As one of the first cocktails in America, the Old Fashioned pays tribute to the drinking prowess of our ancestors. Whether sipping whiskey in the late 1800s or tippling in the twenties amidst the watchful eye of prohibition, our thirsty forebears counted the Old Fashioned as a favorite.
Great debate has surrounded the Old Fashioned over the years, as drinkers and bartenders argue whether to use rye or bourbon—or even brandy—and what fruit, if any, is an appropriate garnish. The use of water or club soda to mellow the cocktail is also a point of contention for many whiskey purists, with some contending that water is necessary to dilute the high alcohol content.
I prefer to concoct the drink with just enough water (the smallest drip from a soda bottle) to fully dissolve the included sugar without diluting the whiskey, and I find a fruit garnish unnecessary, save for a couple citrus peels, as the cocktail is tasty enough without it.
2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
Place sugar cube into a mixing glass, then muddle with bitters and a small splash of water. Add whiskey and ice, and stir until cold. Strain into a rock glass over fresh ice. If desired, express lemon and/or orange peels, and drop them into the glass.