Words by: Paloma Alos
Want to create your very own Old Fashioned inspired bitters, experience London's creative co-working space for the flavour industry, and visit some of the best bars on the planet? The Old Fashioned Tour, from the folks at Woodford Reserve, is pleased to deliver.
The Old Fashioned Tour is, of course, named after the original classic. Born in the US and first commonly known as the Whiskey Cocktail it is a drink traditionally made with American rye or bourbon whiskey. For afficionados of the Old Fashioned you may want to delve deeper into its history and recipes with this article written by Robert Simonson and Simon Difford.
It’s a drink close to the hearts of Woodford Reserve, so much so that they regularly invite bartenders from around the UK to join them in London for a day of Old Fashioned education and fun. Starting off at Crucible, the creative hub founded by Stu Bale and used by a community of chefs, cosmetic chemists and bartenders among others, the day kicks off with an introduction to the Old Fashioned from UK Brand Ambassador Nate Booker, before everyone is let loose to create their own bitters.
Each bartender is firstly given a pairing of Woodford with Angostura as the base to provide the main bitterness. Then, as Stu explains the session is built around the way in which perfumers work. "We made a selection of different base notes, different mid notes and different top notes, so the bartenders have quite a lot to choose from. Then the bartenders can construct their own palate depending on what flavours they get from Woodford and what direction they want to take their own bitters in.
The way we’ve constructed the session means you can get hands on and quite instant results. It’s an interesting way for people to explore the different flavours. I hope that after a session like this people will be inspired to make their own bitters - that they would have confidence to do it again."
As our video shows, the combinations in play are numerous, giving plenty of opportunity to put into practice flavour and balance skills.
Old Fashioned cocktail bitters in hand, the evening bar tour takes in some of London's most creative bars and cocktails. Old Fashioneds all round!
It really is an enjoyable way to spend a day and evening. And we hear the Woodford swag is excellent too.
The Woodford Reserve team are planning more Old Fashioned Tours during 2019. To register your interest please email Nate Booker, UK Woodford Reserve ambassador.
To see what Woodford Reserve are serving up as part of Old Fashioned Week check out this selection of highlights.