Recipe: Fancy Free

Recipe: Fancy Free

For this recipe, we’re going back in time to the heady cocktailing days of the 1940s and the pages of Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion. In my humble opinion, this book needs to rank up there with the best vintage cocktail guides if only for its fantastic illustrations. The cocktail recipes are also none too shabby, including this one, the Fancy Free.

It’s a simple bourbon cocktail built around Luxardo’s Maraschino liqueur, which is a bit of a polarizing ingredient in today’s cocktailing world but a dependable go-to when this book was published. If you’re feeling lazy the next time you crave an Old Fashioned, give this a try. It showcases many of the hallmarks of that classic without the trouble of building a syrup and muddling an orange. One note of caution: the generous proportion of liqueur can easily make this one too sweet, so I recommend using a higher proof bourbon (higher than my first attempt here with Blanton’s). You can maybe even dial back the liqueur a touch. Oh, and don’t skimp on the bitters.

Fancy Free
2.25 oz. bourbon (at least 100 proof)
0.5 oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
3 dashes orange bitters
3 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist.

Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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