Call Me Old Fashioned...
Today I found the best possible way to explain the difference between two seemingly similar but truthfully insanely different things. The Old Fashioned.
Now, some may say that booze doesn’t belong in a style blog but they would be sadly mistaken. What is more stylish than a classic cocktail? Glassware is an exceptional jacket (think leather bomber or wool camel trench). A perfect combination of handmade bitters, liqueurs, and liquors is a fashion forward but simple and striking outfit. Accessories, like toschi cherries and an orange peel twill are as sexy and essential as a vintage snake necklace you may happen upon at Gilt. If you still don’t believe how fashion forward a cocktail can be just imagine Hottie McHotterson (see post from a few months ago) sitting at a white marble bar, chiseled frame hunkered over one and tell me it doesn’t add to his mystique!
The Old Fashion has a particular sexiness to it. It is simple, straightforward, hard, soft, strong and downright delicious. There are a few, but very slight, variations to making one. They are undoubtedly a reflection of the person making your drink. If you’ve sat down at a master’s bar they will serve you a study on appreciating the small things in life. The finer things in life. The beauty in simplicity. Even show you that somethings will never go out of style. (Sounds a lot like fashion to me…)
Of course, up until this point, I have been operating under the assumption that you are, in fact sitting at a master’s bar. I’ve been assuming you’re in Portland, at one of the fine establishments in this town that I trust whole heartedly not to screw up my drink. However, like Old Fashioneds, there is another classic that comes to mind. Namely, the saying ‘you know what happens when you assume things right?’
I work in Vancouver. I freely admit I am not the biggest fan of all things suburbs (I’ve been quoted as saying that’s where dreams go to die) but I do like working there. There are spaces in the New Season’s parking lot. There are an obscene number of places to get mani/pedis. There are a bunch of genuinely sweet people, even if they are very different from me.
Unfortunately my appreciation does not extend to the bartending skills of the greater Vancouver area. I’ll admit I have a get in, get out and get back across the bridge mentality when it comes to happy hour. That being said, I love my co-workers enough that I will happily have a cocktail with them afterwork. And if I can’t haul them over to Portland, I’ll even stay and hangout in Vancouver. Occasionally. I will not, however, order a Old Fashioned again.
What should be a testament to skill, to bourbon, to the very soul of a bartender was more akin to rum punch. The only thing that kept me from sending it back was the fine folks over at Bulleit who make a damn good bourbon. Even hidden deep underneath a slew of ice cubes, maraschino cherries and an orange, Bulleit shines through. (Reminds me a bit of having on a killer top and then slathering on a scarf, a necklace, giant earrings, a vest, a fedora, sunglasses and a jacket on top of it. I mean come on Main Event, take Coco Chanel’s advice and take at least one, or in this case seven, accessories off before you leave the house. Or bar.)
Now some people wear t-shirts. Some people wear charcoal grey jersey Marc Jacobs tops. Some people wear pants. Some people wear dark wash skinny J Brand jeans. Some people drink old fashioneds. Some people drink a pinch of sugar, damped with Angostura bitters, covered by Bulleit bourbon and artfully mixed with Luxardo liqueur all of which hugs one perfectly cut 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch ice cube and toschi cherries.
A tip of the hat to those fine folks. And the bartenders that love us.