Creme Soda utilized in an Old Fashioned? Why not?
I get asked the story behind this all the time by customers. I wish I could say there was some great epiphany I had but really it was a case of me seeing something lying out in the kitchen and saying "why not?"
Last winter I did a showcase at the NoMad Hotel in New York City where the theme was "unique takes on the old fashioned." running around the prep kitchen at my hotel looking for ideas I saw a case of Dr. Brown's creme soda (used for a pop-up store promotion we had done months prior). What's creme soda but essentially sugar water with its own distinct nostalgic vanilla flavor? By reducing it down to a syrup then crystallizing, I was able to keep the flavor properties of the creme soda and subsequently incorporate it as the sugar cube component of the old fashioned. Keeping with the season and the colder weather at the time, I then wanted to incorporate some warmer rustic flavors. High West Distillery has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in the last couple of years and I am particularly fond of their Campfire Whiskey. This unique blend is only one of its kind and attributes its complex profile from a blend of bourbon (sweet honey), rye (floral fruity spice), and scotch (for a great smoky gritty finish). By adding Angostura orange and Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters, I was able to round out and create not only a unique, complex, delicious and most importantly, FUN cocktail. After all, who wouldn’t be nostalgic of a simpler time by using flavors that are unique to our childhood. And what better than to now incorporate that into a more mature time and more importantly more mature drinking palate with a take on one of the most traditional and popular cocktails of the time?
The Soda Jerk Old Fashioned
Hight West Campfire Blended Whiskey, Dr. Brown's creme soda reduction, Angostura orange bitters, Fee Brothers black walnut bitters, garnished with a flamed orange peel.