Swap Bourbon With White Whiskey For A Refreshing Take On An Old Fashioned

The iconic old fashioned was the first cocktail that appeared in print in 1806 — and became a template for mixology to come. Its combination of rye or bourbon, along with sugar and bitters yields the perfectly balanced sipper. Plus, it's an excellent starting point for variations: Swapping out the base spirit yields some delicious results. So why not turn to a more refreshing spin-off — yet one that still adheres to a whiskey palate — by incorporating a white version of the booze.

White whiskey is made of the same ingredients as regular whisky, yet it barely spends any time in the barrel (as little as a few seconds, just long enough so that it can be called whiskey). It's actually the barrel that gives whiskey its golden color; the alcohol is clear when it first goes in. The resultant white whiskey flavors vary, depending on the distillation grain, but can range from a robust, alcoholic spirit to something a little more fruity. With a thoughtful liquor selection, it can yield a delicious old-fashioned cocktail that doesn't lose its hint of whiskey. Simply pair with complementing bitters to enjoy such a riff. Let's dive into how it comes together.

Utilize white whiskey for an easy-drinking old fashioned

The most prominent component in the swap is the whiskey, so it's best to utilize a reputable rendition of the style. A popular option is Death Door's take on the liqour, the distillery crafts a white whiskey with a mild spice, bread-like character, and just a tinge of sweetness. However, many small-batch distilleries are producing white whiskey, and it could be fun to sample a few. Whichever white whiskey you choose, simply shake it with a bit of simple syrup to showcase the opaque liquor's quality.

From there, it's all about infusing with bitters and fruits. To complement the drink's lighter character, citrus is a tasty addition — especially the slightly bitter character of grapefruit. Incorporate it through the use of grapefruit bitters, or simply garnish with a grapefruit wedge or rind. You could add a maraschino cherry, too, infusing extra flavor by either reaching for the always-flavorful Luxardo brand, or a cherry soaked in brandy for a more spirited twist. Serve your drink in a clear glass for the eye-catching visual effect, and enjoy. It may go down a bit easier than regular whisky and will still pack in complex flavor, plus white whiskey is always a good talking point.