The Old Fashioned is nothing new — or is it? The beloved drink, known simply as a “whiskey cocktail” until the late 19th century, earned its present name when other drinks (like the martini) gained pizazz and the Old Fashioned remained the same — whiskey, a touch of water, bitters, sweetener, muddled citrus and, of course, a maraschino cherry. The blend is then served over ice in a glass bearing the same name.
|Photos by Kari Walker|
|Old Fashioned from Don's Seafood|
It’s often a drink of nostalgia, but when Mad Men’s Don Draper became known for the drink in 2007, the Old Fashioned came back into the spotlight. Local watering holes in Lafayette have embraced the trend and experimented with a renaissance of the classic cocktail.
Michael Walker, an aficionado of the whiskey cocktail (and my husband), served as INDEats’ official taster, as he enjoys the drink because it brings back memories of his grandfather who is now deceased — a sensory trip back to times he spent with “Big Daddy.”
First stop was Pamplona Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Downtown Lafayette where the cocktail starts with bourbon whiskey, an orange peel seasoned with three types of bitters, a locally-sourced cane sugar, house-made simple syrup and a house-brandied cherry — the frosty glass was empty in no time. “I liked the non-traditional, non-muddled approach,” Walker says. “The variety of bitters enhances the flavor and the cherry — it was the best part of the drink. I wish I had five more.
|Pamplona's Old Fashioned|
“The knowledge of the bar staff also makes the drink,” he continues. “It’s not just Happy Hour; it’s an educational experience for those who like cocktails.”
Social Southern Table and Bar’s Bee Old Fashion is another makeover of the classic and one of the hottest selling drinks on the menu.
|Social's Old Fashioned|
The Bee starts with Eagle Rare Bourbon, a single barrel bourbon whiskey made exclusively for Social and Charley G’s. Here, too, muddled fruit is ditched and replaced with orange bitters. A touch of brown sugar sweetness finishes the drink with a house-made simple syrup.
The results: Brown sugar gives the whiskey a unique character, and lack of fruit allows the aroma of the whiskey to shine.
Finally, we made our way to an establishment quite possibly known more for its Old Fashioned than its seafood — Don’s Seafood & Steakhouse. The ingredients are textbook consisting of Maker’s Mark whiskey, simple syrup, bitters, orange and a maraschino cherry.
But what makes Don’s extra special is a little lagniappe — a rock candy swizzle stick. The patron can self-muddle his fruit into the beverage and, of course, slurp up the fruity mix off the candy.
“When I want a drink that’s classic, I like [the Old Fashioned] at Don’s,” Walker says. “It’s a Lafayette tradition.”
And while men around town may have a love for the whiskey cocktail, over the Old Fashioned tour this girl’s palate has also grown to appreciate the different tastes of what makes each drink unique. There is really no wrong way to pay homage to this classic, but one thing is for sure — the Old Fashioned is no longer just a drink of the past.
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe
In honor of EatLafayette, INDEats intern Camille LeJeune shared her great grandmother Sidoux LeJeune’s favorite recipe for making an Old Fashioned. The recipe appeared in the 1937 recipe book “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ’Em” by Stanley Clisby Arthur.
Says Camille: “The author even wrote and signed a personal note to my great grandparents: ‘For Sidoux and Arthur, good fellows, good mixers - good friends.’”
“My great grandmother used to make them by the jug and keep them in the freezer,” she says. Camille’s father, Sterling LeJeune, who knows a thing or two about Old Fashioneds, swears by this recipe.
1 lump sugar
2 dashes Peychaud or Angostura bitters
1 jigger rye whiskey
1 piece lemon peel
1 chunk pineapple
1 slice orange peel
2 maraschino cherries
Into a heavy bottomed bar glass drop a lump of sugar, dash on the bitters, and crush with a spoon. Pour in the jigger of rye whiskey and stir with several lumps of ice. No shaking allowed! Let the mixture remain in the glass in which it is prepared. Garnish with a half-ring of orange peel, add the chunk of pineapple and the cherries with a little of the maraschino juice. Twist the slice of lemon peel over all and serve in the mixing glass with the barspoon.
The author writes below the recipe: “Don’t let anyone tell you that gin, rum, or brandy can take the place of whiskey in an Old Fashioned. Turn a deaf ear to such heresy” and later refers to prohibition as “the Great Mistake.”
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
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Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
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Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.