We fled the city this weekend in an early attempt to see family this holiday season. Leaving a lot earlier than normal was our way to minimize our risk, and to finally see family we haven’t seen throughout 2020. So we’re out here in the midwest, and a majority of our weekend has been spent listening (and debating) about the new Taylor Swift album—with a drink in hand, of course. When my sister-in-law and I thought about a cocktail that best represented Taylor’s new album evermore, the classic old fashioned cocktail easily came to mine. It’s wintery. It bites. But it goes down smooth. Kind of like the vivid lyrics Taylor used in this album.
I admit, there’s nothing new to this classic old fashioned. It’s just like every other old fashioned cocktail recipe you’ve seen—except for the combined use of orange and aromatic bitters. But sometimes, it’s fun to revisit the classics. Because even if it’s one of the most classic cocktails you can make, sometimes—if you’re like me—you don’t even know how to make one. And ask your husband to give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it.
So yesterday, I finally learned how to make a classic old fashioned cocktail. It really is the perfect cocktail to sip on as you listen to Taylor’s new album, or possibly any other folk-y album that you love. Curled up by the fire or sitting out on the porch on a cold winter afternoon in your favorite cardigan, this cocktail is soothing like an old, faithful friend.
In a way, aren’t some of our favorite artists like old friends? I think Taylor is so wildly popular because her music constantly delivers to her anticipating audience. It’s consistently good, and everyone knows when Taylor releases a new album they are in for a rich experience. This weekend we discussed to nauseam how evermore goes deeper into the folkloriaon woods. How the lyrics reach a new kind of depth and the music is even more mystical, kind of like how it would feel as you walk deeper and deeper into the woods unknown.
I think it’s a clever metaphor for this year, how this year has been full of questioning as we walk into the deeper woods. What will 2021 bring? Will the light from the gnarly woods finally shine through?
As you sip on this classic old fashioned cocktail, your mind will drift. You’ll find yourself asking deeper questions as you step into the unknown woods of the life before you. It makes you think of the bigger picture, and which pathway to take next.
Clearly, I’ve had quite a bit of this drink while writing this. I hope you enjoy it as you sip and listen to Taylor’s new album. It’s the perfect combination for a tired, weary soul.
Here’s how to make it.
Classic Old Fashioned
- 2 drops aromatic bitters
- 2 drops orange bitters
- 2 oz. bourbon
- 1 tsp simple syrup
- 1 orange peel
- Place a large ice cube into a cocktail tumbler.
- Splash two drops of each type of bitters over the ice.
- Pour in the bourbon, then the simple syrup.
- Stir together for 15 seconds, or until the cocktail is cold.
- Peel a small sliver of orange. Squeeze the orange peel over the cocktail outside peel down. Rub the orange peel on the inner and outer edge of the drinking class.
- Drop the peel into the cocktail glass and serve.