Recreate Aysis Plet's winning Old Fashioned

Words by Aysis Plet & Timo Janse

Photography by Tom Brown

Recreate Aysis Plet's winning Old Fashioned image 1

The Old Fashioned is quite the essential drink for many bars and bartenders. Perhaps created as THE classic cocktail, this combination of bitters, spirit, water and sugar continues to baffle and inspire. Recently Aysis Plet won the Rebel Yell "i call you old fashioned" competition. Curious with what? Read on....

Blend til perfection

I blended a bit of rye and bourbon together to have a mixture of a grainy bite and corny sweetness(hehe). For smoked peach syrup used the Josper grill (with some help from my chef) at work to smoke the peaches over wood.
I smoked the peaches until they were blackened.
Weigh the peaches and put them in a vacuumbag, add an equal amount of sugar, seal and leave at roomtemperature for a day. Strain and bottle.

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Bitter it up

For the bitters I toasted hazelnuts and added those with some vanilla extract to a measured amount of Moondog Latin bitters by bittered sling, and put those in a sous vide on a steady temperature for about an hour. And there you have some latin spiced, nutty and sweet bitters!

The thought

My inspiration for this cocktail is purely focused on anything Southern/Kentucky(food wise and culture wise). The Southern dietary habits consist of a lot of stone fruit use in desserts and pie’s for instance. They use a lot of nuts, and also love themselves a good BBQ. Hence the use of the smoked peaches.

The finishing touch

I’m a big fan of classic garnishes when it comes to Old-fashioned’s, but felt like I wanted to do something extra special, so I made my own cocktail cherries.
Purposely leaving out the word “Maraschino”, because I did not use the same strain of cherries that should be used when making those.
I bought some ‘ordinary’ cherries, boiled and reduced them with Maraschino liqueur, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and a little bit of Disaronno Amaretto.

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The side

As a last part I wanted to add something extra so I made a traditional Kentucky dessert to go with my drink. You basically mix together a certain amount of chopped pecan’s, vanilla wafers, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, maple syrup(or corn syrup) and of course bourbon! In this case Rebel Yell Bourbon. You roll them into balls and you can ‘age’ them up until 2 weeks in a cool and dry place, so the flavors really intensify!
I aged them for about a week.

The Result

“A Gentle Touch Between A Peach And A Nut..”

35 ml Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye
25 ml Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve Bourbon
10 ml Smoked Peach Syrup
3 dashes Moondog latin bitters(Bittered Sling) infused with toasted hazelnuts and vanilla extract

Homemade cocktail-cherry

Kentucky Bourbon Ball

Stir ingredients down in mixing glass, strain and serve over ice.

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