TotC: Tombstone Cocktail

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the blog…

duh dum

duh dum

Tales of the Cocktail: The Revenge.

It’s late September, and I’m still talking about Tales of the Cocktail. Was it really that much fun? Did I really learn that much? Was it really the best cocktail related event of the year? The answers are yes and no. There were a lot of drinks poured at the event (and I’m determined to cover them all), and while it was definitely a great time, I’m also a slow blogger, only posting twice a week. We also got interrupted from Tales info with discussions about Amer Picon and Beer Liqueur. So, here we go again….

Drink number eight of our Tales of the Cocktail roundup will be made by our favorite esquire, David Wondrich. To see all of the Tales of the Cocktail posts, click here.

Those of you who know of David’s work won’t be surprised to see that his cocktail for Tales was whiskey based, but may be surprised to learn that it wasn’t a punch. Mr. Wondrich is the king of all things punch (as was seen at the seminar for The Cocktail’s Family Tree), and seeing as how all of the drinks at the Cocktail Hour were batched, punch style, it would seem like a natural fit. However that was not to be the case this time.

As I’ve said before, one of the coolest things about the Cocktail Hour was the fact that one got to see the cocktail’s illuminati actually making drinks, as opposed to just writing about them. Now, some of this esteemed group do still occasionally tend bar (see Gary Regan), but most have long since stepped out from behind the wood. It was also nice to see all of them in one room, working side by side, pouring drinks, even if they had to keep Gary and David separated to different areas of the event (Gary’s still waiting for David to pick up a tab).

David’s table was constantly surrounded by admirers as he regaled them with tales of the cocktail’s colorful past and healthy doses of his libation, the:

2 oz Bulleit bourbon
1 tsp rich simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters

stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass
twist swatch of thin-cut lemon peel

Rich Simple Syrup
heat two parts Sugar in the Raw and one part water over a low flame
stir until sugar has dissolved

Looks awfully similar to an Old-Fashioned doesn’t it? That’s because it is, with rich simple syrup used instead of sugar, and, quite frankly, a much better name. Methinks the moniker comes from the fact that if you take a Bulleit to the mouth, you’ll end up with your own personal tombstone.

David Wondrich

Picture by:
Jamie Boudreau



~ by Jamie Boudreau on September 26, 2007.

19 Responses to “TotC: Tombstone Cocktail”

  1. This is very similar to a cocktail we sometimes make at home that I alternately call the “Houlihan Old Fashioned,” “Hot Lips Old Fashioned” or usually just the Houlihan.

    Years ago I was watching an episode of “M*A*S*H” from the later seasons, when the character of Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan was more of a complex human and not just a comic caricature. There was a scene in the officers’ club where she and a few of the other characters were sidling up to the bar to offer their drink orders. Most of the others were simple — beer, Scotch, etc. Hers went like this, ordered firmly and with a sly grin:

    “Old Fashioned. Straight up. No fruit.”

    I thought, “That sounds good,” and “I want to drink with her.” I’ve been making Houlihans ever since.

    The rich simple syrup is a great idea which’ll make it even better. I’ll definitely make David’s drink but I think I’ll keep my name. 😉

  2. […] Aged bitters in the house.  So, from what we had, somewhere between the Applejack OF and the Tombstone (well, really a Proper Old Fashioned with Maple Syrup), comes the NW Old-Fashioned. NW […]

  3. As I heard the story, the “Tombstone” gets its name from a visit Wondrich and friends (Julie Reiner, Dale Degroff, Audrey Saunders, etc.) gave to a certain gentleman’s grave years ago… Jerry Thomas. I think Mr. Wondrich, after much research, was able to find where he was buried and offered a toast to the great Professor.

    At Flatiron Lounge, Tombstones are made with Wild Turkey Rye and Rich Demerara syrup. And shaken… not stirred… as they were made for Prof. Thomas himself.

  4. […] some of my older posts I became aware that I’ve mentioned the Old Fashioned or a variation of it several times, which got me to thinking: whenever I’m at home, nine times out of ten, when I’m wanting […]

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