Cocktail Corner: Hungerford’s Tavern Old Fashioned

old-fashionedI have to admit that if I’m in the mood for a stiff drink, I usually just take it straight. I have a few cocktail books and I obsessively watch Drinks Tube, but on the rare occasion I want to make a recipe, I’m usually missing a key ingredient. Apparently my liquor cabinet is way too meager for… just about anything?

I also hate it when certain drinks become fads without me realizing it. After Sideways came out, everyone seemed to want to drink pinot noir, which made me angrily order merlot whenever I went out to eat. I realize I need to get over myself.

Anyway, all of this brings me to the old fashioned. I saw Rich Hunt make it on Drinks Tube and despite the fact that I did not have any bitters in the house and despite the fact that it was popular because of Mad Men, I really wanted to try it.

I am being a bit bold in calling this Hungerford’s Tavern old fashioned. My recipe is basically a tweaked version of Hunt’s recipe. But it took a lot of trial and error… a lot of trial and error… to get it just right. Plus it uses bourbon from Rockville’s Twin Valley Distillers, so I think the name fits. (One of Rockville’s original names was Hungerford’s Tavern, you see.) I’m using Angostura bitters, though, because as far as I know, no one is making Rockville bitters. Yet.


1½ ounces Twin Valley Bourbon Whiskey

A slice of orange peel

3 dashes of bitters

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Ice cubes

Measure the bourbon into a measuring cup with a lip. Curl up the orange peel and add it to the bourbon. Let the peel steep in the bourbon for as long as you can possible stand it. I’m talking about more than an hour. Splash three dashes of bitters into the bottom of a highball glass. Add the sugar and just enough bourbon to coat the sugar. Stir until the sugar has mostly dissolved. Add a couple of ice cubes and a little more bourbon and stir for several seconds, until the ice cubes have begun to melt a little. Add a couple more ice cubes and a little more bourbon and stir for several seconds more. Repeat until all of the whiskey has been added. Adjust the taste by adding a splash of bourbon if needed. Give the orange peel a little squeeze over the drink, then use it to garnish.