Fruit garnish or fruit salad?
Those are the two Old Fashioned schools of thought.
My first Old Fashioned was of the pulverized fruit salad variety, with orange slices, cherries and sugar cubes muddled flat into the bottom of the glass. Since then, I’ve enjoyed a few of the “minimalist” variety, with just a hint of citrus and sweetness. My preference lies somewhere in between the two.
But I have a thing for bourbon-soaked cherries.
Rather than muddling the fruit, I used orange and lemon peels as Miles suggests. Then I added a couple of cherries without, well, squishing them. Finally, I stirred in a couple of drops of syrup from the cherry jar.
2 1/2 oz. bourbon
2 dashes Angusturo bitters
1 dash Regan’s Orange bitters
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
1 tsp simple syrup
1 orange peel
1 lemon peel
2 cherries (recommendation: Luxardo)
Fill a mixing glass and an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Add the bourbon, bitters and simple syrup to the mixing glass and stir (add a couple of drops of syrup from the cherry jar, too, if you like). Drop a couple of cherries into the Old Fashioned glass.
Strain the mixture into the Old Fashioned glass. Rub the lip of the glass with the lemon and orange peels, then squeeze them over the surface of the cocktail and drop them into the glass.