Okay, since the very first episode of Mad Men aired, I've been kind of obsessed with the cocktail Don Draper seems to order most often, the Old Fashioned. There is much written about this drink online. Some call it the first cocktail. There are scores of recipes to be found.
Well, I made a lot of the damn things before I settled on what I consider the perfect Old Fashioned. It's perfect for me, anyway. I'll let you decide (and modify) for yourself.
Before we get to the recipe, a little history on my pursuit of an Old Fashioned that really works for me. Most online recipes either have no muddled fruit or too much. I like the flavor you get from a little smashed fruit, but I don't like big chunks of orange gunk in my teeth. So, I have come up with a recipe that gives me some muddled fruit, all the muddled fruit flavor, but minimizes chunks. Hence the addition of Triple Sec.
You will need:
A good-sized cocktail glass (sometimes called an old-fashioned glass)
A muddler (I got a stainless steel model on eBay, which I love and recommend)
Some good ice (I'm a fan of "factory" ice for cocktails... you just can't make it as clear and as good at home)
Bitters (yes, you really need to go get some... don't skip this)
Sugar (regular granulated)
Bourbon (I just use Jim Beam... I don't think you need expensive booze here)
Seltzer (plain water will do in a pinch, but you should have seltzer)
Maraschino Cherries (sans stems and pits)
Triple Sec (cheap is fine)
An Orange (for garnish)
And, the recipe!
Place two cherries, a scant teaspoon of sugar, and a healthy dash of bitters in the glass. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved and the cherries are pulp. Add a splash (maybe a half ounce) of Triple Sec and a full shot (or... you know, a little more) of Bourbon.
Top the glass off with lots of good ice, add a splash of seltzer and stir with the sugar spoon. Garnish with a whole cherry and a slice of orange. Impaling the garnishes on one of those little plastic swords is a nice touch.
Enjoy, and don't say I never gave you nothin'!