David A. Embry wrote The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks in 1948. In the book, he outlines the basic principles for fashioning a cocktail, listing six basic drinks: the Daiquiri, the Jack Rose, the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, and the Sidecar.
My mild aversion to whiskey has kept me from enjoying a few of the cocktails Mr. Embury writes about. I fret not, as there is a solution: Winter Cocktails‘ recipe for the Rum Old Fashioned. With a few subtle changes Rum lovers can indulge in this time-honored cocktail.
Much like the original cocktail, the Rum version is a simple recipe with ample flavor. Rum being the most prevalent ingredient, I chose Appleton Estate 12 year barrel-aged dark rum for its flavor. Appleton Estate is a full-bodied premium rum, deep caramel in color with a captivating aroma; hints of toffee and orange come to mind. The tartness of cherry bitters and sweetness of the sugar complement one another. Add ice, and you have a perfect marriage.
2.5 oz. Rum
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Cherry Bitters (I used Fee’s)
3 marachino cherries (Luxardo or Filthy black cherries work well)
Place sugar cube in the bottom of a lowball glass. Pour bitters directly onto sugar.
Fill glass with ice, stir in rum, and garnish with cherries.
Mr. Embury’s Classic Old Fashioned
12 parts American whiskey
1 part simple syrup
1-3 dashes Angostura bitters for each drink
In an old fashioned glass, add bitters and simple syrup and stir. Add about one ounce of whiskey and stir again. Add two cubes of cracked, but not crushed, ice and top off with the rest of the whiskey.
Twist lemon peel over the top and serve garnished with the lemon peel and a maraschino cherry.
I tried the Whiskey and the Rum versions of this cocktail; both deliver great taste.
The whiskey cocktail was better than I expected. The sugar mellows the spirits, and the aromatics add a subtle punch of flavor. Cracked ice helps to cool down a drink more quickly than stirring with standard-size ice cubes.
Pick your poison.