Review: Is This Really the World’s Best Old Fashioned?
A drinks vet from The Violet Hour debuts The Gold Fashioned, a luxury bottled cocktail
What we’re drinking: Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned, possibly the world’s first luxury ready-to-drink cocktail
Where it’s from: Robby Haynes is formerly of Chicago’s cocktail dens The Violet Hour and Analogue. He also helped create or co-found Letherbee Malort (Besk) and Apologue, which released the world’s first saffron liqueur.
Why we’re drinking this: Well, it’s Old Fashioned Week, and we wanted to try one built from the world’s best ingredients.
“This is not an everyday cocktail,” as Haynes tells us. “It’s for special moments, when you have a memorable occasion but you don’t want to step away to make a cocktail.”
The world’s best ingredients claim is no joke: Besides utilizing an 8-year straight bourbon from Kentucky and a 5-year Indiana rye as the base, this bottled cocktail sources saffron from Afghanistan, vanilla from Tahiti, single-estate cacao from Ecuador, Seville oranges from Spain, Gentian root from France and demerara from Malawi.
Those are important drinks components arriving from six continents — and the brand is cognizant of who and where they’re sourcing from. For example, Sunday’s Finest is the rare spirits brand that’s a Certified B Corporation, an official designation touting its societal and environmental impact (and to source some of these spices they use Rumi, another Certified B Corporation).
How it tastes: Serve over ice and spray once with the included atomizer (see below). What you’ll end up with is an extremely elegant Old Fashioned where both the saffron and vanilla from the bitters really stand out (also, that quick misting of orange zest is important).
There’s just enough kick from the rye to keep things from getting too smooth. Overall, this is certainly the best bottled Old Fashioned I’ve ever tried, and it’s certainly on par with an upscale cocktail den’s variation.
The only downside arrives via the box, which we like aesthetically; the bottle is a bit awkward to remove from the base.
Fun fact: Speaking of the display box (which features some cool art deco design), the bottle has a no-drip pour, and the box itself comes with a separate orange bitters spray. “One thing restaurants can do that RTDs can’t is engage all the senses,” says Haynes. “You taste with your nose and eyes, too. This was a creative way to get aromatic orange on top of the cocktail.”
Where to buy it: This drink doesn’t come cheaply; it’s $150, which will get you about 10-15 cocktails. Definitely consider it as a gift this holiday season, and pick up one here. Only about 9,000 bottles will be made, though the company may release like-minded “gold” versions of other cocktails in the upcoming years if demand is there.
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