Not the Gimlet. Not a Daquiri. Not a Margarita. No. The most influential creation in the cocktail lineage is the Old Fashioned, at least according to Zach Svoboda at Philly's Ela.
For Svoboda, when he hands somebody an Old Fashioned, his intention is to make the spirit itself shine. So, when making his Fare il Fesso, or "to play the fool", he adds a classic Italian apertif, Amaro Montenegro, to bring out the bold flavors of the Knob Creek® Bourbon. The sweet, yet bitter amaro is meant to balance out the nice sharpness, as Svoboda calls it, that Knob Creek® Bourbon carries. Watch the video above to see how he cares for the spirit and his thoughts on what makes the Old Fashioned immortal.
With his hand-cut ice and addition of amaro, Svoboda makes this immortal cocktail his own. But there are other places in Philly that are experimenting with the classic Old Fashioned. Christian Jacobsen at Stateside takes the same opinion as Svoboda: let the whiskey do most of the work, so keep the recipe simple. To make the bourbon talk, he adds two dashes of Fee Brother's bitters and Demerara syrup to Knob Creek® Bourbon and garnishes it with orange and lemon peels. George Reilly at Twisted Tail opts for the muddling route. He muddles orange, a maraschino cherry, sugar, and bitters in his glass with a dash of club soda before adding Knob Creek® Bourbon. Bourbon master at Bank and Bourbon, Brian Bevilacqua, is a purist when it comes to the Old Fashioned, using a bit of simple syrup and lemon peel to construct his cocktail.
With a big, full base like Knob Creek® Bourbon in all of these cocktails, it's no wonder the influence of the Old Fashioned has been called immortal.
Knob Creek® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission. Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with natural flavors and Straight Rye Whiskey, 45-60% Alc./Vol. ©2014 Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.