old-fashionedAround the turn of the twenty-first century, cocktail enthusiasts brought the Old-Fashioned, the classic cocktail with a history dating back to the early 1800s, from obscurity into prominence. An Old-Fashioned is typically mixed with whiskey or bourbon, along with sugar, a dash of bitters (an alcohol flavoring derived from seeds, spices, flowers, or other plants), and garnished with a lemon peel or cherry. Despite its recent popularity, the Old-Fashioned has not always enjoyed a venerable place as an essential cocktail.

The Old-Fashioned was simply known as the whiskey cocktail back before the American Civil War. Cocktails were morning drinks consumed at breakfast and contained a heavier dose of bitters, which at the time was used for medicinal purposes rather than as a flavoring. In the 1870s, bartenders began experimenting with new additives and some cocktail drinkers called for a return to “the old-fashioned” whiskey cocktail. The name stuck, and after the moniker’s first print appearance in the New York Times in 1886, the whiskey cocktail was thereafter called the “the Old-Fashioned.”

The drink’s peak of popularity lasted into the early years of the 20th century, but like every other alcoholic beverage during the 1920s Prohibition era, the Old-Fashioned fell into disuse. Although many people continued making and drinking alcohol in secret, the ban on alcohol production severely hurt liquor quality. The liquor quality was often so bad that people started mixing in more sugar, fruit juices, and muddled fruit in with the alcohol to mask the bad flavor. Once Prohibition ended however, the practice of mixing in loads of sugar and muddled fruit in with cocktails like the Old-Fashioned lingered on. When cocktail drinkers took a renewed interest in the Old-Fashioned in the first years of the 21st century, they prepared the drink in the more traditional manner with only a little sugar and a simple fruit garnish.

Use Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses to find a good bar to enjoy an Old-Fashioned at. RLP’s directory has listings for thousands of businesses and services throughout the United States, from restaurants and bars to auto repair shops and veterinarians. Search for businesses by visiting the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com. Enter your location and browse listings by using the search box on the main page, or choose from the popular categories list. Each listing will show the address and phone number of the business.