One of the major advantages of having a blogging platform, is that when a bee gets in your bonnet, exercising it is fairly easy. The bee, in this particular instance is is something many of you probably love, the Old Fashioned. For the record, made properly, it’s an awesome drink, i’ve just been served way too many terrible ones lately to let this go quietly.
Those of you who have read just about anything we’ve written over the last year or so, will know that we’re quite fond of Whiskey in all of its forms, which is part of the reason why the Old Fashioned is grinding our gears at the moment.
Now, we are strong believers that there’s nothing wrong with using nice, expensive whiskies in mixed drinks. If it’s yours, or you’re paying for it, drink it however you want. However, more pressing than that, if you’re going to mix a drink, or more importantly, pay for one to be mixed for you it has to be better than the sum of its parts.
This rule applies to all of the classics, a well made Martini is better than a glass of neat gin, a dribble of Noilly Prat and a slice of Lemon peel or a single olive. A crisp, bright Daiquiri is better than a double shot of white rum and so-on.
The problem, which you might have seen coming, is that very, very rarely is the Old Fashioned better than a double shot of whiskey over ice.
Part of this, unfortunately, is down to a chronic lack of decent training for bartenders. The job all too often revolves around ego and ‘theatre’ rather than an actual understanding of the mechanics of the drink and the skill to put it together properly.
The fact of the matter is, what ought to be a cocktail that reveals more about it’s subject – the whiskey being used – becomes a great product that’s been interfered with by someone wholly unqualified to do so.
This certainly isn’t to say that there are no bartenders capable of improving some of the incredible whisky available at the moment, that would be ridiculous. They are simply few and far between and much more so than the average drinker might realise.
Of course, if you go to The Savoy or another bar of international renown, or a little, heart-and-soul cocktail bar then get the bartenders to fix you up their favourite whiskey tipple, but at your local pub or chain cocktail bar? Don’t chance it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little rant, good to get that out there and we can go back to writing cuter, sweeter things. We’re going to feature some non-alcoholic (Shock-horror) recipes over the rest of January to give you guys a chance to detox, whilst still drinking interesting things.
Oh, and if you fancy learning to make one properly, scroll down our blog page and you’ll find a foolproof recipe. Perfect for bartenders and daywalkers alike.