An orange, a vanilla bean, and an old friend walk into a bar..
And they lived happily ever after.
Okay, okay… I’ll share a few more details with you, so you can make this boozy beauty for yourself!
A regular Old Fashioned is a very classic cocktail that comes with very strict rules. Everybody and their uncle has a specific way to make it. But- it’s actually very simple, and my Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned has a tasty twist to it! You’ll be sip-sipping away in no time at all!
One orange. The zest on the left is made using a citrus zester like this one. You’ll use the channel knife little do-hickey to peel yourself a nice long garnish to curl up. The zest on the right is cut with a regular old vegetable peeler.
Peel yourself some good,thick pieces here- we want to retain that vibrant, citrus-y orange oil. We’ll be muddling it into our vanilla bean old fashioned!
A one-inch piece of vanilla bean. Its a bit of a splurge, I bought mine in my grocery store’s spice aisle. But you’ll only need a small piece of it, and can save the rest for a yummy treat later – or another few of these drinks!
You’ll prepare your vanilla bean by first cutting your piece to work with. Then, score it down the middle, length-wise. You’ll want to peel it open like a book. A warm, comforting, cozy book that just makes every. damn. thing it touches taste like a million bucks.
Once you open that baby up, you’ll see the little black specks that are so familiar in vanilla bean ice cream. Those are the vanilla bean pods. Teeny, tiny specks that pack a punch of flavor!
Hello again, my bitter friend. We’ll be using a few drops of this aromatic orange tincture to help muddle up and break down our vanilla bean and orange zest.
Lastly, you’ll need some simple syrup. Or a sugar cube. I used my simple syrup from my blackberry whiskey buck, minus the blackberries. You just need a teaspoon of the stuff. Real quick: one part sugar + one part water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and take off heat as soon as it starts boiling. Cool, and you’re good to go!
Pop your scored vanilla bean, a large piece of orange zest, a teaspoon of simple syrup, and two dashes of orange bitters into a short old fashioned glass.
I don’t mean an old style of drinking vessel here. Literally, an Old Fashioned glass. A short glass with straight walls. You probably already have a few in your cabinet, but just incase – something like this.
Muddle, muddle muddle! I mean.. don’t break your glass or anything. But crush it just enough to infuse that warm and spicy vanilla aroma and the bright orange zest into your bitters and simple syrup.
Add about 2 oz of your best bourbon.Really. Pick a good one because the flavor will really shine in this vanilla bean old fashioned. Seriously. Then, give it a whirl with a straw or stir stick.
Add a large cube of ice – I use these ice molds specifically for cocktails! They don’t melt as fast and won’t water down your beverage– and garnish with a twist of orange.
And there you have it- the vanilla bean and orange combine like a dreamsicle bar for the perfect new twist on the old fashioned. Sip away, my friends!
Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned
- 2 oz good quality bourbon
- 1 orange
- 1 vanilla bean 1-inch piece
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 tsp simple syrup or one sugar cube
- Combine scored vanilla bean piece, a large piece of orange zest, simple syrup (or sugar cube) and the orange bitters in the bottom of a small glass.
- Muddle together to release the orange oil and break down the vanilla bean.
- Add the bourbon and stir.
- Top off with large ice cube and an orange twist. Cheers!