Everyone should master a few of the classic cocktails. Mixing a drink is a skill we are losing and there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a well made drink at the end of your work day. So let’s set you up to make an old fashioned, whiskey sour, and rob roy/manhattan a few of my favorite classic whiskey drinks.
Mix one up as part of a daily ritual when getting home from work to help unwind and relax before dinner. Make a good drink to impress and enjoy with your friends. Mastering a few old drinks is a perfect excuse to add to the liquor cabinet- without breaking the bank.
This is important to me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love whiskey. But there is absolutely no need to break the bank when making a cocktail. These recipes call for simple syrup, bitters, and fruit. Flavors that will hide the skill, work, and nuance of a great whiskey. I personally keep a bottle of Jim Beam, Dewars, or some 1776 Rye around specifically for mixing. There is absolutely no reason to throw an expensive whiskey into one of these drinks, especially when out on the town.
The Old Fashioned
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 tsp sugar
- One orange slice
- 1 maraschino cherry
- 1 splash club soda or water- try it both ways decide which you prefer
- 2 oz bourbon
- garnish: 1 fresh orange wheel
- garnish: 1 cherry
- In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the bitters, sugar, orange wheel, cherry and a splash of soda.
- Remove the orange rind, add the bourbon and fill with ice.
- Garnish with a fresh orange wheel and cherry.
Many places no longer muddle the fruit, use expensive cherries, a twist instead of a slice, and will certainly try to up sell the bourbon. While some of these are really good drinks, they’re just not necessary. A classic is a classic for good reason. Though I do only use Angostura Bitters, it is pricier, but there is a difference.
An Old Fashioned Glass
The Whiskey Sour
1 1/2 ounces whiskey (rye, bourbon, Canadian, or Irish whiskey- I’d never use Irish but you can)
4 ounces sour mix, recipe follows
One maraschino cherry
1-ounce lemon juice
2 ounces water
- Combine the whiskey and sour mix in a large old-fashioned glass with ice. Stir, garnish with cherry, and serve.
Yield: 4 ounces
- Combine lemon juice and sugar, then dilute with water and stir to dissolve sugar.
For the Rob Roy simply substitute Scotch for Rye, always my preference.
2 parts whiskey (rye)
1 part sweet vermouth
1 to 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add the whiskey, vermouth and bitters. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass. Add 1 to 2 Real Maraschino Cherries and enjoy! This can be served either straight up or on the rocks.
In case this piqued your interest and you can’t wait for our next recipe.