The Old Fashioned is probably not a drink you want to order where you can’t see them fix it, and thus are unable to correct mistakes made in the preparation. I had a sickly sweet one on Mother’s Day, and wouldn’t recommend the experience to anyone. Don Draper, in an episode from season three of Mad Men, “My Old Kentucky Home,” builds his in a more old fashioned way, but he’s not tending my bar; I am, and I do the same.
In an old fashioned, or rocks, glass place a half cube of sugar. Soak the sugar with two to three dashes of Angostura bitters. Add a splash, if that, of water. Muddle until the sugar is completely dissolved in the bitters. Add two ounces of bourbon, and some ice. Garnish with any or all of a cherry, an orange slice, and a lemon wedge.
Amusingly enough, YouTube has Rachel Maddow building hers similarly. (Maybe if I make a video I can get a great gig on MSNBC too!) If you prefer your bartender in a vest, here’s Chris McMillian, of the Library Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans.