Winter Warmer Old Fashioned


Old Fashioned are considered one of the oldest cocktails.  Pretty simple premise: sugar and bitters muddled together with a measure of whisky added.  Now days you will find that Old Fashioneds have evolved to often include an orange slice and cherries muddled with the sugar and bitters.  I find in general Old Fashioneds because of their classic bones are a great cocktail to riff on.  And while we will talk about the classic one at a later date, I found this amazing one right before Christmas that I made a few changes to and can’t help but share it.  The simple syrup may take a little prep, but I promise you it’s quick and makes the house smell of all good things winter.

Winter Warmer Simple Syrup:

1 apple peeled, cored and cubed

handful of walnut pieces

3 cinnamon sticks, smashed

6 whole cloves, or large pinch of powdered

whole nutmeg, or large pinch of powdered

1 cup raw sugar, (dememara or turbinado,  or the heck with it, white if it’s all you got!)

Bring to a boil in a sauce pan, and then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes.  Strain and let cool.  (The leftover walnuts and apples are a delicious snack!)

Winter Warmer Old Fashioned

2 ounces rye, (or bourbon or irish whisky)

1/2 ounce winter warmer simple syrup

4 dashes Reagan’s orange bitters

2 swaths of orange rind

Large ice ball or cube, if available, otherwise a few regular ice cubes

Muddle syrup, bitters and one swath of orange rind in the bottom of a rocks glass.  Add rye and large ice cube and stir. Twist remaining orange rind over the glass and rub the edge with it before using it as a garnish in the glass.

I was reminded of this cocktail by a post by Deb at Smitten Kitchen here:

Her post was based on a recipe by David Mitten which was first published by Imbibe Magazine.  Here is the original link: