thirsty thursday
cocktails: the old fashioned

“They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”

― Dr. Seuss

I couldn't have said it better myself, and nowhere is this sentiment better evidenced than by the popular cocktail culture of the hipster age.

Deconstruction and reconstruction is the craft cocktail hobby of the moment; what once was humble, simple, and delightfully unfussy is often, now, a mere memory of the cocktail, expensive, and garnished with chicken bone, tropical fruit foam, and vintage swizzle stick.  

In a tiki glass.

And, hey, I'm all for fancy from time to time.  But some things are best left to their brilliant basic bones.  Just don't mess with it.

Say it with me.  Leave well enough, alone.

Take the old fashioned Old Fashioned.

"Its early days, circa 1800, were its most simple: Drinkers added bitters and a bit of sugar to a small amount of whiskey as a morning palliative." (source: Tasting Table)

Along about time of Prohibition, the cocktail became a popular method of obscuring the taste of inferior liquor.  About mid-century, the classic preparation was eschewed for the then-popular trend of adding fruits, and syrup, and perhaps a maraschino cherry or three, and the simple, humble cocktail became a sickeningly sweet caricature of its origin.

The craft cocktail movement of the last decade sought to return to the classics, reviving the art of mixology by perfecting the basics.  Below, find Tasting Table's suggestions for creating a perfect, basic, beautifully simple, old fashioned, Old Fashioned.

And if you're just the kind of guy or gal who can't leave well enough alone (I confess I often don't), find a few newfangled variations on the theme, and a little history of the cocktail, on Tasting Table: Anatomy of a Cocktail.

Keep it classy, cocktail lovers!


  1. I can't help of thinking of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) on Mad Men when I see this drink. Of course, when I think Don Draper I think *Swoon*.

    "And, hey, I'm all for fancy from time to time. But some things are best left to their brilliant basic bones. Just don't mess with it." -- SO TRUE!

    1. Hi Steph!

      When I researched the Old Fashioned, I got more Google search results for Mad Men than actual cocktail info! I don't have a television in the country, but when I am staying in Austin, I try to catch up on Mad Men, or at least see a few episodes. The Don Draper is so messed up! And Jon Hamm is so

      Glad you liked that line, girl. Thank you! And thanks for dropping by!

  2. Love the history lesson. It's actually my favorite cocktail. Apparently the Midwest was cool way before the hipsters. ( that a contradiction of the hipster definition? lol) In Wisconsin, people have been consistently drinking these forever -- both young and old. And despite whiskey being how this drink got its start, up there you have the option of whiskey, bourbon, or brandy. Side fact, Wisconsin is the largest consumer of brandy in the country.

    1. Hey there!

      I think you get where I'm going with those hipster references, but I shouldn't tease, because here I sit, at a coffee shop, with horn rimmed glasses and Chuck Taylors all acting like I don't care if I'm cool, when we KNOW I DO! haha

      Now I think I should head to Wisconsin because, even more than tequila, I am a brandy-drinker. And I suppose it keeps the body nice and toasty from the inside, out, for cold winters?

      Thanks for dropping by, friend!


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