Look, I love whiskey. I like to think it’s in my blood and it somehow ties me to my Scottish ancestors. But really, at the end of the day, I just want a stiff drink. And I’m a neat gal – I don’t even add a drop of water or those novelty ice rocks. So when I was dared to make a festive whiskey cocktail I wasn’t 100% sold.
For starters, I’d never even made a cocktail before. Until this point, my idea of a fancy drink was my Aunty Mary’s Christmas punch (made with Passion Pop, I’ve since found out). Or occasionally at home I might do a humble gin and tropical juice, if the mood strikes me. No measuring, of course.
I always thought cocktails were an expense reserved for OTT nights out celebrating some grand achievement. All that muddling and mixing seemed like an awful lot of work when I could just pour myself a glass of wine. But one man changed all that for me: Stanley Tucci. The greatest gift this dumpster fire year has given us is Stanley Tucci’s home videos teaching us all how to make classic cocktails.
He makes it seem like a class act – and he’s made it a 5pm ritual every, single day. Now that is a daily routine I could get behind. So, in the spirit(s) of Stanley, here goes my attempt at a Thanksgiving Old Fashioned. Yes, a festive whiskey cocktail. ’Tis the season and all.
8mL chai tea syrup
3 dashes of old fashioned bitters
Pour the whiskey, chai tea syrup and bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir to dilute it a little. Then strain it into a whiskey glass with a large ice cube (the big ol’ ice spheres are great here because they take ages to melt). Top it off with a garnish of cinnamon, but torch one end first to bring out the flavour (I used my gas stove top because I don’t have one of those lil’ brûlée burners). And tah-dah!
It’s so easy I made myself two on a Saturday night at home for no other reason than it was a Saturday night. Hot tip: fancy glasses definitely lift the mood. There’s something about swirling a drink in a crystal glass that makes you instantly feel classy. Like you could hang out with Stanley Tucci for real.