In thinking of Mad Men, or at least what I recently said about Mad Men a week or so back, it really was not good for one thing - now I crave an Old Fashioned like no one's business. And yet here I am at work - not able to partake in the fine drink of gentlemen. Part of me feels like it would make me more productive, yet management deems it unfit for me and disagrees with that assessment.
I do want to make one thing clear - enjoying an Old Fashioned made with proper maraschino cherry does not make you a bad person. In fact, it's perfectly fine... to some degree. You have to crush that sucker up and place it on top as fanciful garnish. In my opinion, a cherry should only be a garnish and nothing more.
Then again, drink whatever the fuck you want. However the fuck you want to. Some purist may give you a hard time about it, but why let others control what you actually enjoy? There's nothing you can do to please everyone so why bother. This advice should be followed..... to a point.
You see, there's some people who enjoy an Old Fashioned with other items like Brandy, as found in this Jeffrey Morgenthaler Brandy Old Fashioned recipe and while the classic is made with Burbon (or whiskey), there's some variations that use other spirits. Another example is a Vodka Old Fashioned..
That's were I cross the line and say what the fuck is the point of that? I really don't know, nor do I even want to find out. Vodka is a neutral spirit, as I've explained before, so it being in an Old Fashioned seems pretty pointless.
Let's just talk about traditional and off the wall for a second. Traditionally, they are bourbon and I do recall that Canadian Whisky is often used in a pinch. If you make it with Scotch than it becomes a Scotch Old Fashioned. It's best to just make them with your utility whiskey that is generally something cheap that you're not ruining by throwing sugar and bitters in it. Tennessee whiskey, bottom shelf bourbon or a blended whiskey is good for this purpose.
This is also the ORIGINAL cocktail. The one that started it all. So with that history behind there, what's there not to like about an Old Fashioned? Most of all, they're not really fussy, and the sugar and bitters makes a good drink of an inferior whiskey, and often cheaper than a measure of the high end scotch on the bar. Similarly, drinking at home, they don't require you to keep much on hand as far as other mixers go, and sometimes you really don't want to drink a good single malt. Sometimes you just want a drink, and don't want to break out the good sippin' whisky.
So when the notion of a vodka old fashioned comes up, what's the point when you're trying to mask bad whisky with this drink? Why not just throw coke into cheap vodka and be done with it? Chances are your vodka Old Fashioned is just going to taste primarily of whatever bitters you ended up using.