My wife and I currently travel the United States to help establish organic expressions of Jesus Christ. For just a little more information on that, please check out this page. We’ve worked with groups of believers in California, Texas, and Oklahoma so far. While we were with one of the groups in California, a new friend introduced me to a new favorite: the old fashioned.
First, I’d like to talk about my new friend, Ed. I love Ed. We first met at a conference in Tennessee back in the summer of 2013. We were reunited in May of 2014, in his town in California, when Bridge and I went there to help minister with the group of saints with which Ed was meeting. That’s when the fun started! I discovered that we not only shared a love for the Lord, but we also shared a love for lunting and a love for bourbon. I didn’t know I loved bourbon until Ed introduced me to his favorite drink. It quickly became my favorite drink, and we would spend hours out on his back patio by the pool in the warm summer evenings lunting, drinking, and sharing the Lord together. It was truly a precious time, and Ed is truly a precious brother in the Lord.
Now, let’s discuss this precious drink: the old fashioned. Ed is a purist, so his old fashioned drinks were pretty close to the original. He started with a cube of sugar, added a few dashes of Angostura bitters and a splash of water, then he muddled those together. Next he would add the bourbon, usually Knob Creek. Depending on what he had at the time, he’d add either orange zest, an orange twist, or orange oil. He’d add a little more water, some ice, and finally top it off with a cherry. They were delicious! I’m hankering for one right now just thinking about it.
Once we left his town in November of 2014, and I didn’t have the expert Ed around to help make the old fashioneds, I had to figure it out on my own. I believe Ed was also a good teacher, because I think I make a pretty mean drink myself. 🙂 However, I have added my own twist to the mix.
Here’s my recipe:
R.C.’s Cointreauld Fashioned
- 1 sugar cube
- Angostura bitters
- your favorite bourbon (I like Knob Creek and Wild Turkey)
First, place the sugar cube in a glass (they make an old fashioned glass, but really any glass works when in a pinch). Then saturate the cube with the bitters and add 3/4oz – 1oz of water. Muddle. Next, add the bourbon. I add up to 3oz; the typical amount is a jigger, or 1.5oz, but I basically double that. The safe bet is a 1:1 ratio of water and whiskey, but Ed and I didn’t always place the safe bet. That’s up to your taste. I then add between 3/4oz and 1oz of Cointreau. I couldn’t figure out how to do the whole citrus zest or peel thing, so I went with the Cointreau; it’s an orange liqueur, so I get the citrus taste and a little added alcohol. Win, win. Finally, throw in some ice, give it stir (wouldn’t shake it – it is an open glass after all), and enjoy! It really is an easy drink to mix, and I find it to be delicious.
Seeing Christ in an Old Fashioned
My RAS is being set to Christ more and more, and I can’t help but see Him in this drink. He is the reality of the sugar cube, because He is sweet to the taste and oh, so good. The bitters remind me of the cross that I take up daily to live by Christ’s life; it may be bitter to my taste (my life), but it adds to the overall flavor and experience of walking with Him. Christ is the True and Living Water. Muddling reminds me of the cross again, but this time in a 2 Corinthians 4:8* sort of way. The whiskey is a strong drink, and Christ is the True Drink – also strong and, quite frankly, not to everyone’s taste. Again, the ice is a reminder of Christ as the Living Water, now enjoyed in another of a myriad of ways. The Cointreau is a picture of Christ in that He is the reality of all flavors – sweet, savory, bitter, spicy, etc. – and we taste and see that He is good.
I encourage you†, if it’s in your disposition, to try an old fashioned. I encourage you to try a Cointreauld Fashioned, and let me know what you think. Do you have any other variations you’d recommend? Can you see Christ in this drink or another one? I’d love to hear from you!
*2 Corinthians 4:8 (NLT) – “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.”
†I adhere to having the freedom in Christ to have a drink, but I also adhere to having the freedom in Christ to not have a drink. My freedom is Christ. Christ is the Rule, and I follow His Life in me. I encourage you to do the same.