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Oxacan Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients

1 ½ ounces reposado tequila
½ ounce mezcal
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 dash Bitters Lab Aromatic bitters
Garnish: Strip of orange peel

Steps

  1. Add handful of ice to cocktail shaker.
  2. Combine all liquids into cocktail shaker.
  3. Stir until well chilled.
  4. Strain into cocktail class filled with ice.
  5. Take orange peel, squeezing oil into cocktail.
  6. Garnish with orange peel.

History

The Oaxacan Old Fashioned was invented in 2007 in New York City, by the tequila specialist Philip Ward at Death & Co. Since it's invention, it has become a quick classic and introduced in bars across the country and world.

When the cocktail was originally created, mezcal was a rarely used and poorly understood spirit by many US bartenders. Even when Ward created the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, it was only the third cocktail in which he used it. The first was a simple Daiquiri, the second was a drink called the Cinder, a Daiquiri twist.

In an interview with Punch, Kaplan, the owner of Death & Co. said, “Phil rarely seemed to tweak drinks. They were always presented as complete, formed thoughts, even if it was his first pass at it.”

Classic Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon honey syrup
3 dashes aromatic bitters (Angostura or similar)
1 teaspoon water
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
Garnish: orange peel

Steps

  1. Add the syrup, bitters, and water into a rocks glass.
  2. Stir until combined.
  3. Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  4. Add whiskey and stir until combined.
  5. Take orange peel, squeezing oil into cockail.
  6. Garnish with orange peel.

History

Why is the Old Fashioned such a classic cocktail? Well, as history tells us, the first documented use of the word “cocktail” was in 1806. The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, wrote that a cocktail was a “concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar,” at the time known as a bittered sling.

Then in 1833, J.E. Alexander describes a similar cocktail he encountered in New York City. He states it as being rum, gin, or brandy, significant water, bitters, sugar, and a nutmeg garnish.

Eventually, the 1850's and 1860's introduced more sophisticated drinkers, and cocktails began to include the addition of other liquors. When someone wanted a simpler drink, it became in-vogue to request an “old-fashioned,” a reference to the basic combination of liquor, water, sugar, and bitters from earlier days.

And even later, The Pendennis Club, a gentlemen's club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky, claims the old fashioned cocktail was invented there. While this is highly unlikely, they still claim the recipe was invented by one of their bartenders in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller. Pepper then introduced New York to the Old Fashioned via the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar.

Regardless of the actual origin of the Old Fashioned, it is difficult to find a more satisfyingly simple cocktail.

October Maker: Bitters Lab

Andrea, from Bitters Lab in Salt Lake City, is one of the original bitters makers in the state of Utah. Officially launching the brand in 2015, her journey started in 2008 as a cake maker.

When we asked her about how she got her start she told us, “I had a wedding cake business for 7 years. During that time I was making my own extracts (mostly vanilla & mint) for my desserts. At some point during that adventure I started getting into home-bartending and was introduced to bitters via the Old Fashioned. Once I did a little research about bitters I realized they were very similar to the extracts I was already making, so I decided to experiment with making my own. A few years of developing recipes, and coming to the realization I didn’t want to continue making wedding cakes I decided to try starting Utah’s first bitters company.”

This first led to desserts made with house made bitters, a brand called Bittersweet. Opening at the Salt Lake farmers market in 2014, she quickly realized that people were interested in the bitters being used in the desserts themselves.

At the end of the farmer's market season, she shut down Bittersweet and Bitters Lab was born. In her initial year, she launched with two flavors – Aromatic, and Charred Cedar & Currant (which you can still get with our stand alone October box).

While only Caputos and Boozetique, two local Salt Lake stores, were the original stockists of the product, Andrea has grown to over 67 stockists and counting. Her bitters are used in numerous bars across the country and she has launched her own subscription and virtual cocktail class series.

When getting the down-low on her brand, we also had the chance to ask her some questions about her personal bitters taste. When asked what her favorite type of bitters is, she told us she likes an aromatic bitter for it's wide range of cocktail uses, but she really loves Bitter's Lab's Blueberry Cardamom bitters, which she uses in cocktails, coffee, and baking.

For her favorite cocktail? An Old Fashioned. She said, “I love this drink for its versatility & simplicity. Plus, if you want to get to know bitters, better this is the perfect drink to do that with.”

We couldn't be more thankful to Andrea for supporting our endeavor and can't wait to feature her amazing products again in the future!

Classic Manhattan Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces bourbon or rye
1 ounce sweet vermouth
3 dashes Bitters Lab Charred Cedar & Currant bitters
Garnish: brandied cherry

Steps

  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

History

The Manhattan, as with many classic cocktails, is surrounded by quite a bit of lore. It is said that it was invented in the late 1870s or early 1880s in the Manhattan Club in New York (thus the name). It is said it was invented by Dr. Iain Marshall during a banquet honoring presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden.

There are prior references to similar cocktail recipes also called a “Manhattan.” Some say it was invented earlier, in the 1860s, by a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway.

Additionally, another record of the cocktail can be found later in William Schmidt's The Flowing Bowl, published in 1891. In it, he details a drink containing 2 dashes of gum syrup, 2 dashes of bitters, 1 dash of absinthe, ​23 portion of whiskey, and ​13 portion of vermouth.