- Eakin begins by stirring the ice around in his serving glass until it is clear. He uses ice from Cold Standard, the Dallas bespoke ice company founded by Eakin's friend and star mixologist in his own right Máté Hartai. The ice, whi
- In a separate mixing beaker, Eakin adds two parts Knob Creek® Bourbon.
- Eakin's goal with his version of the Old Fashioned is to highlight the qualities of the Knob Creek® Bourbon through creating just the right balance of sweeteners and bitters.
- For his bitters, Eakin adds 8-10 drops of a tobacco version that his friend makes in Seattle. The bitters, made with sweet leaf tobacco, gives the drink a warm, southern feel that complements the oak in the Knob Creek® Bourbon.
- He adds 1/4 part, about a bar spoon, of house-made cinnamon syrup. The sweet syrup, which is meant to balance out the bitters, is made from equal parts cinnamon stick and sugar.
- Eakin stirs the mixture for about 40 revolutions. According to Eakin, this is the perfect amount for a proper cocktail.
- Before pouring the beverage into the glass, he empties the water accumulated in the ice glass.
- Using a bar strainer, he strains the cocktail over the tempered ice.
- To get the citrus oils in the drink, he squeezes the oil from an orange peel over the drink.
- To bring home the warm, home-baked feel of the drink, he inserts four cloves into the orange peel to create a drink topper.
- With this flag of sorts, Eakin is able to deliver the citrus and baking flavor directly to his customer's nose.
At his first bartending job, Eddie Eakin, now Boulevardier's bar manager, remembers making an Old Fashioned straight from the chain restaurant's training manual. He recalls that it called for a lot of muddled fruit and a bunch of soda. But after moving on from his first job and spending time in the Dallas bar scene, he went through a rigorous cocktail lesson. He spent hours learning how to make different versions of the Old Fashioned, the perfect training for fine cocktail mixology.
Eakin notes that, in his experience, it takes a knowledgeable barkeep who can balance out the Old Fashioned's ingredients to make the drink incredible. For his take on the cocktail—called Sweater Weather—Eakin calls on a couple of friends to make handcrafted ingredients for him, including tobacco bitters and some very cool looking ice, that help bring balance to the bold flavor of the Knob Creek® Bourbon.
There are plenty of other Dallas bars with extraordinary bartenders that are mixing up quality, balanced takes on the Old Fashioned. At the Dram, they stick with the most simple version of the cocktail: Knob Creek® Bourbon, bitters, simple syrup, and a hand-cut ice cube. Bonnie Wilson at The Ranch at Las Colinas takes a different route, making her Ancho Mama's Old Fashioned with Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey, Ancho Reyes liqueur, and beef jerky as her garnish. If you head to Barter, Rocco Milano will make you an Old Fashioned with Abbot's bittersbecause they carry depth that can balance out the Knob Creek® Rye Whiskeyand sweet vermouth.
With a knowledgeable bartender, a strong, bold base spirit like Knob Creek® Bourbon, and the right balance of ingredients, you've got yourself an Immortal Old Fashioned.
Knob Creek® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission. Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with natural flavors and Straight Rye Whiskey, 45-60% Alc./Vol. ©2014 Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.