Love a good Old Fashioned? You need to try these five twists on the classic.
Although it stems from the 1800s, the Old Fashioned takes pride of place on most cocktail menus today. The formula is simple – dissolve a lump of sugar, then add bourbon or rye whiskey, Angostura bitters and finish with a rind of citrus. But every classic is open to interpretation, so the city’s mixologists have embraced their experimental side and created their own version for you to try.
Smokey Old Fashioned at The Alchemist
If you want a cocktail that feels more like a performance than a drink, try the Smokey Old Fashioned at The Alchemist. It will come alive before your eyes as smokey bourbon whiskey, maple syrup and spiced Jerry Thomas bitters are poured over ice, then infused with wood smoke. It’s sweet yet bitter, with a hint of warming cinnamon and a touch of rich spicy cloves.
The Alchemist, Trinity Leeds, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HW and Yorkshire House, Greek Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5SH.
Old Fashioned at Dirty Martini
This no-nonsense Old Fashioned is made just the way it should be and served on the rocks with an orange rind. They add sugar, Angostura bitters and citrus oils, then top it with bourbon whiskey – in this case, it’s 6-year aged Woodford Reserve with a nose of vanilla and oak. It’s simple, it’s a classic and it’s an absolute must.
Dirty Martini, 31 King Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HL.
Smokin’ Almond Old Fashioned at East 59th
East 59th will fix you up with an Old Fashioned that’s a little bit different to the norm. Disaronno and Orgeat syrup add sweet almond and cherry into the mix, while the aged bitters add a rich, herbal touch. The drink is finished with Bulleit Bourbon, which brings a subtle tang of orange and winter spice to the party.
East 59th, Victoria Gate, 3rd Floor Rooftop, Ludgate Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU.
Old Boy at Poison
Tucked away under Remedy, Poison is a secret cocktail bar that takes mixology to the next level. Their twist on a classic Old Fashioned uses an imperial stout reduction instead of sugar, giving a nod to the city’s rich brewing heritage. They couple it with Jefferson’s small batch bourbon, aromatic bitters and a hand-chipped ice ball to create a new classic, topped with a smoked orange garnish.
Poison, 16 New Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6SU.
’64 Old Fashioned at Banyan
Banyan’s Old Fashioned centres around the oh-so-smooth Gentleman Jack whiskey, which adds hints of vanilla and honey to the drink. But while they may use a traditional base, they’re not afraid to break the rules, so alongside their special bitters, they add Chartreuse liqueur, a complex blend of 130 botanicals that brings an intense twist.
Banyan, Toronto Square, 2 City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2ES.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Emma Cooke.