Blizzards are quite possibly the best reason to drink. You can’t possibly drive anywhere and your greatest risk is falling asleep on your couch, floor, stairs or bathroom instead of your own bed. I have a decent sized whiskey collection that consists of about 55-60 bottles plus close to a dozen unopened samples I have traded for along the way. I made a large error in not thinking beyond what food I’m going to eat and what movies I need to download purchase legally for the 36 hours I will be stuck at home.

Knowing I had a plethora of whiskey to drink and new stuff to try I never acknowledged the fact that I could want something that isn’t a 2 ounce pour of something neat. I’m a cocktail guy and as much as I love a glass of anything dark in a glass I love good cocktails. That is why I am here to introduce you to one the simplest cocktail I’ve ever made. I shall now call it the Old Jonas.

The most complicated part of this cocktail is that you have to do a small amount of work ahead of time, and you don’t even need any fancy measuring tools just 2 ingredients, a vessel and a source of heat.

The first ingredient is something I doubt most people reading this has at home and that is Demerara sugar. I buy this brand from Amazon. It’s basically a darker version of standard issue cane sugar that has a deeper flavor. It’s not brown sugar (which is just sugar and molasses) but it has a different flavor that I think works great in a whiskey cocktail.

The only work you need to do is mix equal parts (1 cup of each) of this sugar and water and heat it up so the sugar dissolves. How you do this is up to you but I’d recommend a pot on a stove. If you are REALLY in a rush to use this syrup instead of using one cup each of water and sugar you could use 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Once the sugar dissolves you could add ice to both cool down the temperature and even out the ratio.

The whiskey is a big part of this recipe too. As much as I love this basic recipe with a rye whiskey, bourbon works excellent as well. I personally prefer a high-rye bourbon in this recipe because I think the spice mixes well with the other ingredients in this recipe. Some popular high rye bourbons are: Elmer T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Blanton’s, Old Grand Dad and Basil Hayden’s (however it does not taste high rye to me). I chose Old Grand Dad 100 Proof BiB because it’s tasty, cheap, and it fits the name of the cocktail well.

If you are still paying attention, here is the actual recipe.

Old Jonas Cocktail Recipe

  • Fill a glass with ice, about 3-4 decent sized cubes.
  • Add enough Demerara syrup to coat the ice cubes
  • Add 3 splashes of Angostura orange bitters
  • Add 2-3 ounces of the bourbon you choose
  • Stir vigorously and drink
Old Jonas Cocktail Recipe Photo 1

Old Jonas Cocktail Recipe Photo 2 Old Jonas Cocktail Recipe Photo 3

I would not be against your decision to potentially add a muddled cherry or orange slice somewhere to this recipe. I would also not be upset if you add more syrup, as some people would like it with more sweetness, some people want more fruit, and some people want more bitter. I do think the fruit flavor is important to this cocktail, so if you have a different fruit flavored bitter at home that you love… use it. I’m not here to judge, just here to deliver you a good and simple cocktail that you hopefully enjoy!


Editor’s Note: Today’s Help Wanted guest blog post is from Mike Zoltek. Mike presents us with his Old Jonas cocktail recipe . We hope you enjoy his post and chime in accordingly in the comments section. Also make sure to connect with Mike online at @MikeZoltek or @mikezoltek