Extra-Orange Old Fashioned

Oleo Saccharum Old Fashioned
Oleo Saccharum Old FashionedMatt Taylor-Gross

The Old Fashioned (in its classic form, a stirred whiskey cocktail with sugar, bitters, and a twist) is a drink whose garnish is critical, relying on the subtle lift of orange oils to balance the strong spirit. But what if you want to up the orange? A proper Old Fashioned would become diluted and unappealing with juice, or with muddled fruit (if you see a bartender muddling up an orange slice and maraschino cherry for your drink, you have our permission to walk away). But using an oleo saccharum as the sweetener brings in even more of those orange oils, for a drink where the citrus flavors are bright and powerful, without any juice to compromise the drink’s strength and clarity.

Extra Orange Old Fashioned
Oleo saccharum sweetens this riff on the classic whisky cocktail, amplifying the citrus punch without clouding the drink with unnecessary juice.
Yield: makes one cocktail
Time: 5 minutes

For the Oleo Saccharum (makes about 12 oz.)

  • 4 oranges
  • 1 cup sugar

For the Cocktail

  • 2 oz. rye, preferably Rittenhouse
  • 12 oz. oleo saccharum
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Lemon and orange peels, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the oleo saccharum: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the oranges. In a medium bowl, toss the zest with the sugar, cover, and let stand for 4 to 12 hours. Pour 12 cup boiling water into the bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the oleo saccharum through a fine sieve into a jar and discard the orange zest.
  2. Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the rye, oleo saccharum, and bitters. Stir, then strain into a chilled rocks glass with 1 large ice cube. Garnish with the lemon and orange peels to serve.