Back in the Prohibition Era, the only alcohol people could get their hands on was basically what we’d consider undrinkable today – bathtub gin and too-strong whiskey. Lucky for future mixologists though, this was the birth of mixing in fun ingredients to try to make an alcoholic beverage more palatable.
So fast forward to the Mad Men Era – the 1940’s and 1950’s. When Don Draper ordered a bourbon – he wanted it prepared the ‘Old Fashioned’ way – meaning with a bit of bitters and sugar and a hint of orange and cherry mixed in – how the drink used to be prepared back in the day. Don Draper may have brought this drink back into modern pop culture, but it’s rich honeyed taste and smooth finish will keep it in the spotlight for years to come.
For the premiere this weekend of the last season of Mad Men – we’re whipping up this incredible take on the ‘Old Fashioned’ from Scott Turnbull at Solbar in Napa, California. He oversees the wine and spirits program for the indoor-outdoor Solbar, which features a menu combining fresh, lighter entrees side-by-side with hearty, “southern meets Napa” comfort food.
“Mad Men” Old Fashioned from Solbar
1 1/2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye
1 sugar cube
1/2 lateral (wheel) slice of orange, cut into 2 quarters
Place sugar cube in bottom of mixing glass. Shake 1-2 dashes bitters onto sugar cube. Use muddler to crush up and mix the sugar cube and bitters. Add orange slices, use muddler to squeeze juice out of slices, do not pulverize peel. Add rye, then add ice, and stir to chill. Strain into chilled ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist and cherries on pick.
For a refreshing and slightly bubbly alternative to an Old Fashioned cocktail – we love the ‘SoCo Old Fashioned,’ introduced to us by Southern Comfort. We love this simple recipe and the splash of lemon lime soda to top it all off!
Southern Comfort Old Fashioned
2 ounces Southern Comfort
1 oz Muddled Orange
1 Dash of Bitters
1 oz Lemon-Lime Soda
Muddle orange in glass with a dash of bitters – top with Southern Comfort and Lime soda and ice.