An Old-Fashioned Spring

Right around this time of year, our drinking of Old Fashioneds usually begins to taper off. The delicious (and elemental) combination of American whiskey, bitters, sugar and water is best enjoyed when there’s a nip in the air.

So when we ran into talented Portland, Ore., bartender Ryan Magarian a couple weeks ago at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Convention in Las Vegas, we were a bit skeptical that he was making spring Old Fashioneds. He explained that he had been playing with the traditional recipe and found that it’s great with just about every type of spirit.

After a few sips (out of courtesy, of course) of his Gin Old Fashioned (pictured above), we started to rethink our position. By replacing the base liquor, he suddenly transformed the classic into something summery and quite refreshing—the perfect beverage for a blazing-hot Nevada afternoon.

And we were even more surprised that the formula worked when he substituted in coffee liqueur. The simple creation took on the depth and complexity of a complicated cocktail. (The powers of bitters should never be taken for granted.)

Try one of Magarian’s drinks—or come up with your own—and you won’t have to forgo Old Fashioneds at all this year. Cheers!

Gin Old Fashioned

Contributed by Ryan Magarian
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz Aviation Gin
  • .25 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon and orange peels
  • Glass: Old Fashioned

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients to a chilled mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir for 20 seconds and strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with thick-cut lemon and orange peels.

Coffee Old Fashioned

Contributed by Ryan Magarian
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz House Spirits Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters No.6
  • Garnish: Lemon peel
  • Glass: Cocktail

PREPARATION:
Add all the ingredients to a chilled mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a thick-cut lemon peel.

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Comments

  1. How could the article’s author be surprised? The original cocktail was ANY spirit with bitters, sugar, and water.

  2. So long as they don’t start adding chocolate syrup and calling it an “old fashioned”–these days, anything served in a martini glass is a “martini”, after all.

  3. Theres very little new drinks, just reinterpretations so just drink what you love and call it a day

  4. Roy Wagner says

    Quite good with “Ransom” gin also.

  5. Carolyn Jung says

    I love anything with orange bitters in it. And this looks perfect for the summer months ahead.

  6. LP @ dishclips says

    I love the colors in this drink, but, at the same time, it doesn’t look like a “girly” drink.

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