The name of this most classic of classic cocktails is as perfect for the drink as can be, as the oldest know reference to it dates back to 1806 and the early days of cocktails, when they were still to be defined and codified. Any half decent barman can make you one, and most bars now offer up all sorts of varieties and smoked versions (some far better than others). But as with all things simple, to make it perfectly requires practice and skill to get that perfect harmony of ingredients. It’s never so simple as just quickly throwing them all together. You want that perfect mix of caramel flavoured sugar, orange and bitters that will mingle seamlessly with the whisky. You have to pick your ingredients with care and take time to treat them right. If you do, you can’t go wrong.
Rye Whisky (Bullet Rye or makes for a good choice, if you prefer bourbon give Blanton’s a go)
1 Demerara sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Orange Bitters
Splash of Water
Orange Peel for Garnish
Ice – the larger cubes the better
Old Fashioned Glass or Tumbler – if you can put it in the freezer before hadn’t for about 30mins – 1 hour.
In an Old Fashioned glass or tumbler place the sugar cube, add the bitters to the cube and use a muddler to crush the cube and muddle it until the cube is broken up and mostly dissolved in the bitters and a smooth paste like mixture forms. Add up to a tea spoon of water to help it along if you like. Add the whisky and ice and stir for about 20-25 seconds. Garnish with the orange peel and enjoy.
Photo by Marc Babin on Unsplash