I’ve been trying my hand at making the perfect Old-Fashioned Cocktail for our Visiting Artist Series tomorrow evening, and my friend Angie Mosier suggested that I try The Julian, Julian Van Winkle’s version of the Old Fashioned. Created by Sean Brock, the drink highlights the – now famous – bourbon founded by Julian Van Winkle’s grandfather, “Pappy” Van Winkle. Pappy started his family business in the 1870’s and was the creator of their original wheated bourbon recipes that are still used and aged today.

The Old-Fashioned happens to be Faythe Levine’s drink of choice, so I thought – what better time to showcase my new-found knowledge on homemade bitters and use the Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon so graciously sent to us by Julian at the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

While making lemon bitters back in December, I found that a quick two-day recipe proves successful. More patient with her bar concoctions, June has spent some time creating a rich and tangy homemade orange bitters to go with this recipe.

The Old Fashioned is often served with muddled berries, but we want to keep it simple: muddled sugar, bitters, orange, and the added bourbon, of course. Here’s how to make your own:


2 oz Van Winkle Bourbon Whiskey (We used Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year.)
1 brown sugar cube (roughly 1 teaspoon brown sugar pressed into a cube)
8 or 9 drops Angostura Bitters
8 or 9 drops homemade orange bitters
3/4 inch orange wedge, peeled, fruit only, with all traces of white pith trimmed, including tips of pith on either side of wedge

1. Place a brown sugar cube on an absorbent napkin or paper towel. Saturate the cube with 8 or 9 drops (not dashes) of Angostura, then of orange bitters. Place the cube in a heavy glass and add the orange wedge. Muddle together the sugar cube and orange wedge for 5 to 6 minutes, avoiding any skin and pith, until all the cells of the orange burst and the sugar melts into a syrup.

2. Add 1/2 ounce bourbon and muddle into the syrup for 3 to 4 minutes. Add a handful of ice cubes and 1 ounce of bourbon. Stir for 30 seconds and decant into a high-ball glass. Add one more 1/2 ounce bourbon and stir three times. Serve at once.

Sip + enjoy responsibly over crafts and conversation with Faythe and all of us @ Alabama Chanin.

We look forward to seeing you @ the Factory on Thursday!

P.S.: Thank you to Julian Van Winkle and the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery…


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