How to Make an Old Fashioned

Mixologist Eben Freeman, of Tailor restaurant in New York City, demonstrates how to prepare an Old Fashioned.

Released on 12/19/2008

Credits

Starring: Eben Freeman

Transcript

00:09
Hi this is Eben Freeman at Tailor Restaurant
00:11
down on Broome Street New York.
00:13
We're going to make a very old drink,
00:15
the old fashioned.
00:16
Aptly named.
00:18
When a customer comes to the bar
00:19
and asks for an old fashioned,
00:21
the first question I ask them is
00:23
if they'd like a classic old fashioned?
00:24
Or if the muddled fruit and soda variety?
00:26
Here we're going to go back to the simplest idea,
00:28
the really classic idea,
00:29
and that's a classic old fashioned.
00:31
You start with some sugar.
00:34
A brown sugar cube because in old fashioned times
00:37
sugar wouldn't have been bleached,
00:39
it would have been in big blocks that you would have
00:41
knocked little pieces off like this.
00:42
So find an unbleached sugar cube
00:45
and use that as your base.
00:47
That just goes into your mixing glass.
00:49
Then the next thing,
00:50
the thing that's really created all the controversy
00:52
in the stir and transformation of this drink,
00:54
is the soda water.
00:55
You add just a little bit of soda water to your sugar
00:58
because basically you're going to melt down that sugar
01:00
and create almost a simple syrup of your own.
01:02
You're just going to put a splash of club soda,
01:04
or soda water into your drink.
01:08
Then you're going to take your muddler and just
01:09
break that sugar cube up.
01:14
And I usually just swirl that around a bit.
01:17
Again just to break down that sugar
01:19
and create a really rich dark simple syrup.
01:22
Now the next thing that you're going to add
01:24
is bitters.
01:25
Now there's a wide range of bitters to choose from
01:27
and I think it's a lot of fun to have that
01:29
be one of your variables when you're making this.
01:30
The most classic style of bitters
01:32
would be Angostura.
01:34
So in this case we're going to use Angostura bitters.
01:36
Just one dash.
01:39
Next we're going to add the base spirit.
01:41
Here again you have a wide variety of choices.
01:44
A rum old fashioned,
01:45
a cognac old fashioned,
01:46
a rye old fashioned,
01:47
a bourbon old fashioned.
01:48
Really the choices are yours.
01:50
Classically it would probably would have been
01:53
cognac originally and then moving on to bourbon
01:55
or rye whiskey.
01:56
Really you can choose your own.
01:57
One that I like is a product called Forty Creek,
02:00
made up in Canada.
02:01
This is a corn based whiskey with also rye
02:03
and some barley wheat in it.
02:05
I think this makes a really nice old fashioned.
02:09
Just going to add two and a half ounces
02:10
of that base spirit.
02:16
Next we're going to add our ice.
02:28
And then stir.
02:29
Remember when stirring you really want to be
02:31
as smooth as possible,
02:32
so to not put a lot of air in there.
02:34
We shake drinks to put air in there,
02:36
but we stir drinks to keep the air out.
02:40
Then you want to use your julep strainer
02:42
to strain this into a chilled glass.
02:47
You keep it in your fridge or you can put some
02:49
ice water in there and let it sit.
02:51
And if you keep it in your fridge you keep
02:52
a little less water in there.
02:54
And just strain it with your julep strainer.
03:00
Finally we're going to add a little bit of lemon zest.
03:04
And orange zest to the drink.
03:14
Now the real traditionalists say that you shouldn't
03:16
put anything in there.
03:17
They said don't throw the garbage in there.
03:19
Real old school bartenders and old bartender books
03:21
will say that there shouldn't be any of that stuff in there.
03:23
So there should be no ice
03:24
and there should be no fruit in there.
03:26
Which if you think about it is probably a more
03:28
old fashioned idea.
03:30
So when doing it in this classic fashion,
03:32
I simply take these twist and squeeze it over the drink
03:37
and then discard it.
03:38
And on this I like to do both lemon and orange zest.
03:44
And that is a classic old fashioned.