Mad Men, Season 5, premieres March 25. It was the sight of Don Draper played by Jon Hamm sipping his favorite cocktail, Old Fashioned, that always made me want to try this cocktail. Incidentally, Old Fashioned is considered the first cocktail. The first published definition of the cocktail appeared in an editorial response in The Balance and Columbian Repository of 1806: “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.”
I’d like to take a moment here to propose a hypothesis I have about the positive correlation between people with names that have double letters and their celebrity status. For instance, Jon Hamm. Or Brad Pitt. Any Kennedy, Zooey Deschanel, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Vanna White, Scarlett Johansson, and Will Farrell (3 pairs!) to name a few.
Now, you’ll site Kim Kardy and the other half of Brangelina, both Justins, Tom Hanks, Leo, Selena, Seth, and Shia. There are always exceptions to a fanciful rule.
My point is Hamm brought back the original cocktail to popular attention not so much because the cocktail is so fabulous, but because he’s so fabulous.
I’m not saying Old Fashioned isn’t tasty. It is. It’s also an all-in-one-glass cocktail, so no shaker necessary and so very easy to make.
But what I like the most about it, is the cherry garnish. I can never resist a cocktail with a cherry garnish. The symbolic significance of the cherry and the cult classic Twin Peaks, specifically, the scene where Audrey Horne played by the uber sexy Sherilyn Fenn ties a knot with a cherry them using her tongue as seen in this short clip:
The only thing wrong with this cocktail is the name. Old Fashioned? It’s about as attractive as Irma, Bertha, Barry, Traditional, Tedious, Average, Boring, Lame.
Old Fashioned (Adapted from SAVEUR)
Makes 1 drink
2 orange slices
2 maraschino cherries (stem removed from one)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 tsp water
2 oz bourbon
Put 1 orange slice, 1 cherry without a stem, bitters, water, and sugar into an old-fashioned glass. Using a pestle or the back of a teaspoon, muddle the fruit and sugar until the fruit is a little mashed and the sugar has dissolved.
Add several ice cubes to the glass, then add bourbon. Stir gently and garnish with remaining orange and cherry.
For more photos, go to Flickr.