The Old Fashioned: the gold standard of gentlemen’s cocktails and possibly the world’s first ever cocktail. Not too heavy or complex, but not too sweet or fruity. While the recipe has changed a bit over time, the concept remains the same: aged spirit, bitters, water and sugar. Historically, this cocktail was garnished with a slice of lemon, or a muddled orange slice and maraschino cherry. Today, every home bartender should have a go-to Old Fashioned recipe.
Add the orange, cherry, simple syrup, and bitters to a lowball glass and muddle slightly. Add 2 oz Bourbon and ice. Stir. Experiment with different bitters, different bourbons, and even different sweeteners.
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a lowball or coupe glass. Rim glass with oils from a lemon peel. Experiment with dry shaking an egg white before adding ice and other ingredients to shaker. Or, try a Rye Whiskey or a smoked American Whiskey. Finally, try floating a teaspoon or leas of a heavy red wine or port on the top, especially if using egg white.
Originating in the 1870's, this cocktail has become today's quintessential savory cocktail. Although the ingredient list is short (Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth and bitters), don't dismiss this cocktail thinking "I don't like Vermouth." Instead, pick up some decent (and fresh, this stuff goes bad pretty quickly unless sealed and refrigerated) and give this a shake.
In a mixing glass, add ice and Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, and Bitters. Stir heavily and strain into a coupe or lowball. Rim glass with a lemon swath. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
As simple as the famous Negroni, but with Rye Whiskey and not Gin. This bitter orange flavored cocktail is a slow sipper, but perfect for the fall and winter. Hit this one right, and you have a delicious balance of bitter and sweet.
In a mixing glass, stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a coupe or lowball, and serve with a lemon twist. Experiment with different Rye Whiskeys or high-rye Bourbons. If the Campari's bitterness is too much, try Aperol. And once you fall in love, try making a large batch of this and barrel aging it for a month.
The original cocktail of New Orleans and the oldest known American cocktail. Complex, but simple in preparation. While Absinthe or Herbsaint may not be in every liquor cabinet, pick up a bottle and some Peychaud's Bitters, which together may last you a lifetime with this cocktail.
Lightly spritz or swirl Absinthe in a lowball and discard. In a mixing glass, combine Rye Whiskey, bitters, simple syrup and ice. Stir. Pour into a lowball glass rimmed with oils from lemon peel. Experiment using different Rye Whiskies, Cognac (historically accurate), or even Mezcal.