Adapted from Death & Co Welcome Home

DIY Old-Fashioned Bar

The Old-Fashioned is a fantastically flexible cocktail formula, and one that is especially easy to serve at your next holiday gathering by setting up a DIY Old-Fashioned station, where your guests can choose their favorite spirit and explore different styles of bitters.

To set up your station, select a few aged spirits, such as single-malt scotch, bourbon, rye, cognac, apple brandy, or aged rum, along with a selection of bitters (Angostura and orange at least; more if you have then on hand). Make a batch of Demerara syrup ahead of time and serve it in a small bottle. Just before guests arrive, cut and trim citrus twists, then place them in a glass covered with a damp napkin; fill a tall glass with water and add a barspoon and a teaspoon; set out one single old-fashioned glass for each guest; fill an insulated bucket with large blocks of ice (be sure they fit into your glasses) along with tongs; and have a 2-ounce jigger handy. If you like, write out a notecard with instructions (see below).

1 teaspoon Demerara Syrup (see below)
2 dashes bitters
2 ounces preferred spirit(s)
Garnish: Lemon or orange twist

1. In an old-fashioned glass, add the Demerara Syrup.

2. Add the bitters.

3. Add the spirit. Feel free to split the base between two spirits: We like the combination of scotch and rye, aged rum and bourbon, and apple brandy and cognac with everything.

4. Using tongs, carefully add an ice block to the glass.

5. Stir until you can perceive a slight chill on the outside of the glass with the back of your hand.

6. Garnish with a citrus twist: lemon, orange, or both.

Demerara Syrup: Combine 2 parts demerara sugar and 1 part water in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 months.