Prepare Now for Old Fashioned Week
by David Klemt
It may be nearly two months away but it’s not too early to register your bar and team for Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week.
This year’s event, the fourth annual Old Fashioned Week, will take place from Friday, October 13 to Sunday, October 22.
As was the case in 2022, the Southern Smoke Foundation will be this year’s beneficiary. In 2020 and 2021, Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week raised a combined $200,000 for the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.
Just last year, to add context, Old Fashioned Week helped make it possible for Southern Smoke to provide nearly $110,000 in relief grants to food and beverage workers.
Those interested in participating this year can register their venue for free via this link. Create an Old Fashioned LTO menu—or simply make standard Old Fashioneds with Elijah Craig bourbon—and Elijah Craig will donate $1 for every Old Fashioned sold (up to $100,000).
There really couldn’t be a simpler way to deliver a fantastic, classic cocktail experience to guests while supporting a great cause.
Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Cocktail Contest
There’s more to Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week. You and your bartenders have the opportunity to participate in a cocktail contest, too.
From now until October 31, anyone who wants to throw their hat in the ring can submit their recipe for their own signature Old Fashioned.
The winner of the Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Cocktail Contest will win $5,000. They’ll also have their winning recipe included in Elijah Craig’s 2024 cocktail recipe book.
Four unique takes on the Old Fashioned can be found below.
4 Day Weekend
Recipe by Stephanie Andrews
- 2 oz. Elijah Craig Bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Grilled Peach Gomme Syrup (see note)
- 4 dashes Lapsang Souchong Tea–Honey Mustard Bitters (see note)
- BBQ Spritz (see note)
- Grilled peach slice to garnish
- Lemon zest to garnish
Prepare an Old Fashioned glass with a large ice sphere or cube. Add ice and first three ingredients to mixing glass. Stir, then strain into prepared glass. Mist BBQ spritz over drink, then garnish.
Note for syrup: Prepare five ripe peaches, removing pits and slicing into pieces. Grill over high heat until peach pieces have grill marks. Dissolve two tablespoons gum arabic in one quart of water in saucepan, whisking constantly. When gum arabic has dissolved fully, add four cups sugar. Again, whisk until dissolved fully. Add peach pieces and steep overnight. Strain, discard peaches, and store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two months.
Note for bitters: Add 750ml of neutral grain spirit, two tablespoons Lapsang souchong tea leaves, and two tablespoons black tea leaves to a mason jar and shake vigorously. Next, add the peel of one lemon, one cinnamon stick, one teaspoon grains of paradise, and one tablespoon honey mustard to mason jar. Allow mixture to rest for one to two weeks, then strain into a bottle. Bitters may be stored for up to two months at room temperature.
Note for spritz: This recipe is a bit…different. Char eight high-quality beef hotdogs on a grill. Once charred, chop hotdogs into small pieces, place into a sous-vide bag with 750ml of Elijah Craig bourbon, and cook for two hours at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Strain and pout into an atomizer or mister. The spritz can be stored for up to two months at room temperature.
Recipe by Alec Bales
- 1.25 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
- 0.75 oz. St. Lucian Bounty dark rum
- 0.25 oz. Sorghum syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes Regans’ orange bitters
- Round of lemon peel to garnish
Stir all ingredients except for garnish in a rocks glass. Stir, add ice, then stir again. Express oils from lemon peel, then drop into glass to garnish.
A Swallow’s Leave
Recipe by Caer Maiko
- 2 oz. Butter chestnut–infused Elijah Craig bourbon (see note)
- 0.25 oz. Soy-caramel syrup (see note)
- 3 dashes Adzuki bean–Angostura bitters (see note)
- Coin-shaped orange peel to garnish
As with the recipe above, add all ingredients minus garnish to an Old Fashioned glass, add ice, and stir. Flame the orange peel, then drop into glass to garnish
Note for infusion: Melt a teaspoon of unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add eight shelled chestnuts to pan. Cook chestnuts until lightly charred and butter is lightly browned. Add a 750ml bottle of Elijah Craig bourbon and, while still warm, the contents of the saucepan to a mason jar. Leave jar in a freezer for eight hours, then fine strain back into original bottle.
Note for syrup: Simmer three ounces brown sugar, three ounces turbinado sugar, and a half-ounce soy sauce in six ounces of water in a saucepan over medium heat for ten minutes. Ensure all solids dissolve fully, then let cool and pour into appropriate container.
Note for bitters: Wash the syrup from a half-cup of canned adzuki beans. Place into a glass container with four ounces of Angostura bitters. Muddle, then cover container and leave for 12 to 24 hours before passing mixture through a strainer into another appropriate container.
Recipe by Jake Powell; makes 10 servings
- 15 oz. Elijah Craig bourbon
- 5 oz. Cold-brew concentrate
- 1.5 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
- 1.5 oz. Amaro Nonino
- 1.5 oz. Cinnamon-infused banana liqueur (preferably Tempus Fugit; see note)
- 0.25 oz. Orange bitters
- Optional: Pinch of salt
- Orange twist to garnish
Add all ingredients, minus garnish but including pinch of salt if you so choose, to a 750ml bottle. One serving is two ounces over a large ice sphere or cube in a rocks glass.
Note for infusion: Prepare a 750ml bottle of banana liqueur by adding three or four cinnamon sticks to it. Let sit for 24 hours at room temperature, then strain into either a separate 750ml bottle or into another container, then back into original bottle.
Image: Elijah Craig