Time for your Friday Old Fashioned. This time, it’s a honey rose old fashioned. For this cocktail, I’ve been dreaming of the warmer weather and the rose bushes that have just started to bud. But I’m also enjoying the cooler nights and entertaining thoughts of hot toddies and their honey goodness.
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WHAT’S IN AN OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL?
While I could talk about old fashioneds for hours, at its most basic, the old fashioned cocktail is a combination of whiskey, sugar (in some form) and bitters. I’ve written more about the history and composition of a basic old fashioned here, How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned. And it’s a fun cocktail to make variations of simply because each flavor element contributes so much to the cocktail.
Combining Honey and Rose in the Old Fashioned Cocktail
In this old fashioned, I use a rose tea-honey simple syrup to sweeten the old fashioned. To pair with that floral note from the rose, I used apple bitters which are bright, but have a flair of the bitter around them. They’re not strong in adding a lot of direct apple flavor to the cocktail, but they do add more brightness and lightness to the cocktail.
To make the rose-honey simple, I made a rose tea and while it was warm, added it to honey, just as you would make a normal honey syrup. I’d had dried rose-buds left over from a dry vermouth infusion last year, and since rose buds keep so well, I still have plenty of left for infusions and teas.
I wanted to round out the garnish with something traditional, so I used a long peel of orange to make an orange rose and dropped a couple of the more intact rose buds inside. With each sip you get the aroma of orange peel and rose as you bring the glass toward your mouth.
It’s a simple cocktail, and the rose-honey simple will combine well with sours – whiskey or gin, added to highballs and spritzes and will brighten up any champagne cocktail you have for brunch. Just try adding it to your next mimosa. You can thank me in the comments.
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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:
Honey Rose Old Fashioned
- 0.75 oz Rose-Honey simple syrup See note below
- 2 oz bourbon I used New Riff Bottled in Bond Bourbon
- 2 dashes Bar Keep apple bitters
- Garnish: long orange peel rolled into an orange rose and a few dried rose buds
- In a mixing glass, combine rose-honey simple, bourbon and bitters. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with large cubes of ice. Garnish with the orange rose and rose buds.