Don't get me wrong, I love an ice cold beer just as much (if not more) than the average guy, but, for those times I'm looking for something a little classier, if you will, I immediately go for every man's favorite cocktail: the Old Fashioned.
While beer satisfies our quick boozy cravings, with the ease and simplicity of popping a bottlecap off or just cracking a can open, it's a little bit more dignified to make an Old Fashioned, leaving a man to be patient and experiment with a bunch of different flavors to make sure that drink he's spending time on is worth it.
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But, let's face it, like building your own kitchen island out of reclaimed wood from a beach you stumbled upon, making a killer cocktail can be tough work, with experimentation and failure just part of the process. Don't fret, though, because we've got everything you need to turn yourself into the best mixologist around — even if it is just to impress your friends in the comfort of your own home.
So, what are you going to need in order to master the Old Fashioned and make people compliment you as if you're Mr. Fancypants at a speak easy? Well, besides replaying that video above and taking killer notes, here are a few things you're going to need to get you started.
Do you want to go with a bourbon or a rye — yep, there's a difference.
It all depends on what's actually in your favorite type of alcohol, with corn mash used in bourbon to make a sweet and full-bodied flavor, while rye mash in rye whiskey creates spicy tones and a drier taste. So, what's your taste buds telling you?
While you might pour a beer into anything under the sun — like a red solo cup or even the first glass you find in your pantry — an Old Fashioned should be treated like a lady, with lots of care.
So, yes, the fact that there's a specific glass designed specifically for an Old Fashioned is something you should know (and utilize), with the wide brim and thick based glass perfect to get all the flavors out of your cocktail to experience the optimal smoothness.
I know you're probably thinking ice is nothing more than frozen water — and you'd be right with that simplistic assessment. Problem is, much like a pizza, ice comes in various forms and takes on different shapes.
For that reason, make sure to use an ice sphere to avoid any watered-down mess, ensuring your Old Fashioned won't abruptly turn into nothing more than an ice water with ruined whiskey in it. One last tip: If your glass is sweating, you're not doing an Old Fashioned right.
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OK, now that you've got your desired whiskey, laid out a few specialty glasses and have your ice spheres set, it's time to add a little bit of sweetness byway of a sweetener or some simple syrup.
Some may suggest using a sugar cube, but, personally speaking, an Old Fashioned just tastes best when used with a more intense sweetener like a homemade simple syrup — with a recipe of 1 cup sugar and a ½ cup water.
At this point, it's time to stir for about 25 seconds and strain over ice.
Nothing too complicated here, guys, as the orange or lemon peel is used for nothing more than a garnish that adds a little bit more tart thanks to the oils from these fruits. Even then, though, your Old Fashioned is all but complete.
Got all that? Now go forth and become the home mixologist you've always wanted to become, impressing your friends with your killer Old Fashioned-making skills.
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