Several years ago, I was at a charity auction and bid on and won the opportunity to work with a bartender at a restaurant to create my own drink and then to have that drink featured on the restaurant’s menu for a month. The restaurant, Rocca, in Boston’s South End is now out of business. I hope I had nothing to do with that.
Creating the drink was a blast. The bartender demo’d several cocktail-making techniques, which I got to taste-test and before too long, I was hammered. I eventually stumbled on something I really liked and named it Will’s Antiquato. Italian for Will’s Old-Fashioned. It is similar to a classic Old-Fashioned, with an interesting twist or two.
Here was the menu listing – $9 . . . totally worth it:
My updated version:
- 2 1/2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 Brown Sugar Cube
- 2-4 Dashes Orange Bitters (I used Regan’s)
- 3 Luxardo Cherries
- Burnt Orange Peel
Prepare in an Old-Fashioned glass.
As with our classic Old-Fashioned recipe, it’s all in the preparation. See that post for details. First, place the sugar cube in the glass and douse it with the orange bitters. Don’t be shy, there are a lot of flavors in this one so the bitters need to punch through. Add a few drops of water and muddle the sugar, bitters and water until it’s a liquid. Then, add the Luxardo cherries. Scoop in some of the juice from the bottle for good measure. I think I could live on that stuff. So good.
Now, take a nice size chunk of orange peel (just skin and pith, no fruit) between your index finger and thumb and hover it over the drink. Light a match, lighter or other incendiary device and hold it under the orange peel. Squeeze the orange peel and watch the pyrotechnics as the oils from the skin ignite – no kidding. The oils will spray into the drink. Drop the burnt orange peel into the drink.
If that seems like too much trouble, don’t sweat it. Just run the flame under the peel for about a minute and throw it in the drink. the flavor it creates is very good.
Add Ice, stir (important, because there is sugar at the bottom) and serve. Delizioso!
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