What’s the best cocktail in the world? Mint Julep? Manhattan? Cosmopolitan? If it’s anything other than an Old Fashioned, you’re in the minority!
Drinks International has published a list of the top best selling cocktails of 2020 and the whiskey delicacy has come up trumps.
It beat out fellow favourites Dry Martini, Negroni and Espresso Martini.
DrinksInt wrote: “King of the cocktails is the Old Fashioned — and that’s six years straight this vanguard drink of the classic cocktail revival has topped our poll. The Old Fashioned shows no sign of waning — indeed, this American whiskey classic is picking up pace, says our poll. Almost 35% of bars said it was their top selling classic. Make it with bourbon, or rye as they probably did way back when.”
The Old Fashioned started out as a humble whiskey cocktail back in 1806, as a popular beverage morning beverage used to cure ailments such as headaches and nausea. AKA hangovers.
The simple mix of sugar, bitters, whiskey and ice, with a lemon garnish, was quick and easy to make, but it underwent quite a few transformations over the years thanks to experimentation, meaning people could be getting served a different blend of the drink every order.
Revellers soon got fed up of the changes and requested that the Whiskey Cocktail was made in the old-fashioned way.
The drink almost fell out of circulation during prohibition, although a variation was mentioned in Jerry Thomas’ Bartender Guide: How to Mix Drinks.
Credit for the modern version of the drink seems to have been given to a whiskey bartender called James E Pepper in 1880, who created it in a private social club in Kentucky called the Pendennis. Pepper then took the drink with him to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel bar in New York and its popularity began to grow from there.
I’ll drink to that!