Building an At-Home Bar and a Great Old Fashioned with Lynn House, Heaven Hill National Brand Ambassador
Mixology is the name of the game for Heaven Hill National Brand Educator Lynn House. She travels the country teaching people not only about Heaven Hill products, but how to use them to make proper, delicious cocktails. People ask her all the time what the secret is to a great at-home bar kit and cocktail, and she’s here to share the answer.
Creating a Balanced Cocktail:
1. Use Quality Ingredients: To create a delicious, balanced cocktail you need great ingredients. Spirits are the heart and soul of every cocktail, so I always make sure I’m using quality products like Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey, Larceny Wheated Bourbon, Lunazul Tequila, or Deep Eddy Vodka. Quality products deserve to be paired with quality ingredients. I always work with fresh juices, homemade syrups, fresh purees and herbs, and quality liqueurs.
2. Follow the Recipe Closely: This may seem like a simple rule but straying from the recipe for a classic cocktail like an Old Fashioned can be risky. I always advise people to stick to a recipe to ensure their cocktail does not turn out too sweet, sour, bitter or strong.
3. Use the Tools of the Trade: Just as quality ingredients are important to a great cocktail, so is using the correct tools. There are several pieces of bar equipment that I always suggest having in your at-home bar:
– Mixing tins: Essential to any shaken cocktail
– Mixing jar: Perfect for mixed cocktails over ice
– Sharp knife
– Bar spoon
– Jigger: No eyeballing ingredients here
– Strainers: A Hawthorne Strainer for the mixing tins and a Julep Strainer for the mixing jar
– Vegetable Peeler: For creating a beautiful garnish
– Muddler: Perfect for releasing the flavors and oils in your fresh ingredients
– Cutting Board: It’s best to have one dedicated to your bar
How to Make an Essential Whiskey Cocktail – The Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is one of the original classic cocktails dating back to the 1800s. It’s simple and delicious, with just a few ingredients – a great first cocktail to make for your friends at your very own bar.
– 2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey
– A few dashes of Angostura Bitters
– A splash of water
– 1 Sugar Cube
– Fresh lemon zest
– Mixing Jar
– Julep Strainer
– Bar Spoon
– Vegetable Peeler
Add the sugar cube, a couple of splashes of bitters, a splash of water, and the lemon zest to the mixing jar. Muddle the ingredients together to break down the sugar and release the oils in the lemon. Top with ice and add 2 ounces of Rittenhouse Rye to the mixing jar. Mix the cocktail with a bar spoon until it is nice and chilled. The mixing process allows the flavors to marry, creating a beautifully balanced cocktail. Using a Julep strainer, pour the cocktail into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Finish the drink with a garnish of fresh lemon peel.
There you have it – a classic cocktail perfect for testing your new-found bartending skills.
Lynn House is Heaven Hill Brands’ National Brand Educator. In her role, Lynn is responsible for on-premise support, training, and mentoring. Before this role, Lynn served as the PAMA Liqueur Brand Ambassador. In 2017, she was named as a finalist in the Tales of Cocktail Spirited Awards Best American Brand Ambassador category. Prior to joining Heaven Hill, Lynn served as Chief Mixologist and Beverage Director at Blackbird Restaurant in Chicago, where she developed the first mixology program for the James Beard Award culinary nominee. She was also named one of the 2011 Top 20 Most Fabulous Bartenders in the World by Gary Regan.