Brown Butter Old Fashioned Cocktail
1 cocktail
Bartenders usually use superfine sugar, which melts easily in liquid. In France, there are two kinds of sugar available at supermarkets; sucre en poudre and sucre cristal. I use sucre en poudre, which has finer crystals, and dissolve more easily. American granulated sugar falls somewhere in between. Baker’s Sugar and superfine sugar are available in America, or you can make your own, if you want to get technical.But I’ve made these with regular granulated sugar and they come out just fine. So depending on your sugar, muddle it well with the bitters, until it’s dissolved. Some bartenders add a very small splash of sparkling water to the sugar and bitters mixture, to help them meld together.I used Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters for this one (another brand is Fee Brothers), although Angostura bitters are considered the classic, and available in well-stocked supermarkets and online.
For the brown butter bourbon
4 ounces (115g, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups (480ml) bourbon (or rye)
For the Old Fashioned cocktail
1 1/2 – 2 ounces (45-60ml) brown butter bourbon
2 dashes bitters (see headnote)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 strip orange zest
1. To make the brown butter bourbon, melt the butter in a skillet or wide saucepan over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter; it’ll sizzle and pop as it cooks, which is the water cooking off.
2. As the butter cooks, tilt the pan to avoid burning in spots. When the butter quiets down and has turned a nice amber brown color, and smells deliciously nutty, remove from heat and let cool until tepid.
3. Pour the bourbon (or rye) into a jar, add the brown butter, close the jar and shake a few times to mix the butter with the bourbon. Refrigerate the bourbon for three days.
4. After three days, place the jar of bourbon in a saucepan with an inch or two of water in it. Very gently start to warm the bourbon over low heat in the water bath. As soon as the hard disk of butter on top is removable, lift it out (reserve it for another use, see Note at end of recipe). Line a funnel with a few layers of cheesecloth, a paper towel or coffee filter, set over a clean jar. Strain the bourbon into the jar. Chill the bourbon until ready to use.
5. To make the Old Fashioned cocktail, use a muddler or back of a spoon to mix the bitters with the sugar in a squat cocktail glass, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the bourbon and a large ice cube and stir for 15 seconds until the cocktail is well-chilled. Twist a strip of orange zest over the glass, so the oils spray into the drink, drop the zest into the glass, and serve.

Notes: Save the brown butter in the refrigerator. It can be used in recipes where brown butter is called for. I’ve got a recipe coming up on the blog for another way to use it.

Large ice cubes are recommended for Old Fashioned cocktails, since they melt more slowly than smaller cubes, which dilute the drink. I own these ice cube trays, but you can also freeze water in a metal loaf pan until frozen, then break the rectangle of ice into large chunks, and use one of those.

Storage: The brown butter bourbon will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.