When Harry Craddock created the first Savoy Cocktail Book the Old Fashioned was made with almost any spirit to hand, including gin. But I do feel the drink’s wood-panelled, slightly scratchy aura needs something with more heft, if not necessarily more ‘meat’.
Woodford Reserve has a higher proportion of rye in the mash bill than other bourbons, and this balance of mellow corn and bitey rye brings out the orange aromas beautifully. For the femme fatale version, a stroll to Sager + Wilde Paradise Row is called for. Autumn is ripe for an Olive Oil Old Fashioned in the tiny mid-century upstairs lounge.
2 ½ shots Woodford Reserve
1/3 shot sugar syrup (2 sugar:1 water)
3 dashes bitters (Angostura is standard, but The Bitter Truth Creole or Abbott’s work nicely with whiskies)
1 strip orange peel, about the width of your thumb, as close to pith-free as you can make it
In a medium-sized serving glass, stir the bourbon with two large ice cubes, allowing the cubes to melt slightly.
Add the sugar syrup, the bitters and two more ice cubes and keep stirring. Add another two ice cubes and stir again.
Twist the peel gently above the glass and then tuck it into the drink.
By Sophie Skarbek-Borowska