One of the more fascinating aspects of Louisville’s culture and history is centered around a unique bourbon cocktail. If you want to see what it looks like when people gather together for the sake of recognizing similar interests, go no further than Old Fashioned Fortnight.
What, then, do you stand to gain from reading this entire thing? You’ll learn why and how the Old Fashioned is celebrated along Bourbon Street and the rest of the city. Don’t be shocked if the need to travel strikes you in June of next year.
When Do We Say “Old Fashioned Fortnight?”
The festivities will occupy you for the first two weeks of June, so mark your calendars accordingly. The Old Fashioned, Louisville’s official cocktail, is the star of the show.
The origin of this storied drink can be traced back to Louisville’s Pendennis Club. As you may know, the Old Fashioned is now a globally popular cocktail. The Commonwealth of Kentucky celebrates its birthday on June 1. Just how joyful is that? On June 14th, National Bourbon Day, everything comes to a head.
So, what do the amazing people of Louisville do to celebrate, and how can you join in on the fun? There are various ways to enjoy the city’s official cocktail, but here are 14. That’s one every day of the year!
Here Are the Best Ways to Spend the Old Fashioned Fortnight
Explore the Urban Bourbon Trail — it may be a night dedicated to libations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pair some tasty bites with your Old Fashioned. Bring an empty stomach, because there are hundreds of eateries just waiting for you to sample them!
The Bourbon Adventures of Evan Williams
Do you appreciate the atmosphere of a Speakeasy? Then perhaps you’d enjoy the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. You want a throwback to the good old days of being a barman. Because the legend of Tom Bullock lives on, there is no need for a time machine. An all-out bourbon sampling with a final bespoke Old Fashioned? Is there anything else I should tell you?
After That, You Can Move on to the Hermitage Farm
It’s fun to sip on the city’s signature drink, but what if you want to give it a try yourself? Well, there are plenty of seasoned bartenders available to spark your imagination as you craft your own Old Fashioned. Nothing is processed; everything is fresh from the farm.
Rose and Maddox Making a Nulu Candle
Rose & Maddox-The final destination is Nulu, and your thinking cap will be needed once more. How about some candles with a bourbon aroma? What a wonderful scent to set the mood just right in any place! The best thing is… You are the one who chooses and blends the fragrances, after all. That’s the pinnacle of perfection!
Bulleit Bourbon in Your Kentucky Coffee
If you’re in the area, you should check out Jackdaw, who can be found at the Cambria on Market Street. Do you know what Kentucky Coffee is? Whether you’ve tried it before or not, coffee with all the fixings for an Old Fashioned is hard to resist.
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is Another Great Place to Step Back in Time
Here, not only can you leave your stamp, but you can experience what life was like in the 1800s. Envision making, bottling, and naming your very own brand of whiskey. Tailor it to your preferences, take it home to use in your own special Old Fashioned, and then show it off to your friends.
Taking a selfie with Tom Bullock is an essential part of the Old Fashioned Fortnight experience. The Sway restaurant at the Hyatt Downtown is a great choice. The mural of the legend by local artist Kacy Jackson is a shining example of her work, and you must photograph it while you can.
Dine at the Copper & Kings Bar & Restaurant
Head up to Copper & Kings Rooftop Bar for a modern take on the classic Old Fashioned. In this case, we include American brandy. To fully appreciate this treat, you need to order a delicious dinner.
Divine Approval Required for Dinner with Bourbon
Swizzle is located atop the Galt House, and it is here that you will partake in the Angels Envy Bourbon Dinner. You’ll need all your stomach space for the five-course dinner that’s on your way. The cherry on top of your feast will be an exquisite Old Fashioned.
Museum of Frazier History
The Frazier History Museum is the location for our next round of cocktail-making. Frazier’s Certified Bourbon Stewards and expert taster Jackie Zykan will help you create a new take on a classic cocktail. It’s a museum, so you may expect to pick up some interesting facts along the route.
You’ll Take It Easy in Paristown
There is a plethora of local distilleries, as well as excellent restaurants, and live music.
All your bases are covered with Mint Julep Tours, including a two-distillery excursion complete with guided sampling and informative facts about the delicious beverages!
You can have a “Proper” Old Fashioned at Watch Hill Proper in Norton Commons. You may think you’ve tried every kind of bourbon there is, but this one will still surprise you. Fortunately, membership is not required to visit.
Moss Hill’s Vintage Cologne
The final stop is at Moss Hill, a tranquil setting. One of the highlights from past years’ events that featured a tonne of goods was the limited-edition Old Fashioned scent line. What might appear in the future is anyone’s guess.
Originating in Louisville, Old Fashioneds Have a Rich History
You should now have a firm grasp of the meaning of Old Fashioned Fortnight and the activities that its participants enjoy. However, that doesn’t answer the question of where things got their start.
You’ll need to transport your thoughts to the Pendennis Club for that. It is open for business in Louisville as of right now. The story goes that a customer at the pub ordered a cocktail and made it clear to the barman that he didn’t care for bourbon. The Bluegrass is known as Bourbon County, so serving anything other than bourbon seemed out of place. So the barman thought outside the box and succeeded where the customer had failed.
Colonel James E. Pepper, a master distiller and club member, is credited with popularising the cocktail, however, it is possible that other beverages with comparable ingredients existed at the same time. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City is credited as being the birthplace of the Old Fashioned cocktail.
How Did the First Version of the Recipe Look?
It’s fun to have the option of mixing up your own Old Fashioned during the festivities, but you might be curious as to how the original taste. If you’re wondering what goes into it, here it is:
- Fine Kentucky bourbon, 2 ounces
- 1 twist of a lemon
- 1 stemmed cherry
- Bitters of Angostura, 2 dashes
- One teaspoon of simple syrup, or half a lump of sugar
- One-half of an orange
- Where do you put them, exactly? The first step is to combine the Angostura bitters, water, and sugar in an Old Fashioned glass.
- Orange and cherry juice can be added. Make a paste by muddling it with the back of a spoon.
- Then add the ice cubes and bourbon, stir, and finish with the lemon twist.