Diatribe with Dave: Still the Best Old Fashioned........Ever
|Dave's Grandma Lola: They just don't make dames like they used to...|
It seems the Sazerac and Old Fashioned are the Gamera and Godzilla, respectively, of the cocktail Monster Island, locking horns in a duel for supremacy while Godzuki, the lowly Manhattan, looks on (although the latter is at the top of my go to list). There is lively debate about which came first and who reigns as the oldest and classic American cocktail, but, for me, the Old Fashioned is going to come out on top every time. And the best I've ever had? Well, my Grandma Lola's still tops that list.
Well put, and I'll leave that for posterity to decide.
What made Lola's so good? Her secret was simmering orange slices in simple syrup and storing them in a jar in the fridge to use as a garnish. She would use the citrus-infused syrup as the base for her cocktails, muddling bitters with a nice lemon twist.
A note on muddlers. I still have her teak muddler from the 1950's and only bust it out for special occasions. It's the perfect size and has a nice patina on the muddling end from thousands of beverages. I don't know when muddlers started looking like bondage and discipline sex toys, but it's silly. I think a muddler should be made of wood and seasoned, from use much like a cast iron skillet. Pass on the disco version of the muddler and grab a traditional wooden one. It was good enough for Lola and damn well good enough for me.
|Photo by Dave Mau|
|The perfect muddler|
For bitters? Angostura is plenty fine--you really don't need to get esoteric on this one.
So here's hers. I like starting out with a 10oz tumbler for this one. You'll need:
2oz spirit of your choice
1 nice, thick lemon twist
3 dashes of bitters
1tsp Orange simple syrup
Splash Seven Up
Splash soda water
Muddle lemon twist, orange simple syrup and bitters. Add ice, whiskey and top with soda water/Seven Up. Quick stir or one shake and garnish with candied orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Best part of the cocktail (besides the booze) is the candied orange slice, which is edible, rind and all.
|Photo by Dave Mau|
Well Lola, here's to ya, wherever you are. I hope you are looking down with a smile. You are gone but not forgotten and I'll keep making Old Fashioneds your way and hoist them in your name.
Want more of Dave's rantings/ravings/ramblings? Check out www.dinnerwithdave.com for the latest!
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