Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your 2021 be filled with peace, love, and good health! It has been a year like no other and we start 2021 with hope and optimism that the worst has passed
The Brandy Bar + Cocktails has survived through all and we have every hope that we will still be here in 2021 to meet and greet our great customers, who now number 2,690. Because of the possibility of another holiday outbreak of COVID-19, we are closing from December 24, 2020 through January 13, 2021. We will really miss celebrating the New Year with you but since restaurants and bars are still required to be closed at 9:00 PM, it seems this New Year will be celebrated in the safety and comfort of our homes with close friends and family.
We will re-open on Thursday, January 14, 2021, (4:00 PM – 9:00 PM) with a cocktail special to welcome in 2021 with fanfare. This will feature a selection of riffs on the old fashion (one of our best selling cocktails) which is a cocktail that will warm you inside and outside on a cold January day.
Don Draper’s Old Fashioned – Copper & Kings American Brandy, sugar (just enough sugar to cut the burn), club soda; Bart’s Old Fashioned – Copper & Kings American Brandy, oranges, cherries, sugar, bitters; Espresso Old Fashioned – Laird’s applejack, absinthe rinse, Peychaud’s bitters, espresso; Benton’s Old Fashioned – Fat-washed Copper & Kings American brandy (bacon fat), maple syrup, angostura bitters; Freehand Old Fashioned – Brandy, pineapple juice, simple syrup, coffee liqueur, Angostura bitters, orange bitters.
A wee bit of history of the old fashioned: For most people, the old-fashioned is the bar standard, and it’s been around a lot longer than Don Draper’s (the fictional character in Mad Men, who knows advertising & whiskey & whose favorite drink is the Old Fashioned). In fact, bartender lore says the name comes from people ordering a cocktail the “old-fashioned” way. This is the short, sweet history of one of the world’s greatest cocktails.
1862 – A book titled Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide: How To Mix Drinks is published, giving instructions and recipes from the early days of bartending. This book contains a first reference to the words “Old Fashion” in a recipe for an Old Fashioned Holland Gin Cocktail: “Crush a small lump of sugar in a whiskey glass containing a little water, add a lump of ice, two dashes of Angostura bitters, a small piece of lemon peel, one jigger Holland gin.”
1880 – A 2005 article in The Courier-Journal gives credit to a private social club, called The Pendennis Club, for making the very first old-fashioned. James E. Pepper, bartender and esteemed bourbon aristocrat, was said to have invented the drink in Louisville, Kentucky before he brought the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City, where the old-fashioned was born.
1895- Modern American Drinks, written by George Kappeler, is published in the U.S. and lists a plethora of recipes, one of which being for an Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail, reads as follows: “Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass; add two dashes Angostura bitters, a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel, one jigger whiskey. Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.”
Skip to 2019 – So as above noted, and as cocktails go, you can’t get more classic than the Old Fashioned, a simple concoction of bourbon (or in our case Copper & Kings brandy that has been aged for 6 years in a bourbon cask), sugar, water, and bitters. Good versions of the drink can be found all over the world. But simple tweaks—brandy here, smoke there, tamarind elsewhere—can easily change up the classic into a new favorite. We tracked down the above 5 unique riffs at bars and restaurants around the country that have modified the “old fashioned” into various personalities to reflect our diverse communities’ tastes.