This month’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Rick over at Kaiser Penguin, and is based on the subject of strong drinks you should only have one of in an evening. Rick advises that the cocktails “should contain at least 3oz of 80-proof spirit or have less than 1/2oz of non-spiritness,” which a scary number of drinks I have already covered manage without even breaking out a sweat.
I had originally planned to perhaps tackle a tiki recipe, a style of mixed drink that is famous for its complicated ingredient lists and rum-heavy libations. By the looks of it many have already gone this route, but I’ve been busy with other things lately so just didn’t get around to finding a drink to cover. The grass skirts will have to wait for another time.
Instead I have copped out and gone with one of my favourite ever cocktails, the Old Fashioned. By anyone’s standards the Old Fashioned is a strong drink – a good dose of Bourbon whiskey tempered with just a small amount of sugar syrup and the melt-water from ice. However, I don’t think a regular Old Fashioned deserves to be put in the “one drink only” category… so I made a variation that most certainly does…
A Staggering Old Fashioned
- 3 shots / 90 ml / 3 oz George T. Stagg Bourbon
- ¼ shots / 7.5 ml / ¼ oz sugar syrup
- 3 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter bitters
- 1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey-Barrel Aged bitters
- 1 dash Angostura Orange bitters
- Add bitters and sugar syrup to an Old Fashioned glass and fill ¾ with ice. Add half the Bourbon and stir well for a minute or two. Top up the glass with ice as needed, and add the remaining Bourbon. Stir for a further minute then twist a slice of orange zest on the drink and drop in to the glass.
George T. Stagg is a member of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, a series of quality Bourbons and ryes that is released yearly in limited quantities. Unlike most whiskey which is watered down to a more comfortable alcohol content before bottling, Stagg is bottled at the strength it comes out of the cask, making it a whiskey not to be taken lightly. The bottle I have, the 2007 release, weights in at a stunning 144.8 proof!
There’s no hiding the strong whiskey that makes up the base of this Old Fashioned, and it’s certainly a drink for sipping slowly. It takes on a beautiful cloudy appearance, due to the fact George T. Stagg isn’t chill-filtered, making it look almost like a piece of amber. The taste is hard to describe – the intense mixture of whiskey and bitters is a little overwhelming at first, but there are so many flavours flying around you just keeping wanting to come back for more.
Which is rather dangerous, because after one of these I definitely felt like I had drank enough for the evening, especially on a “school” night. A wonderful drink, but definitely one to be drank in moderation. Cheers to Rick for hosting this month’s Mixology Monday – be sure to check Kaiser Penguin in the next few days for the round-up of everyone’s drinks.
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