I love me a good Old Fashioned—it’s the oldest cocktail recipe in the world!—but in the spirit of taking January off the sauce, I’ve taken the liberty of writing down my personal favorite replacement.
- Big ice cube tray. Don’t settle for anything less. You can find these for 10 bucks, and they’re essential for making a drink that can look nice and official.
- Peeler. I use a drink one, but in a pinch you can use a standard kitchen gadget.
- Big fancy glass.
- A SodaStream if you have it, to make your own soda water cheaply and to your specifications.
- Aromatic bitters. Angostura is my pick.
- Orange bitters. Optional, but a dash is nice.
- Orange. Navel is fine, you want something with a pretty firm peel. You can juice it the next morning.
- Sugar cubes. The perfect size for just a little sweetness. You can also use a teaspoon of simple syrup, or equivalent.
- SodaStream or soda water. I like to get a soda maker because it’s more cost-effective and better for the environment. Plus I can make it extra bubbly.
- That big ice cube you made with that fancy tray.
- Take two good peels from the orange per drink. Toss one in the bottom of the glass, save the other to finish it with.
- Put a sugar cube in the glass. Add three dashes of aromatic bitters and maybe one dash of orange bitters.
- Add a half inch of soda water and muddle thoroughly. Swirl around the glass a bit.
- Add a large ice cube, then fill the glass with more soda water.
- Stir a bit, then take that other orange peel and rub it around the rim of the glass. Twist it a bit over the glass for a bit of extra flavor.
- When the drink gets low, top it off with more soda water. It stays refreshing, and no added calories!
- Experimenting with other kinds of bitters is fun.
- If you have Polar Orange Vanilla soda water, oh man, use some of that, and leave out the orange bitters. That stuff is delicious.
- If you’re in a locale where it’s legal, those little liquid bottles of cannabis products go great. Just skip sugar cube if they’re sweet already!