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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States

812-202-6789

Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

The Drop is your source for all things craft. 

TRY THIS AT HOME: AN OLD FASHIONED, 3 WAYS

Erica Sagon

Let's go on a cocktail expedition. First, we'll start with a classic: An Old Fashioned. Then, we'll twist it a bit. Then we'll twist it again, into something new and exciting, but with classic roots.

A lot of people won't stray from the classic recipe for an Old Fashioned, but Cardinal bartender Andrew Wind says we shouldn't be so reverent.

"As long as you keep the foundation the same — meaning a base spirit, a touch of sugar and bitters — you can take the Old Fashioned anywhere," Andrew says.

But first, we have to learn that foundation.

OLD FASHIONED

Makes 1 cocktail

2.5 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
2 teaspoons rich syrup*
3 dashes aromatic bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange and lemon peels, for garnish
Brandied cherry, for garnish

  1. All all ingredients, except garnishes, to a shaker or pint glass, then add ice.
  2. Stir gently, then strain into an old fashioned glass with ice, preferably one large cube.
  3. Garnish with orange and lemon peels twisted together, and a brandied cherry.

*To make rich syrup (a sweeter simple syrup): Combine 2 cups demerara sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.


OK, here comes the first twist to the Old Fashioned. The foundation is still in place — spirit, sugar, bitters — but Andrew adds in alderwood smoked salt, which smells just like a campfire and gives the cocktail an intense briney and smokey profile.

KUMBAYA

Makes 1 cocktail

2.5 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
Heft pinch of alderwood smoked salt
2 teaspoons rich syrup*
3 dashes aromatic bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange rind, for garnish

  1. In a shaker or pint glass, muddle whiskey and smoked salt. Add rich syrup and both bitters, then ice.
  2. Stir gently, then strain into an old-fashioned glass with ice, preferably one large cube. 
  3. Garnish with the orange rind.

*To make rich syrup (a sweeter simple syrup): Combine 2 cups demerara sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.


Ready to twist again? The Old Fashioned foundation is still here — spirit, sugar, bitters — but Andrew has swapped bourbon for rum and simple syrup for blackstrap molasses syrup. It's like a pirate's take on an Old Fashioned, with a delightful depth for having just a handful of ingredients.

BLACK PEARL

Makes 1 cocktail

2.5 ounces Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum
.5 ounce blackstrap molasses syrup*
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Lemon rind and brandied cherries, for garnish

  1. Add all ingredients except for lemon rind and cherries to a shaker or pint glass, then add ice. 
  2. Stir gently, then strain into a coupe class.
  3. Garnish with lemon rind and brandied cherries.

*To make blackstrap molasses syrup, combine 2 ounces simple syrup with 1 ounce blackstrap molasses.