Well, it's been awhile. Basically I've spent the last several months perfecting the Negroni and ignoring the remaining contents of my liquor cabinet. We go through Campari here like it is, well, if I say water that makes us sound like we have a problem, now doesn't it?
Anyways, my loyalty to the Negroni intact, but turning my attention towards bourbon season (Kentucky Derby and all), I have become once again enchanted with the old fashioned. A simple cocktail, yet so easy to get wrong, and somewhat difficult to get right, at least in my experience. A good old fashioned is sublime, with the bourbon shining but the other aspects mellowing the burn. The use of granulated sugar or sugar cube can enhance the mouthfeel when sipped through a straw, though syrup can enhance the sweetness that tempers the bourbon fire.
Here are two riffs on the old fashioned I've fashioned in the past few days.
Chocolate old fashioned:
1 tsp or less of turbinado (demarera) sugar
3-5 dashes of peychauds bitters
3-5 dashes of Aztec chocolate bitters
1.5 oz Prichards double chocolate bourbon
Chill an old fashioned glass, discard ice
Muddle the sugar and bitters
Place fresh ice in the glass (I prefer a large single ice cube)
Pour bourbon over and stir
Garnish with a luxardo maraschino cherry, flame an orange peel over
Chocolate Coffee Old Fashioned
As above but substitute coffee syrup for the turbinado