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Cocktail Thursday: Open Week Edition

old fashioned

If your Georgia Bulldogs aren’t playing this week… could probably still use a drink.

There’s something wonderful about this week. Georgia’s traditional pre-Florida bye week is a chance to rest, recharge, and get ready to hate the Gators. And to work on my honey do list. Apparently even with no game you can still take an “L.”

But for the Georgia Bulldogs, the week has been about going back to basics. Working on the fundamentals. Getting healthy.

This space has never been a big help for those looking to get healthy. But we can help you if you want to nail the basics. So this week we’re going back to the most essential of cocktails. My personal go-to. The halfback counter of cocktails: the Old-Fashioned.

It begins with whiskey. Aficionados argue at length about the best liquor for this drink. The best whiskey for an Old Fashioned is the whiskey you like best. No one should ever be whiskey shamed. Sometimes I like rye. Other times bourbon. You do you. Most recently, Buffalo Trace bourbon is my choice. I find it suitably sweet, pleasantly smoky, complex enough to enjoy but not so much that its complexity is wasted in a mixed drink.

Another critical component of the Old-Fashioned is the sugar. Some Old-Fashioned purists say the proper thing to do is to muddle a sugar cube with the bitters in the bottom of a glass. Others simply pour in simple syrup.

I’m in favor of simple syrup for an Old Fashioned because it’s easier and more convenient. Plus if you’re venturing off the traditional path it’s easier to add flavors and aromas to syrup. If you want to make lavender simple syrup and add it to your drink go for it. If you add a sprig of lavender to muddled sugar you’re just upping your fiber intake.

Finally there are the bitters. Angostura is traditional with the toasty notes. But there are other bitters available at cocktail shops and on the Interwebz. Feel free to branch out.

Classic Old-Fashioned

Classic Old-Fashioned

* 2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey

* 1/4 ounce simple syrup

* 2 dashes Angostura bitters

* Twist of orange peel for garnish.

Add the simple syrup and bitters to a rocks glass with ice, stir to combine. Add the bourbon or rye and stir until chilled. Garnish with orange peel. Enjoy.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!