It’s that time of year when the world falls in love . . . with texture: the velvety smoothness of cashmere, the cashmere-y richness of velvet, the rich itch of warm wool, fuzzy and impractical throws . . . really anything I can layer upon my body to keep my fingers from snapping off with cold. I don’t care if the textures match or are technically in season (“Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.”)—I want them all, and I want them now. And not just textiles. Throw in a goose who lays a golden, soft-boiled egg, and you’ve got yourself a Veruca Salt-ed rim ramen. And what about Santa-grias or mulled wines or smoky drinks? Let’s live it up, y’all!
In fact, let’s live it straight up . . . or on the rocks, as shown here, with a bourbon spiced (quite literally) up with a seasonal simple syrup.
You know that old adage, “He’s never met a ______ he didn’t like?” Well, I can swing a bag of cats and hit 10 craft-cocktail bars serving Old Fashioneds that I drink to stay warm and NOT because I like them. For a classic cocktail with tradition built right into the name, mixologists sure do love to overcomplicate the recipe—in fact, if your Old Fashioned is smoked under a bell jar, you should just call it something else (like the New Fangled or Sylvia Plath’s Cigarette. Yeah. Those two are free). Ours is a familiar take, so we can’t assume credit for that; however, we’ve adjusted it enough to honor another old adage about making new friends, keeping the old, one is silver, I think that one’s gold, blah blah frickin’ blah.
The simple syrup featured here would be delicious in hot or iced coffee, hot chocolate, or hot tea. Add it to your tang, and let me know how it goes. I’m into it. But first, make this classic cocktail with good bourbon (thanks, Ina), and reserve the rest for your morning coffee tomorrow.
Which you could also spike if it’s the weekend, or you have a problem.
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. water
- 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 clove
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cool completely before serving/storing. Will keep for up to one month stored in the refrigerator.