In the world of classic cocktails, few libations evoke the same sense of timeless sophistication as the Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned. This meticulously crafted drink, often considered the epitome of a well-balanced cocktail, seamlessly weaves together a rich history, a refined preparation process, and a complex flavor profile that tantalizes the taste buds.
A Glimpse into the Past
Before we delve into the enchanting world of the Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned, let’s take a moment to appreciate the history of the cocktail itself. The Old Fashioned is a cocktail with roots dating back to the early 19th century. Its simple yet elegant composition comprises a blend of whiskey, sugar, bitters, and a twist of citrus. This venerable drink’s moniker, “Old Fashioned,” is a testament to its timeless appeal.
The Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned, however, is more than just an ode to tradition; it’s a contemporary reinterpretation that elevates the classic cocktail to new heights.
The Distinctive Whiskey
At the heart of this exceptional concoction is the choice of whiskey. While the classic Old Fashioned typically uses bourbon, the Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned brings a unique twist. This modern variant selects the George T. Stagg Bourbon, a brand known for its high proof and robust flavors.
The George T. Stagg Bourbon’s high alcohol content, often well above 60% ABV, imparts a bold and intense character to the cocktail. The strong, spicy, and slightly sweet notes of this whiskey harmonize beautifully with the other components of the drink.
The Art of Balance
One of the defining characteristics of the Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned is the precision applied to create a harmonious balance. Each ingredient is measured with meticulous care, and the mixing process is an art form in itself. Here’s a breakdown of the elements that contribute to this symphony of flavors:
1. Sugar Cube or Simple Syrup
While the classic Old Fashioned opts for a sugar cube, the Handy and Schiller version often uses simple syrup. This choice is made to ensure that the sugar seamlessly integrates into the cocktail, eliminating any grittiness that can occasionally occur when using a sugar cube.
Bitters play a pivotal role in shaping the Old Fashioned’s profile. The Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned typically employs aromatic bitters, adding depth and complexity to the drink. Just a few dashes of bitters can transform the whiskey, imbuing it with an array of herbal, spicy, and citrusy notes.
The ice used in this cocktail is no mere afterthought. Carefully chosen and meticulously handled, the ice helps to chill the drink without overly diluting it. In many cases, large, clear ice cubes are favored, as they melt more slowly, allowing the drinker to savor the flavors.
4. Citrus Zest
A citrus twist, usually crafted from an orange or lemon peel, introduces a vibrant and aromatic element to the drink. The essential oils released from the zest as it is expressed over the cocktail’s surface add a fragrant and inviting dimension.
5. Dilution Control
Mastering dilution is crucial to crafting the perfect Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned. This control ensures that the drink’s strength remains consistent throughout the sipping experience. It’s a fine line, but the result is a cocktail that maintains its allure from the first sip to the last drop.
The Allure of the Serve
Presentation is another facet where the Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned stands apart. A meticulously cut citrus twist elegantly adorns the drink’s surface, hinting at the delightful flavors that await. The use of clear, high-quality glassware showcases the cocktail’s captivating amber hue. The attention to detail, even in the presentation, reflects the commitment to providing an exceptional drinking experience.
The Ritual of Enjoyment
Sipping a Handy and Schiller Old Fashioned is not merely an act of consumption; it’s a ritual, a moment of indulgence and reflection. As the glass is raised to the lips, the senses are awakened. The aroma of the citrus zest greets the nose, the initial sip is a symphony of flavors, and the lingering finish leaves a trace of warmth.
Every element is designed to transport the drinker to a place of refinement and nostalgia, evoking an era when craftsmanship was revered and elegance was the order of the day.
The Legacy of Handy and Schiller
The name “Handy and Schiller” is not just a label; it’s a symbol of excellence in the world of cocktails. It represents a commitment to the highest standards of craftsmanship and an unwavering dedication to quality. The legacy of Handy and Schiller extends far beyond this cocktail; it embodies the spirit