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How to Make an Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Learn how to make an old-fashioned cocktail from the experts at NYC's Rye House in this Howcast video.


The Old Fashioned is the most classic of classic cocktails and it's also
the simplest and, in many ways, the most elegant. Sugar, water, spirits, and bitters. That's it. The earliest Old Fashioneds were actually with Cognac. And it does make a wonderful drink, but I find adding sugar to Cognac can be a little too sweet for my tastes. I like it a little bit more dry, a little bit more bracing, so I drink rye Old Fashioneds. Bourbon Old Fashioneds work wonderful, rum. Stay away from gin. White spirits don't usually take so well to the old fashion

So a rye Old Fashioned, which we'll be taking today, deadly simple. You have two ounces of your spirit, roughly a bar spoon worth of sugar syrup. This is a demerara sugar syrup. It's a little more flavorful than a granulated sugar or a white sugar syrup, a simple syrup. Take roughly a bar, it's about an eighth of an ounce, give or take. Drop that in there. Ice will be your water. It serves to both dilute and cool the drink. As you spin it around. And then stir.

Your stirring technique is really whatever works for you. I've seen this. I've seen that.
This is the most comfortable for me, but I do a lot of stirring of drinks so anything that works is fine.

Once you have your drink properly chilled and diluted, add your strainer. Take your chilled rocks glass, add ice, and strain. Garnish with a citrus twist, orange, lemon, both whichever you like. Express the twist, and smile.

And that's how you make an Old Fashioned.

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