Best Local Sandwiches

Best Local Sandwiches

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Italian: SoBro Pizza Co.

Italian: SoBro Pizza Co.

Flavor 2014: If you build it, they will come. If you build it underneath their apartments, they’ll stop by for gelato, Napolitano pizzas and an excellent wine... 7/29/2014
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): These horoscopes I write for you aren’t primarily meant to predict the future. They are more about uncovering hidden potentials and... By Rob Brezsny 9/17/2014
Dessert & Bakery: La Panaderia

Dessert & Bakery: La Panaderia

Flavor 2014: Los panaderos are in San Antonio. Brothers David and Jose Cacéres have opened the first of what could be many locations of La Panaderia, a concept the... 7/29/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Touring the city for a cocktail classic

Photo: , License: N/A

The Old-Fashioned is classic enough to have a glass named in its honor. Yet writing of the venerable drink’s history, Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail, proclaims that from simple origins as a whiskey cocktail of rye, bitters, sugar, water, and maybe a splash of curaçao, “it morphed into a veritable fruit cocktail with oranges, orange juice, cherries, and sometimes a piece of pineapple.”

Dr. C goes on to decree the Platonic ideal: two dashes bitters, a few drops of water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and a swath of orange peel (no fruit), muddled together and stirred with rye or bourbon. So I determined to find out how it was being done around the city.

At Feast, Kat Sargologos was holding forth. Sargologos is not a muddler; she built the drink in, yes, an Old-Fashioned glass using Knob Creek rye, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters, stirring it all with two ice cubes which were then removed and replaced with three pristine ones. Her most distinctive touch was to take a large swath of orange peel and vigorously whack it around the rim of the glass to release oils. Yes, Sargologos’ drink was served with a maraschino cherry, but it was one of the non-glow-in-the-dark kind. In all, a stiff drink with prominent orangey aromas at the outset and a good meltdown quality.

O-F2 was concocted by Javier ‘Javi’ Gutiérrez at The Brooklynite. Here’s how Gutiérrez did it: one cube sugar, dash of water, four dashes Angostura, all muddled. To which he added two ounces of Old Overholt rye. The drink was stirred with ice cubes that were removed to make way for four new ones, and the whole was then transferred to a new, cold glass. One more cube was added, and a large swath of orange was twisted over the glass, smacked, then dropped in — resulting in a drink that was pleasantly spicy and nicely bittered.

At Bar Du Mon Ami, Gerry Shirley happened to be behind the metaphoric mahogany. Mon Ami’s O-F was distinctly different with its blend of orange and grapefruit bitters, muddled orange peel and the possibility of some water on top (politely declined). Shirley added a large shot of Bulleit rye, stirred the mix with ice, and dropped an orange slice into the glass. Despite the muddling of the peel, this version was mellower and less orange-oily than its forebears.

At the indoor-outdoor bar of Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Holly Whisler admitted she hadn’t worked at a serious cocktail joint before, but she had apparently been trained well by bar manager Chris Ware. “I usually do this with bourbon,” she said, and we agreed on Buffalo Trace. She started with a sugar cube, a splash of club soda and a couple generous dashes of Ango. After muddling, she added ice, along with two ounces of bourbon, and a big swath of orange peel, pinched and dropped into the same glass. The club soda lightens the drink a bit, but the Buffalo Trace adds unexpected spiciness.

I finally threw in the towel at Bar 1919 where owner Don Marsh says, “I judge all bartenders on how well this particular one is made.” Christine Lux demonstrated, muddling together a half wheel of orange, a (good) cherry, and Angostura before adding two-ounces of wheated-bourbon (Larceny). An orange peel is sometimes flamed and dropped in. I liked it despite the implications of extra fruit, but why stop there? Nick Kenna, bartender at the same establishment, developed a variation on the theme with his Good Ol’ Ben (Franklin) employing Luxardo maraschino, brown sugar simple syrup and Rittenhouse rye. Sweeter, yes, and fragrant with the cherry liqueur — but still a kissin’ cousin, despite Dr. C.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus