At times, I can find myself pretty preachy when it comes to cocktails. You’ll hear my sermons on natural ingredients, fresh juice or using minimal ingredients, both here and on the podcast.
One thing you might hear me say is that you don’t need to buy a cocktail mix when your cocktail only has 3 ingredients! A margarita is the perfect example: just tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. Yet you can get Trader Joe’s Margarita Mix, then you just need to add tequila and triple sec to it. Still just 3 ingredients, so why bother with a mix in this case?
The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails, and it adheres to the 1806 definition: “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.” An Old Fashioned is whiskey, bitters, and sugar. So why bottle it if it’s so simple? Well, not everyone has cocktail bitters these days, and sometimes the supposed simplicity of the recipe (from the guy who writes a cocktail blog) isn’t actually so simple for everyone.
There are a few critical details about bottling cocktails, in my opinion:
- Does it make things easier?
- Does it taste as good as freshly made?
I’m glad to say that Bully Boy’s Old Fashioned is, in fact, a yes to both. It smells and tastes precisely as an Old Fashioned should. It is definitely easier to “make.” I told Lisa on the podcast recently that this is the sort of bottle that you set in the middle of the table (hopefully with cigars) at a party and it just…disappears because it’s so easy to pour and drink. We debated back and forth the sweetness of this drink. I found it just right – Lisa felt it was a little sweeter than I usually make.
When I serve this Old Fashioned, I tend to just pour it on the rocks in an Old Fashioned glass and drink. No garnish, no fuss. Which, I imagine, is just the way that Bully Boy intended.