recipes

Beverages 16 November 2018

Old Fashioned with a Twist

(Family Features) Cocktail trends may come and go, but one staple remains a fixture on drink menus two centuries after its invention – the Old Fashioned.

There are many competing stories about the origins of the “first” true cocktail recipe, but nearly all agree that the modern-day cocktail was first mixed in the early 1800s, and the recipe was generally the same Old Fashioned recipe still mixed in bars around the world today: liquor, sugar, water and bitters.

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Bourbon is traditionally the spirit of choice for an Old Fashioned, but contemporary versions may substitute virtually any type of liquor, from rye whiskey to tequila to rum. Yesteryear’s sugar cube, served as a lump doused with bitters, has given way to simple syrup, which mixes more easily when served. A twist of citrus zest or a dark cherry are common garnishes in today’s Old Fashioned renditions.

No matter what spirit or style you prefer, there’s one constant that’s crucial to any drink bearing the Old Fashioned name: bitters. For a truly authentic experience, look to incorporate an option like Angostura bitters – an iconic brand that traces its roots as far back as the dawn of the Old Fashioned and has been closely intertwined with the history of the cocktail ever since.

Dr. Johann Siegert, the bitters’ inventor, created the elixir in 19th-century Venezuela while serving as a doctor to soldiers in Simon Bolivar’s army. By 1824, he perfected the formula for “amargo aromatico,” which he initially used to help alleviate the stomach issues of ailing soldiers.

By the mid-1800s, cocktails were steadily gaining favor, and nearly all the early recipes called for bitters. Siegert’s sons seized the opportunity and astutely developed a following for their formula among cocktail lovers.

Today, Angostura aromatic bitters are a classic and versatile ingredient in bars and kitchens alike for their flawless ability to balance a range of cocktails. Bitters provide layers of flavor and complexity through their expertly-crafted combination of aromatic herbs, bark, roots and other botanicals. When it comes to the ingredients in Angostura’s aromatic bitters, the exact formula is unknown, as the recipe has remained a closely-guarded secret since the bitters were created almost 200 years ago.

Consider these tried-and-true takes on the Old Fashioned with four recipes ideal for sipping. The traditional version features bourbon, while three twists on the timeless classic highlight alternative liquors: the Tequila Old Fashioned, the Rum Old Fashioned and the Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned.

Pro Serving Tip
Serving an authentic Old Fashioned requires more than just the right ingredients: you need the proper bar glass, too. An Old Fashioned is almost always served in a rocks glass, which is a short glass, often with a weighted bottom, designed to hold a shot or two of liquor over ice (or “rocks”). Also known as a lowball, whisky or (aptly named) Old Fashioned glass, the rocks glass typically holds 4-10 ounces.

Simple Syrup at Home

A wide range of cocktails call for sweet syrup to enhance the flavor of the liquor, and one variety in particular lends a rich molasses note to drinks. Demerara syrup is made using Demerara sugar, a special variety of raw, unrefined cane sugar with large grains and a golden amber hue.

The sugar, which traces its origins to the South American country of Guyana, can be used in place of brown sugar. Though similar, Demerara generally lends stronger caramel, toffee and molasses notes than traditional brown sugar.

If you don’t have any Demerara syrup around, it’s quite easy to make at home and can be used to naturally sweeten a number of drinks, from coffee to cocktails. If Demerara isn’t on-hand, swap for turbinado sugar, brown sugar or table sugar.

Demerara Syrup

1          part Demerara sugar
1          part hot water

Stir to dissolve. Let cool before use.

Find more recipes filled with good, old-fashioned flavor at AngosturaBitters.com.

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Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned

  • 2          ounces bourbon
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash water
  • ice
  • long orange peel, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, stir bourbon, Demerara syrup, water, aromatic bitters and orange bitters with ice to incorporate ingredients.
  2. Add ice to fill glass to top. Garnish with orange peel.

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Tequila Old Fashioned

  •             Ice
  • 2          ounces reposado tequila
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • grapefruit swath (narrow strip of peel) or wedge, for garnish
  1. In ice-filled mixing glass, stir tequila, Demerara syrup and aromatic bitters. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.
  2. Squeeze grapefruit swath over glass and insert into drink.

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Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned

  •  3          ounces, plus 1 splash, lemon-lime soda
  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 5          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, divided
  • 3          maraschino cherries
  • 1          orange slice, plus peel, for garnish
  • ice
  • 2          ounces brandy
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • skewered maraschino cherry, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, muddle splash of lemon-lime soda, sugar cube, 2 dashes aromatic bitters, cherries and orange slice.
  2. Add ice and brandy then fill with remaining lemon-lime soda. Add remaining aromatic bitters and orange bitters. Garnish with skewered cherry and orange peel.

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Rum Old Fashioned

  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 4          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2          dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash soda water
  • ice
  • 2          ounces Angostura 1919 Rum*
  • orange peel, for garnish
  1. Place sugar cube in rocks glass. Wet cube with aromatic bitters, orange bitters and soda water. Using muddler, crush sugar cube.
  2. Add ice, pour in rum and stir. Garnish by squeezing orange peel over glass.

*Distilled and bottled by Angostura Holdings, Port of Spain, Laventille, Trinidad. Imported by Terlato Wine and Spirits, Lake Bluff, IL. 40% Alc./Vol. © 2018

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned, Tequila Old Fashioned, Rum Old Fashioned)

Source: Angostura

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

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