What makes a cocktail an Old-Fashioned, you ask? Well, we're not talking about moldy old drinks – we're talking about the mixed drink that's basically the blueprint all cocktails are based on: whiskey, bitters, sugar, water, ice, a fruit garnish. Here's some history.
Unfortunately, at some low point in mixology history (let's just throw a dart and blame ... oh, the late '70s, why not) the Old-Fashioned became less Don Draper, more Betty Draper, morphing into a sickly mess of sugar and fruit muddled with cheap blended whiskey. This is your big chance to reclaim the nobility of the Old-Fashioned, restoring it to its rightful place in the mixed-drink pantheon!
In my monthly Remix column, I took on the Old-Fashioned back in January 2012. My secret weapons? Bulleit rye (instead of bourbon), Big Wheel Provisions local blood-orange bitters (instead of Angostura bitters), homemade boozy cherries (instead of a gross neon-red maraschino) and instead of powdered sugar? Maple ice cubes. BOOM.
No doubt some of you are just as full of ideas, and no doubt you can best my Remix, so get inspired and show us your take on this classic cocktail. To enter, go to Orlando Weekly's Old Fashioned Cocktail Challenge and follow the directions there. If you're a lover, not a mixer, just show up 7 p.m. Monday, Oct.7, to Stardust Lounge for the Roaring '20s themed party – complimentary admission for Orlando Weekly Facebook fans who RSVP on the event page. There will be cocktails, there will be tiny food, and there will be Baby Blue Starr providing live entertainment. Win-win-win.