Thursday, September 29, 2016

October 14 - 22 Old Fashion Cocktail Week

     On the 14th through 22nd of October, bars around the world will host Old Fashioned Week through a number of events, masterclasses and collaborations with affiliated brands.   The festival first launched in 2015 based on an initiation of the Maria Loca bar in Paris and Cyrille Hugon, founder of Rhum Fest Paris and Rumporter Magazine, but it has now been transformed from an exclusive French event to a global cocktail festival.
Old Fashioned Cocktail
     The first documented definition of the word "cocktail" was in response to a reader's letter asking to define the word in the May 6, 1806, issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, New York. The May 13, 1806, issue, the paper, the editor wrote that it was a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar, it was also referred to at the time as a “bittered sling”.   J.E. Alexander describes the cocktail similarly in 1833, as he encountered it in New York City, as being rum, gin, or brandy, significant water, bitters, and sugar, though he includes a nutmeg garnish as well.
     By the 1860s, it was common for orange curacao, absinthe, and other liqueurs to be added to the cocktail. The original concoction, came in different proportions, came back into vogue, and was referred to as "old-fashioned.  Most popular of the in-vogue "old-fashioned" cocktails were made with whiskey, according to a Chicago barman, quoted in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1882, with rye being more popular than Bourbon. The recipe described is a similar combination of spirits, bitters, water and sugar like it was seventy-six years earlier.
     The first use of the name "Old Fashioned" for a Bourbon Whiskey cocktail was said to have been at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen's club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky.    The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City
     During Old Fashioned Cocktail week we will celebrate the venerable old cocktail with the spirit of your choice, mine being rum, ron or rhum if you will with a recipe that makes you smile as it slides across your palate.  During the week I will introduce you to some "new" Old Fashioned Cocktails from my devious mind here in the bar on the boat.
     Keep the week in mind and help us celebrate one of the first ever cocktails recognized around the world.