The Old Fashioned is one of the most refined cocktails you can sip. But something happens when you start to toy with the recipe the way dive bars do—muddling sickly sweet maraschino cherries with orange slices and topping the whole shebang with soda water. While we certainly wouldn’t call this concoction an Old Fashioned proper, the backbone of the drink is still there, even if the recipe isn’t correct. We’d say it’s more of a guilty pleasure, which we certainly indulge in from time to time, so there’s no shame in having it this way if you truly find it satisfying. So go ahead—muddle electric red cherries and sugar into your rocks glass before topping with a healthy helping of whiskey. We promise we won’t tell.
Guilty Pleasure Old Fashioned
- In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar cube, one cherry and one orange wheel.
- Remove the orange rind, add whiskey and ice to the glass, and stir.
- Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with the remaining cherry and orange wheel.
In 1948, a New York tax-attorney-turned-cocktail-whiz published The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, which to this day remains an indispensable bartending guide. Its author, David A. Embury, held that six cocktails reign above all others, and perched atop his list is the Old Fashioned, a marvel of simplicity and elegance that has endured almost...