We were drinking old-fashioneds long before Don Draper poured that mid-afternoon drink. Legend has it that this bourbon cocktail was created right here in Louisville, by an ingenious bartender at the Pendennis Club. They make a good one. For me it’s a benchmark – one that few, if any, others have been able to meet. I’ve never really had a decent one at any other place, ever.
Seeing as it has become one of my favorite cocktails, I tend to prefer my own recipe. It’s a quick and not overly complicated mix that lends itself to light tweaking, based upon your nightly mood. On this particular evening we had some extra oranges on hand, so this version is bright with citrus. If I gave it a name I’d call it an Old Orange Fashioned. There’s no real recipe, it’s just a bunch of rounded corners and guesses. No measurements or rules. Just don’t have more than three in one sitting.
I recommend you start with a nice glass. Then find an orange. Slice out one segment, discarding the rind/peel. Place in the bottom of the glass. Add a sugar cube, one maraschino cherry and a splash of water. Top with a quick splash of bitters to cover the sugar cube and the bottom of the glass.
Muddle until it all dissolves into a syrup-like mixture. Discard the excess orange.
Fill your glass with ice and add two ounces of your favorite bourbon. My home pour is WL Weller.
I like the orange flavor and finish it off with a bit of orange zest. Enjoy!