Monday, May 14, 2012

An Old-Fashioned retronym?

Elaine and I wondered the other night: is the name Old-Fashioned a retronym, created after other cocktails came along?

No. The Oxford English Dictionary explains: “The old-fashioned cocktail is said to have been invented in the late 19th cent. at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. It was probably so named because of its similarity to early whisky cocktails.”

I make an Old-Fashioned (just one, thanks) with Early Times, Angostura bitters, sugar, water, and ice. No lemon or orange peel, no cherry. If I want fruit cocktail, I open a can.

[I’m trying to remember who made the quip about fruit just taking up space that could be better used for whiskey. I think it was Rachel Maddow, though she adds a sliver of lemon peel.]

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