Adapted from an initial recipe from Phil Ward at the Pegu Club in New York City.
The Simple Apple Old Fashioned starts with a good apple flavor and finishes with a little caramel sweetness. It’s certainly in the family of the great classic holiday cocktails.
- 1.5oz Laird’s Applejack
- .5oz Bulleit Bourbon
- 3 shakes of Fee Brothers’ Orange Bitters
Fill an old fashioned or rocks glass with ice. Shake bitters onto ice. Pour applejack and bourbon into glass and stir. Garnish with a thick strip of orange peel.
The original version of this cocktail required two ingredients that are practically impossible to find on the west coast: Laird’s Bonded Applejack (100 proof) and Rittenhouse Bonded Rye (100 proof). Substituting the regular applejack and the bourbon ends up with a slightly sweeter drink and a slightly more approachable kick. Playing with old fashioned or Angostura bitters could be an interesting twist, as could the addition of the smallest splash of Carpano Antica (or a good sweet vermouth or even better, a sweet amaro like Amaro Nonino). Changing the formula to 1oz applejack, .5oz bourbon and .5oz amaro/vermouth/Carpano Antica turns it into more of an Apple Manhattan (maybe call it a Big Apple?). I’d even be interested in pulling the amaro/vermouth out and replacing it with Becherovka (spiced Czech liqueur for a more spiced apple flavor) or even the over-used Tuaca (for a more vanilla finish). One note, if you can’t find applejack, I wouldn’t recommend using Calvados.