Fall is on our heels, and so is another new season of Mad Men. The popularity of this 1960s period drama has brought about a revival of 60's inspired clothing, marketed by stores like Banana Republic. But it's not just the costumes that have caused a stir, the cocktail has also regained noticeable popularity since Mad Men premiered in 2007.
The cocktail mixology trend—the art and science of mixing drinks with new and unusual flavors—took center stage over classic mixed drinks dating back to the 1800s. In Mad Men, Don Draper's cocktail of choice is the Old Fashioned. The use of Don's drink throughout the show has brought about a revived interest in this classic cocktail.
Verily visited Scala's Bistro at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco to sip and savor bar manager Derek Posner's twist on this "basic 6" drink (the other 5 classic cocktails being the Daiquiri, Jack Rose, Manhattan, Martini, and Sidecar).
The original Old Fashioned recipe calls for muddling sugar in water and bitters, a lemon rind, and adding whiskey, made—you guessed it—the old fashioned way. Scala's Bistro decided to shake things up, by dragging a hint of summer into the crisp of autumn around us. To make this cocktail, Posner twists an orange peel into a bucket glass, garnishes it with this summer's cherries—brandied to preserve the sweet and tangy taste to enjoy later in the year— and voilà ! The Old Fashioned is old fashioned no longer.
Posner graciously shares the house recipe for this refreshed take on an old classic which we hope you'll enjoy whilst you sit back and survey Don's struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing times.
Scala's Bistro House Old Fashioned
Garnish: House Brandied Cherries
2 oz rye whiskey (Bulliet brand is recommended)
3/4 oz grenadine
4 drops fernet bitters
1 orange peel
Muddle grenadine, bitters, and orange Peel. Add ice and whiskey. Stir. Strain. Serve.