It’s not too late to celebrate Old Fashioned month in style this year, with some of London’s top bars offering their own unique spins on the classic cocktail.
Woodford Reserve is running its first ever bourbon whiskey bar hop at five different locations, with participating venues including the Gong Bar at the Shangri-La, The Corinthia, Brunswick House, Swift and Nightjar.
Working closely with each resident mixologist, all month guests can experience a unique version of the Old Fashioned as well as Woodford Reserve’s own bespoke Old Fashioned.
The booze will be accompanied by Woodford Reserve Jazz Nights and bar takeovers to keep things fresh.
At the Gong Bar at the Shangri-La, head mixologist Panos Ntalianas has created his own luxury serve named Cotswolds Hills, priced at £25, which combines Woodford Reserve Double Oak, Raspberry Eau De Vie, Pimento Dram, Roots Dictamo, Cocoa butter and bitters. This cocktail has been inspired by the Cotswolds, famous for its typically English landscape of green rolling hills, stone walls, woodland and charming little towns and villages.
At Nightjar, bartender Omar Caimi has crafted the Winter Remedy cocktail, priced at £14, combining Woodford Reserve washed in wild berry butter, mulled wine and ginger bitters, for a rich and spiced cocktail delight. The inspiration comes from the winter atmosphere around Christmas time and the festive spices used, including ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
Swift Bar venue manager Rachel Reid has named their cocktail Ripley – a rich, smooth and luscious serve combining Woodford Reserve, cacao butter, fig and honey, priced at £14. The flavours work in unison with the bourbon’s rich caramel and vanilla notes, alongside the natural sweetness and earthiness of fig. Cacao butter adds a velvety texture and rich notes of chocolate that harmonises with the bourbon’s oak-aged qualities.
At Brunswick House, bar manager Hannah Tyce has created the Butter-washed Fig Old Fashioned, priced at £13. With the changing of the seasons, the bar presents a warming, comforting Old Fashioned variation. Using a butter-wash for the soft, luscious mouthfeel, fig syrup from dried figs for the rich honey-like texture and sweetness, combined with Woodford Reserve bourbon. These elements complement the existing sweet, earthy and spicy notes present in the whisky.
Finally, Alessandro Albano, bartender at The Corinthia, has developed a unique Plum Old Fashioned to celebrate Old Fashioned Month, priced at £20. Inspired by the festive season approaching, plums are a quintessentially English fruit used in many Christmas recipes the cocktail combines Woodford Reserve’s bourbon, with a homemade spicy plum shrub, blending the sweet notes of with spices and a slight tartness of the wine vinegar.
Originating in Paris in 2015, Woodford Reserve’s Old Fashioned Month has now become an annual, global celebration for bartenders, bourbon-lovers and drinks enthusiasts.
Throughout the month, Woodford Reserve is also hosting a series of events, tasting sessions and masterclasses in venues across London, including jazz nights every Tuesday throughout November from at 7:30pm Brunswick House.
Make your own
Here’s the recipe for the amazing Winter Remedy, available all month at Nightjar
Serve: Winter Remedy
- 50ml Woodford washed in wild berry butter
- 10ml Nightjar Mulled Wine Syrup
- 3 dashes of Ginger Bitter
- Garnish: Crystallised Ginger, red currant
Woodford Washed in Wild Berry Butter process:
- 200 ml Woodford reserve
- 30g butter
- 30g fresh currant
- 2g wild berry Tea
- Melt the butter in a deep pan and add the currant and the measure of tea, when the berries are starting to be fluffy put everything inside the measure of Woodford reserve put it in the fridge for a night and strain with coffee filters
Mulled Wine Syrup:
- Boil one bottle of Wine and add 2 nutmeg mace and 2 black cardamoms 5 cloves 20 g of vanilla paste 3 tangerine zest after that strain and add the quantitative of sugar
- Syrup should be 2:1 (two parts of sugar to one of wine)
- Nice stir and strain over the ice block
The inspiration comes from the winter vibes in the air, especially around Christmas when we smell spices like nutmeg ginger clove etc….I love to mix it with Woodford Reserve and in this case, we combine that with winter berries butter (fatwas) to give a gentle fat note and some acidity from the berries. .as a sweet agent, there is our mulled wine syrup, rich and spice. Last but not least few drops of ginger bitter to give extra spice.