Oh, the old-fashioned. — I’m not talking about your grandpa that yells at everyone during holiday get-togethers. We’re going for what I consider to be the ultimate cocktail go-to. I can’t help but feel like there is this old-timey, almost Westworld-ish vibes that immediately pop into my mind when I see this on a bar menu. There is no denying it. An old-fashioned is the drink of the south. Bourbon, a bit of sugar, bitters, sometimes some fruit if you’re feelin’ fancy. That’s really it. As strong as the stubbornness of the southerners that made it so popular, chilled with a slow-melting cube or ball of ice, there just are very few sips that can rival it in my book. With plenty of classic pours on the books, I decided to start taking some new twists on the ol’ favorite.
I wish I had kept count of how many of these cocktails that I have personally put away during this winter. It’s probably best that I didn’t, maybe. Obviously, I like bourbon and all, but there is something perfect to me about a good old-fashioned. With that said, I found myself getting a bit stir-crazy and a bit bored of the lingering cold weather. Much like I did for all of the weird mint juleps that I made during Derby season, the answer for me was to play around with some ingredients that helped me to dream of the upcoming warmer weather.
Raspberry is one of those weird things for me. For the longest time, I didn’t think that I loved it. Maybe it was just the whole weird picky child eater syndrome that everyone seems to experience. Maybe it was that I hated raspberry-flavored things and hadn’t given the real deal the proper chance that it deserved until I was a bit older. Whatever the cause, I’m glad that in the past 5 years or so, I’ve pardoned the berries and learned to fully embrace them. This was the very first v2.0 old-fashioned that I thought to try since I seem to always have raspberries around for pastries or to mix in with vanilla ice cream for a weekday sweet tooth quick fix.
Who knew that changing this up could have been so incredibly simple? I added some raspberries, used the same exact old-fashioned recipe that I always would use, and sat down on my couch with my cats. Annnnnnd, done! 4 of these in a week later, and here it is. Cheers, y’all!
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 2-3 dashes bitters
- 2 teaspoons (or two cubes) sugar
- 4 raspberries
- 1 maraschino cherry
- ice, preferably one large cube or sphere
- Gather a cold old-fashioned, straight-walled cocktail glass.
- Place sugar in glass. Shake 2-3 dashes of bitters onto the sugar. This will help in dissolving it.
- Muddle the bitters and sugar well.
- Swirl this mixture around in the glass. This will help the bitters open a bit and leave you with a great aroma while enjoying the cocktail.
- Place raspberries and cherry in the bottom of the glass.
- Lightly muddle fruit and sugar.
- Add a large ice cube to the glass.
- Slowly pour whiskey over the ice. Take your time, as this allows the whiskey to quickly cool and open up.
- Stir with a swizzle stick stirrer.
You can very easily make this with raspberry puree or coulis if you have that on hand from topping desserts, etc. Cut out or reduce the sugar, and go for a starting amount of 1/2 ounce. Works beautifully to give a bit more smooth of a drink, if that is what you prefer.