Maple Old Fashioned
"Old fashioned".... It has so many different references. From that guy who still believes in opening the car door for his date, to the youth who think about the generation who used to have to actually pick up the phone and call their friends to make plans. One thing that has remained a constant is the drink which carries the name, and my drink of choice, the Old Fashioned.
The perfect mix of bourbon/whiskey, bitters and sugar, garnished with an orange peel to add that flavor. It's simple, yet bold and complex. It can be enjoyed by the fancy businessman in the two-thousand dollar suit, or the everyday joe (like this food blogger - who usually enjoys it wearing ripped jeans and a plaid shirt, often while strumming a guitar.)
For as long as I can remember, by grandfather (Pepère) always drank rye whiskey. I picked up that taste when I was in my early 20's and now every time I open a bottle of bourbon or whiskey, it reminds me of times with him, making him a drink as he sat down with me to chat about what was happening in our lives.
While there have been variations to the Old Fashioned over time, the respected drink doesn't lose it's recipe of sugar, bitters, bourbon/whiskey and orange. Some may add a cherry, some burn the orange peel, large ice cube or regular cubes and sometimes certain bartenders will put a local spin on it with ingredients available that represent their geographical location. I was in Montréal over Christmas last year, and stumbled upon a great new bar. The bartender made me a truly Canadian Old Fashioned with a maple bitters from Quebec, and a Canadian whiskey. It was delicious!
When I returned home, I found myself craving a maple flavored Old Fashioned on a random Tuesday. There was no way I was going to get maple bitters magically appear that evening, so maple syrup for the win! After diluting it with some water, adding the bitters, and Basil Hayden bourbon (and of course burnt orange peel), I was very happy with the end result. So much so that I had a couple more (for research purposes of course).
I know the maple Old Fashioned is nothing new, but I wanted to share with you all my take on it. The different ingredients you use will change the flavor of your Old Fashioned. The type of bitters, the brand and quality of the bourbon/whiskey, and of course the sugar component you decide to use. One thing to remember however, is this drink has been around since the 1800's and it demands respect. Make it your own, but always make it with care, and enjoy and appreciate it.
- The Kid
1 tsp pure Canadian maple syrup
3 shakes Angostura bitters
2 oz bourbon (I like Basil Hayden or any other premium bourbon)
large ice cube
1. In a double old fashioned glass, pour the maple syrup, bitters and water. Muddle with a muddler (I use a wood model) until combined. Swish the mixture around the glass gently.
2. Add the large ice cube (there are some great molds available and the large cube melts slower, not diluting your drink)
3. Pour bourbon into the glass (I pour it directly over the ice cube).
4. Peel a strip of orange peel, and burn it, using a match or torch until just singed. Twist peel above glass, then add to the inside of the glass for garnish.
5. Stir the drink gently and enjoy