Photo and GIFs by Liz Barclay
Welcome back to the First We Feast GIF Tutorial series, where we ask restaurant cooks and pro bartenders to show us how step up our technique when cooking and making drinks at home.
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic is taking over New York today, so we’re currently mainlining electrolytes and applying sunscreen in anticipation of a nice five-day soak in a sea of bitters, fresh juices, and dark spirits. But while the Classic will involve chasing down cocktails from some of the country’s best bartenders, this weekend is also a great time to educate yourself on the far more sustainable practice of making your own drinks at home.
Yesterday, PDT’s Jeff Bell showed us how to cut a citrus peel and make a Negroni. Today, we’re tackling another untouchable classic: the Old-Fashioned.
Yes, it’s fun to pretend you’re Don Draper while brandishing a brown-and-stirred quaff, but the Old-Fashioned didn’t need Mad Men to be cool. It is and always will be a near perfect delivery system for rye whiskey, balancing the spiciness of the spirit with just a touch of sugar and aromatic bitters. And with only a few simple steps involved in making an Old-Fashioned, it’s exactly the type of cocktail you’d want to whip up at the end of a long day—there’s great pleasure to be had from the ritual, and certainly from the drinking.
Here, Bell gives us a traditional take on the classic. Needless to say, there are countless variations on the Old-Fashioned—you can swap the rye for whatever brand you like, and play around with different bitters to your heart’s content. Just don’t muddle extraneous fruits at the bottom of the glass—some things are, in fact, too sacred to mess with.
* 1 sugar cube
* Splash of club soda
* 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
* 2 ounces of rye whiskey
Combine sugar, club soda, and bitters in a mixing glass and muddle into a paste. Add whiskey, then stir with a ice and strain over a large ice cube.
Check back tomorrow at 10am for the final installment of Bell’s masterclass, when he’ll be showing us how to work with egg whites and make a Campari fizz.