For my birthday, Niles gave me (along with Ni No Kuni!!) a bottle of Four Roses bourbon (my favorite bourbon so far) and a little bottle of orange bitters. We’ve talked a lot about how much I love the old fashioneds at Longman & Eagle and Billy Sunday, and Stephen at Yusho was kind enough to make me a really delicious one for my birthday dinner. I’d tried a few times before to make my own version, and was disappointed and a little mystified at how difficult it was. There are three ingredients! It shouldn’t be that difficult! But it’s so much more than just putting a few things in a glass. I’ve been doing research, and experimenting with ratios, and I’m getting quite pleased with the outcomes.

Anyway! I hear Angostura bitters are supposed to be the best for this, but the orange bitters work quite nicely too. And I hear that working with simple syrup is easier than muddling sugar, but I kind of enjoy the ritual of patiently dissolving sugar at the start. You have to make sure the sugar’s completely dissolved before you add any alcohol, by the way, or you’ll have a harsh cocktail and a pile of gritty sugar on the bottom. Now I have to get back to the rest of the work I have to do, so I can get it over with and play some more Ni No Kuni. :)