You may have noticed that my characters in Bohemia Beach drink very well. I have an interest in craft cocktails, and part of the joy in creating my setting was filling it with great bars and restaurants where the drinks are actually good (a rarity in many places). What makes a great cocktail? Balance, for one thing. It shouldn’t be too sweet. Use good, fresh ingredients, including fresh-squeezed juices and quality liquors. Avoid chemically flavored booze – flavored vodka won’t be found in our home bar unless someone gives it to us. And technique is good to learn, too (when to shake and when to stir), though it won’t necessarily make or break a drink.

One of Calista Goode’s favorites (Cali stars in Bohemia Light) is the Old-Fashioned. This is a wonderful whiskey-forward drink with a dash of sweetness that makes it pleasing (and strong). It’s a fallacy that all craft cocktails are hard to make and involve ten ingredients, though that’s true of some of my favorite tiki drinks. This one is a simple classic. Here’s how you make it.


old-fashioned620Sugar cube (or loose sugar)
2-3 drops Angostura bitters
Splash of water or club soda
2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
Cherry and/or orange slice for garnish

Drop a sugar cube (or a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass. Saturate it with 2 or 3 drops of Angostura bitters and add a splash of water or club soda. Muddle (with a wooden muddler, a spoon or whatever tool you have) until the sugar is dissolved. Add one extra-large ice cube (or a few smaller ones), along with 2 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey. If desired, garnish with a cherry and/or an orange slice.

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