Welcome to the booze town! I believe that I can officially be known as a booze hound. In my defense (one of my other skills is that I can make a defense or justification for just about anything), I have been exploring all kinds of new things lately…including different kinds of alcohol. I’ve had an exceptionally good time experiencing classic cocktail recipes.
Of course, it’s becoming quite fashionable for bars and restaurants to feature these old school libations. Many bartenders are re-discovering the old liquors and flavors that were popular both pre and post Prohibition. I think a lot of this trend has to do with people being tired of sucking down those neon colored sickeningly sweet drinks that have been so popular for the past 10 years. There is a limit to how many sour apple martini’s you can drink in a night, forget the next day aftermath.
My trip into classic cocktails started with The Aviation. This classic cocktail features Creme de Violette, maraschino liqueur and gin. From there, it was on to homemade maraschino cherries. (What else was I going to do with all that maraschino liqueur?) Of course, the obvious next step was to start making cocktails using these delectable nectar filled cherries. Since most of the modern cocktails don’t call for maraschino’s (and why would they want any of that neon vinyl mixed into their fantastical libation) it was time to delve deeper into the world of the classic cocktail.
I give you The Old Fashioned. The typical old fashioned is made from bourbon whiskey, sugar, a maraschino and orange wedge (yes, there’s a couple more ingredients in there but these are the ingredients most people recognize). I’ve really gone old school with my old fashioned. It seems that one of the old fashioned recipes, for the old fashioned (cute huh? – sorry, moving on) includes rye whiskey and pineapple. Legend has it the the fruit was added to the drink during Prohibition to cover up the “strong” flavor of the alcohol. I don’t really understand that since people who were ordering alcoholic drinks during Prohibition knew what they were ordering. It’s not like they were going to be successful trying to convince someone they were drinking a virgin old fashioned by throwing a couple of pieces of fruit into the booze pool that is the old fashioned.
But something else that’s interesting about the old fashioned is that it was customarily served with the muddling spoon still in the glass. In that old family cookbook from the 1900’s that I have, his recipe also calls for leaving the spoon in the drink “to let the customer amuse himself.” I think I laughed a good 5 minutes after reading that.
So you’ve already worked yourself into a lather about your date tonight – you don’t want to go – he/she is going to be boring. Well, if you truly feel this way but you’re obligated to go at this point why not make the best of the situation and at least amuse yourself? Remember when your mom would tell you to go amuse yourself for a couple of hours (to get you out of her hair for a little while)? Well, now you can do it in a grown up way.
I’m not suggesting you pour yourself into a liquor bottle while you’re out with Mr. or Ms. Not Even In A Million Years, that would be bad for everyone. What I am suggesting is that you take on a persona you’ve always thought would be fun. This does not work if the date is someone you were set up on by a “friend.”
Have you perfected that Aussie accent? Are you intrigued with the life of Michael Westen and you would like to try that for a night? This is the time to bring it out. Give yourself an intriguing back story (keep it simple though or you’ll spend so much time trying to remember everything that you won’t have fun). When I would go out with my girlfriends, they thought it was fun to try to introduce me to the biggest dorks in the place. While I wasn’t thrilled with their antics, I had a blast with it. Whenever they would try to introduce me to someone I would look very cute and pleasant and start speaking Italian. (I was taking Italian at the time.) The look on the guy’s face was hilarious – my girlfriends were not so amused. Because the more the guy wanted to get to know me, the more he would talk to them so that they could “tell me” what he was saying and then they could interpret what I was saying back to him. Of course, they didn’t speak Italian so the whole thing would backfire on them. It was great!
So go on that date and be that international man of mystery or female undercover agent. Put on your best accent and come up with your favorite back story. Have fun with the night.
- 1 Sugar Cube or 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- Splash of Water
- 1 Maraschino Cherry
- 1 2″ Piece of Pineapple
- 1 Wedge of Tangerine
- 2 Ounces Rye Whiskey
- Cubed Ice
In an old fashioned glass add the sugar, bitters and splash of water.
Stir to combine these ingredients.
Add the maraschino cherry, pineapple and tangerine wedge.
Using a muddler, or the back of a spoon, smash and muddle the fruit with the sugar mixture.
Pour in the rye whiskey.
Add the ice cubes and stir.
Serve with a slice of tangerine hooked on the glass and top with a maraschino cherry.Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.