What is to be said about the Old Fashioned that hasn’t been infinitely chronicled? No more need be said other than combine the 3 ingredients and Bob’s your uncle. Don’t over think it.
Spend your life perfecting it.
Step one: Chill a rocks glass. Do not pour a cold drink into a warm glass. You will be undoing all of the tedium I shall tender next.
Step two: Fill a mixing glass top the top with ice. Two points here, more ice dilutes booze less and that is why you never skimp on ice, ice is cheap, booze is costly. Even in the blitz we'd chip iceicles off out gutters to stir our Collins, Tom or otherwise.
Step three: Measure. If you don’t trust that all good cooks measure, ask a carpenter. Two parts booze to a half part sweet is more than enough. And don’t forget get the bitters. No bitters, no cocktail.
Step four: If a drink is all booze, no juice, it is stirred and not shaken. There are two exceptions, and I’m not going to tell them to you so you can know the rule before you break it.
Step five: Garnish with acidity. It is hard to determine the difference between, “ingredient,” and, “garnish,” and the Old Fashioned continues to blur that. The orange zest for the Old Fashioned must be done over the glass. The gentle mist of orange oils add acidity that lightens what is essentially a sugar mélange. Don’t believe this works? Hold that peel up to your eye and squeeze. When you are done cursing me as a bloody git, you’ll see that there’s a lot of citric acid in that peel that lends an aroma to the cocktail. You can use this to subdue and enemy agent. Add a cherry if you have something less than neon and only if it is on a cocktail pick. I suggest Luxardo or Griotine cherries.
2 parts Aged Spirits
1/2 part Simple Syrup or 1 Sugar Cube
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Stir/Strain/Old Fashioned glass
On ice or neat
Orange zest and cherry