With more than 200 years of history, the Old Fashioned is the epitome of a classic cocktail that bartenders still love to make, drink and modify.
While it is true that it has come in and out of favour over the years, the Old Fashioned has enjoyed a recent re-birth in pop culture through shows and movies that feature classic cocktails and fashions from the past.
Through October 31, 2015, the Blue Bar at Four Seasons Hong Kong is re-imagining the classic Old Fashioned. The Hotel’s team of talented bartenders seeks to substitute the traditional ingredients of the Old Fashioned to create a fresh new take on this age-old cocktail. Conventionally made out of sugar, Angostura bitters, water and bourbon whiskey, the re-interpreted Old Fashioned recipes will substitute and add new ingredients for an interesting unique twist.
Inspired during dinner at an Italian restaurant with his lovely wife, in-house mixologist Desmand Chau decided it was time to bring a new element to the classic Old Fashioned. His inspired new concoction, Aged Fashioned, is a perfect balance between Havana 7 years rum, aged balsamic vinegar, honey, soda water and Angostura bitters, garnished with an orange peel and accompanied by honey-comb candy drizzled in balsamic vinegar on the side. When asked about his unconventional choice to incorporate vinegar into a cocktail, Desmand said that “the flavours of honey and vinegar seemed to go so well together that I thought this could make an amazing flavour profile in a cocktail. After a few experiments, I found dark aged rum to be the perfect medium for these flavours.”
Along with the Aged Fashioned, mixologists at the Blue Bar are also introducing two other jazzed up Old Fashioned whiskey cocktails. Talisman Fashioned, a mixture of hand-infused ginseng whiskey, honey and soda, is served with an orange peel and chilled ginseng honey water on the side. The cocktail’s name was inspired by its distinctive ingredient, ginseng. In Chinese culture, ginseng is known to contain relaxing and restoring properties. Similarly, a talisman is believed to contain magical and sacred properties that offer its possessor good luck and protection. To Blue Bar mixologists, Talisman seemed an appropriate name for a drink that both relaxes and restores with every sip.
Cinnamon Fashioned is a mixture of Fireball whiskey, Basil Hayden’s bourbon, ginger beer, Angostura bitters and sugar, finished with a garnish of orange peel and two cinnamon sticks. This drink is highly recommended by Desmand for those who don’t normally drink whiskey because “the cinnamon and ginger beer subdue the stronger flavours of the bourbon.” Aiding in healthy digestion and offering something sweet to those looking for a taste of dessert, Cinnamon Fashioned makes for the perfect after dinner drink.
Cocktail Quarterly is a year-long beverage-focused Four Seasons initiative that devotes attention to one cocktail trend, seasonal ingredient or technique, every three months. Mixologists are tasked with creating cocktails that speak to each theme while infusing their own individual inspiration and ingredients. Starting with the Old Fashioned from August to October 2015; the Bubbly from November 2015 to January 2016; and an exciting surprise theme based on the latest emerging trends from February to April 2016, guests are sure to discover a new found appreciation for traditional cocktails with a twist.