy Free, itself a variant of the Old Fashioned. The sweetness of the maraschino and blood orange juice perfectly balances out the barrel-strength bourbon, while the two bitters add further complexity. It goes down perhaps too easily for the proof, so take extra care to drink responsibly!
The Old Fashioned is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite cocktail. In the drink’s purest form, whiskey, bitters, and sugar combine to create something utterly sublime. The whole is decidedly greater than the sum of the parts.
But even better than a pure, old-fashioned Old Fashioned cocktail is the construct of the Old Fashioned. Broaden the range of spirits, change up the bitters and/or sweetener, incorporate some fruit, and you have a virtually endless palate with which to create.
This particular interpretation hews reasonably close to the original. It maintains the bourbon base but eschews traditional (and wonderful) Angostura bitters in favor of deep, complex Aztec Chocolate bitters from Fee Brothers. A grilled peach slice, muddled with a bit of simple syrup, contributes both the necessary sweetness while adding further complexity. It is, at least to me, dessert in a glass.
Enjoy after dinner, midday, or whenever you want something rich, sweet, and boozy. And don’t forget to eat the muddled, boozy peach!