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The Old-Fashioned: the perfect cocktail to toast Paul Rudolph; the architect who was anything but.

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

With its muddled orange peel and bourbon, its the perfect cocktail to celebrate architect Paul Rudolph, who was born in Kentucky but got his professional start in Florida designing gorgeous mid-century modern beach homes. Wait- did you miss the post on Paul Rudolph? Check it out the fascinating life of Paul Rudolph here

In the same way that Paul Rudolph’s sexy interiors are the yin, to the yang of his brutalist exteriors, so the powerful punch of the bourbon is tempered by the sweetness of sugar and orange peel to create one of the most perfectly balanced cocktails of all time. (And one of my faves.) Because there are so few ingredients to this cocktail, using a quality bourbon is critical. I also love it because you can really customize it to your taste or mood. In the summer time I like to add a splash of Aperol instead of sugar. In fall/winter I use maple syrup with a float of Scotch on top for what I like to call New England Nirvana .

According to Ted Haigh, author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (my bible) this classic started out being made with Curacao and Rye. He refers to this version as the Whiskey cocktail and the version made with sugar and bourbon as the Old-Fashioned.


  • 1/2 Teaspoon sugar

  • 2 dashes of bitters

  • enough water to dissolve the sugar

  • 2 oz bourbon

  • orange peel

Muddle the orange peel just enough to release its oils in the bottom of an Old-Fashioned glass. Add your sugar and bitters, and a few drops of water if necessary. Plop in a big ice cube. Pour your bourbon in. Gently stir. Garnish with an orange peel. Consume.

Not in the mood for a cocktail? Or maybe like Paul Rudolph, your religious parents are in town for a visit and it's time to hide the booze. Either way get yourself a Ghia. It's the perfect non-alcoholic summer drink. If Aperol and Campari had a sober baby this is what it would taste like. And no they're not paying me to promote it. But they should.


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