Celebrating Old Fashioned Week with Woodford Reserve
I'm not much of a whiskey drinker. Truth be told, I've never felt like I had the knowledge to fully enjoy and understand the complexity behind such a renowned tipple.
That's why I accepted the challenge of joining Woodford Reserve in their bar tour to celebrate Old Fashioned Week.
Running from the 1st November until the 10th November, this celebration about all things Old Fashioned will see many events across the UK coming to life for drink enthusiasts and cocktail aficionados and Woodford Reserve couldn't not take part in it.
285 bars from London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff have partnered up with the Kentucky’s oldest operating distillery to showcase the importance of flavour in such a famous classic in the cocktail scene.
Woodford Reserve's 5 key flavour profiles (grain, wood, sweet aromatics, fruit and floral & spice) will be the protagonists of this year's edition and they will be brought to life in some of London's best bars.
The original cocktail, which seemed to be invented back in the 19th century and first served in the renowned Waldorf-Astoria in NYC, was nothing more than small lump of sugar crushed with little water, a lump of ice, two dashes of Angostura bitters and bourbon gently stirred in a whiskey glass. Over the centuries the recipe has obviously seen alterations into more modern tastes but its core remained.
It was the bartenders' task to give a new twist to their Old Fashioned recipes that really highlighted the different key flavour profiles.
I was lucky enough to have a sneak-peek (or taste rather) of what will be serve to lucky Londoners over the next 9 days.
We started the evening at London Cocktail Club were we did a tasting session of Woodford Reserve to truly recognise all the different notes in preparations for the cocktails we were about to taste.
It was the first time I actually stopped and savoured the complexity and perfect balance of the flavours behind it.
We then tried some Cherry Bombs and proceeded to the next bar.
We headed to Home Boy, a modern and homey 'Irish Pub' with an incredible choice of cocktails and beers, to try their 'Orchard Old Fashioned'. Definitely my favourite from the night, with the floral and fruity notes truly accentuated by the Orchard Syrup, a natural Irish fruit sweetener used to infuse the cocktail.
Our last (but not least) stop was the minimalistic Three Sheets, an intimate and compact speakeasy in the heart of Dalston, where we were served 'Whisk + Milk'. This nutty flavoured alternative offers a very modern twist on the centenary (yet increasingly popular in the mixology scene) technique of cocktail clarification.
The process removes most of the colour and cloudiness from the drink, preserving the cocktail from flavour spoilage for months if kept cool and, in this case, it truly helps amplifying the woody notes that are already present in the Bourbon.
Three Sheets is where our evening concluded but there is so much more you can explore in the next few days!
Soho institution Swift will be serving up a sweet take on an Old Fashioned called the ‘Timber’, inspired by sweet aromatic flavour notes. Murder Inc’s will instead serve a grain influenced, ‘Oryzae Does It Mate!’. Spice lovers can head down to Discount Suit Company where they can experience a ‘Fast and Loose’ in the heart of the City.
Will you be joining the celebrations?
For more info on events happening in London for Old Fashion Week, please visit: https://old-fashioned-week.com/
Please drink responsibly.