According to Matthew Miller, lead bartender at the Hilton President’s Drum Room, The Drum Room Old Fashioned has been the number-one selling cocktail at the lounge for more than five years. The drink harkens back to a Prohibition-style cocktail. A traditional Old Fashioned is made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol (whiskey, brandy or other), and then garnishing with a citrus twist. The Drum Room version is extremely well-balanced—the high-proof Rittenhouse Rye is smoothed out with their house-made rich simple syrup, The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters (fancy bitters based on a recipe by one of the most influential bartenders of the 19th century), and Angostura Orange Bitters. Says Miller, “It has the bite of a strong cocktail but is as slippery as your grandmother’s sweet tea.” Patrons often call it the “best in Kansas City” and bring friends to the Drum Room Lounge specifically to enjoy this one-of-a-kind cocktail. It’s elegant and simple, using a single large ice rock in a sleek cocktail glass, garnished with Luxardo candied cherries and an orange twist. The drink is so popular among guests Miller finally created an entire drink menu around that cocktail last season using different spirits, house-made syrups, and bitters. Now you can make it at home.
The Drum Room Old Fashioned
AKA: The Real Original
2½ oz. Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
½ oz. rich simple syrup (house-made from a 50/50 brown sugar and water reduction)
3 dashes Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters
3 dashes House of Angostura Orange Bitters
1 orange peel (2-inches long by 1-inch wide)
2-3 Luxardo cherries (available online or wherever boutique bar supplies are found)
2 cups ice
1 large whiskey rock (big square ice cube)
Combine the rye whiskey, rich simple syrup, and bitters into a mixing glass. Add the 2 cups ice and stir for 10-15 seconds. Strain the concoction onto the large whiskey rock in a highball cocktail glass. Garnish with Luxardo cherries and twisted orange peel rubbed onto the rim of the glass.