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.
This feature was produced in collaboration between VOX Creative and Eater. The Eater editorial staff was not involved in the creation or production of this content.
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.