LIFE

Månedens drink: The Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail

I sidste uge var jeg selv forbi Ruby til hvad der planlagt blot skulle have været til et par sjusser, men to blev til tre som blev til fire – og 2 af dem var rent faktisk min nye yndlings nemlig en Old Fashioned! I LOVE IT! Så hvis du ikke selv kaster dig over den, så smut forbi og få den hos Ruby, her koster den en hundrede mand!

Ordet er hermed givet videre til Sune Urth – vores Ruby bartender.

Det hele starter med en knasende lyd af sukker der knuses med bitters og en anelse bourbon til en ensartet masse. Så den klirrende lyd af is mod glas og den rytmiske klapren når der tilføjes en metalske til blandingen. At se en old fashioned blive tilberedt er et studie i omhyggelighed. En old fashioned tager den tid en old fashioned tager. En langsom kontrolleret udvanding til alkoholprocenten er lige præcis korrekt.

En old fashioned er det tætteste vi kommer på den oprindelige cocktail. I The Balance and Columbian Repository bliver ordet første gang brugt på print i 1806. 6te maj for at være pedantisk. Der listes med ironisk snert en længere række drikkevarer skænket ved et demokratisk konvent for at blødgøre potentielle vælgere, og ud over 720 rom grogs, 17 brandy, 32 gin slings og 411 glas bitter er der altså også 25 do. Cocktails. Relativt heftig barregning taget i betragtning at demokraterne stadig tabte valget.

En uge senere skriver en unavngiven læser et kort brev hvor han først komplimenterer redaktørens bidende politiske satire, for derefter at spørge til hvad denne cocktail egentlig er for en størrelse. Læseren er bekendt med phlegm cutters, fog drivers, fillips og flips og flere andre benævnelser, men er aldrig stødt på denne hanes hale.

Svaret kommer den 13nde maj 1806:

Cock tail then, is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles  the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: Because a person having swallowed a glass of it is ready to swallow any thing else.

Vores bartender retter på sin butterfly og tager et rocksglas. Han hælder sukker i så det lige dækker bunden og stænker angostura bitter på det. Så tager han et skvæt bourbon og væder blandingen med det.

Han tager to store klare isterninger med en istang og anbringer dem i glasset. Skænker så to centiliter bourbon og begynder at røre rundt. Sukkeret opløses langsomt i den kolde væske og da han er tilfreds griber han to isterninger mere, og hælder efter med to centiliter bourbon. Han rører. Der er helt stille i baren mens vi ser på den ravgyldne væske der er ved at blive til magi. Tredje gang, han stopper, to isterninger mere, nej vent, han smider den ene ud, den fandt ikke nåde for han s blik, så han finder en anden der er pænere og lægger den nænsomt i glasset. Så mere bourbon, to centiliter til, og så mere røren. Han smager med enden af skeen ind imellem, ved at drypper tre dråber på sin håndryg. Da han er tilfreds fylder han efter med is for at stabilisere udvandingen.

Han finder en frisk appelsin med en tyk og olieholdig skal og skærer en lang strimmel af den. Vender den om så den ligger med ryggen på skærebrættet og fileterer den med et hurtigt snit så der ikke er noget hvidt tilbage. Så tager han den mellem to fingre og presser olier ud over glasset. Gnider kanten med skallen og anbringer den så dekorativt langs indersiden af glasset.

En old fashioned eksploderer i din mund ved den første tår. Du skal slås med den. Den er læskende og forførende farlig. Spiritus i rå mængder der smager så du har lyst til at vende bunden i vejret på den og derefter på dig selv.

Skål,

Sune.

This month’s drink: The Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail

Last week I actually went to the cocktail bar Ruby to what after the plan just should have been for a couple of drinks, but the two became three and three went four – and two of them actually were my new favorite the Old Fashioned! I LOVE IT! So if you do not make a DIY out of this, then stop by Ruby next time you are in town!

I hereby give the word to Sune Urth – our Ruby bartender.

It all begins with a cruching sound of sugar being crushed with bitters and a bit of bourbon, into a uniform paste. Then the tingling sound of ice on glass and the rythmical rattle when a metal spoon is added to the mix. To watch an old fashioned being prepared is to watch a study in carefullness. An old fashioned takes the time an old fashioned takes. A slow and controlled dillution to make the alcohol level just right.

An old fashioned is the closest we get to the original cocktail. In the balance and Columbian Repository the word is first used in print in 1806. On the 6th of may to be pedantic. A longer row of drinks is ironically listed and apart from 720 rum grogs, 17 brandy, 32 gin slings and 411 glasses og bitters we find 25 do. Cocktails. Rather nifty bartab for someone who lost the election.

A week later, an anonymous reader writes a short letter where he compliments the satire, and then ventures on the ask as to the nature bementioned ”cocktail”. Being aquainted with Phlegm Cutters, Fog Drivers, Fillips, Flips and several others he has never heard og this Cock’s tail.

The answer comes on may 13th:

Cock tail then, is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters it is vulgarly called a bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles  the head. It is said also, to be of great use to a democratic candidate: Because a person having swallowed a glass of it is ready to swallow any thing else.

Political implications aside, there can hardly be any doubt that this is the recipe for an old fashioned. So we’ll have to assume that the word covers a very specific drinks well into the 19th century. In 1979 Richard Dawkins presents his ”meme theory”, and awfully snotty it sounds, suggesting that ”cocktail” becomes a so popular term that bartenders begin to develop on the original recipes. Take a Mahattan – spirit, sweet vermouth and bitters stirred over ice. The sugar has been exchanged with vermouth, apart from that it’s the same thing.

Our bartender adjusts his bowtie,  and takes a rocks glass. He only just covers the bottom of it with sugar and dashes angostura bitters over it. He then moistens it with a hint of bourbon.

He takes two large and clear ice cubes with an ice tong and arranges them in the glass. Then pours two centiliter of bourbon and starts stirring. The sugar slowly dissolves in the cold liquid, and when he is satisfied he grabs two more ice cubes and follows with two more centiliter of bourbon. He stirs. The bar falls silent as we watch the amber gold spirit turn to magic. Third time. He stops, two more ice cubes, no wait, one does not please his keen eye and he dicards it and finds another, and gently rests it in the glass. More bourbon, two centiliter more, and more stirring. From time ti time he’ll taste by dripping four drops from the end of the spoon to the back of his hand. When he’s satisfied he fills the glass with ice to stabilise the dillution.

He finds a fresh orange with a thick and oily skin, and cuts off a long peel. Flips it over so it has its back on the cutting board, and filets it with a swift cut, leaving only the waxy peel and none of the bitter white pith. He takes it between two fingers and artfully zests the drink. Then he rubs the peel on the rim and finally places it decoratively along the inside of the glass.

An old fashioned explodes in your mouth at the first sip. You must fight it. It’s saturating and seductively dangerous. Spirit in massive amounts that taste so you want to knock it back and go mental.

Cheers.

Sune.

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