Old Fashioned’s in October – Look out, an elder is in the room

by KeithP on October 28, 2011

We have arrived at the point in Old Fashioned’s in October when we throw caution to the wind and decide to mix things up a bit (no pun intended) and chuck that which is the base, the standard view of an Old Fashioned right out the window.  Today’s excursion into that which makes this classic drink fantastic finds us facing neither a bottle of whiskey nor any recognized form of Old Fashioned sweetening agent.  No worries dear reader, grab your will and press on.

The Elder Fashioned was created by Death & Co. bartenders Alex Day and Joaquin Simo and is a fantastic example of how our mighty little drink canvas can be stretched to create something different and similar at the same time and of course, is a downright fun drink to sip (having not only prepped it here but sampled it first hand at said famous craft bar, I can attest to its wonders).  We have seen the obvious in full view in this little experiment — an ingredient’s natural characteristics can provide layered flavors and nuances to a drink that when combined with other ingredients, makes the mixture more than the sum of its parts.  Rum for example, in addition to other flavors, lends a sense of sweetness to a mixture that when combined with other sweetening agents creates wonders on the palate.

We’ll see this play out in the Elder Fashioned as a liqueur serves as the sole sweetening component in the drink.  In this mixture, gin, not whiskey (or rum) serves at the spirit(ual) component of the drink and provides a wonderfully floral backdrop to the drink.  Gin’s rather dominate nature is kept in check fancifully by the use of a little “cocktail ketchup” … St.-Germain.  The liqueur adds not only a punch of fruity, if some what candy like sweetness but it also layers in its own floral and/or botanical like notes.  The beauty of this riff is that it doesn’t need much by way of ingredients to make a statement and to set it apart from its much older and revered sibling – just a nice gin, the liqueur and a few dashes of orange bitters and sipping pleasure is but a short stir away.

There you go dear readers – grab the bottles noted below, mix one of these up and sip, sip, sip away.

Elder Fashioned
Recipe created by Alex Day and Joaquin Simo of NYC’s Death & Co and adapted by theSpeakista  

•    2 oz Plymouth gin (Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength gin was used)
•    1/2 oz St-Germain Elderflower liqueur
•    2 dashes of orange bitters (Regan’s was used)
Garnish: grapefruit twist
Glass: rocks or old fashioned glass
Tools: mixing glass, bar-spoon and julep strainer

Assembly:  Mix all of the ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and strain into the serving glass containing a large cubed ice cube.  Garnish, consume and enjoy.

Tomorrow let’s see if we can’t use a little more “ketchup” in the original version of the above drink.

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