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Billy Sunday’s Old Fashioned Recipe is Totally Doable at Home

You’ll only need to run out for some premium amaro—the rest is already in your liquor cabinet.

photography: (Billy Sunday interior) anna knott; (cocktail) courtesy of billy sunday
 

Billy Sunday, a fantastic 50-seat bar in Logan Square, kindly shared their recipe for a damn good daiquiri with us. But when we started looking at the ingredient list, we realized that by the time we got our hands on some pineapple bitters, we might as well have just headed down to Billy Sunday to have the bartender make one for us. (It’s worth the trip.) 

So for those staying in and pouring some cocktails for friends, here’s an easier alternative—the excellent Billy Sunday Old Fashioned.

All About the Billy Sunday Old Fashioned

“A traditional Old Fashioned was most likely coined by some guy many years ago walking into a bar and saying, ‘I want a cocktail made the old fashioned way, meaning spirit, sugar, bitters, water.’ We abide by this same concept. But, instead of using traditional cocktail bitters—such as angostura, Boker’s, or Abbott’s—we chose an Italian bitter or amaro,” owner Matthias Merges says.

“Our Old Fashioned is built in-glass with muddled cube sugar, rhubarb amaro from Zucca (it’s a strongly flavored and mildly bitter amaro from Milan), and water. We then add the spirit—Pure Kentucky XO bourbon—and finish it with a hand-cut ice cube. The drink is rounder with more depth and concentration than your standard Old Fashioned,” Merges says. Here’s how to make your own:
 

The Recipe

  • 2 cubes of sugar
  • .5 oz Zucca Rabarbaro (rhubarb amaro)
  • 2 oz Pure Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 oz water
  • Orange zest for garnish

In a rocks glass, combine sugar, water, and rhubarb amaro. Stir until dissolved. Add bourbon and stir. Add ice and orange twist.

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