New twist on an Old-Fashioned

I like to sip a cocktail while watching “Mad Men,” and often that cocktail is an Old-Fashioned. It’s classic, and it was invented right here in Louisville.

But unlike poor Don Draper, who seems unable to change his ways, I’m open to variations on this classic drink, such as the one provided by chef Mario Batali yesterday in ”What I’m Drinking,” part of the New York Times Magazine’s remarkable “One-Page Magazine.” Seriously, it’s remarkable: 12 (or more!) intriguing little stories on one tabloid page, every single week.

Anyway, here is Batali’s recipe, which varies from tradition by using a simple syrup made with brown sugar, and which I tried last night:

“Make a simple syrup with equal parts water and light brown sugar, and let it cool. Pour 2 tablespoons brown-sugar syrup in an old-fashioned glass and add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and 3 fresh ice cubes. Add 3 ounces Blanton’s bourbon and top with an orange twist. (Skip the cherry — we’re adults.)”

This is a great twist on a classic. The brown sugar provides a new depth to an old favorite. I didn’t have an orange, so I used a lemon twist, and I think I actually preferred it; it was less sweet and more refreshing. I’ll be mixing more of these this summer.

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