As a long-time DC denizen, I was thrilled to try a new product from a local, woman-owned business: Pratt Standard Cocktail Co. They focus on crafting Pre-Prohibition-style cocktail syrups (so don't be mixing with any vodka!), hand-crafted right up the road from me in the Edgewood neighborhood of DC. Their latest release is a non-alcoholic Old Fashioned syrup designed to just stir with whiskey and ice to create a quick cocktail.
Pratt tested 64 combinations of ingredients and settled on a blend of cinnamon, orange peel, black telicherry peppercorn, green cardamom, blood orange zest, angelica root, lemon peel, gentian root, and orris root, all sweetened with real demerara sugar. Each 8 ounce bottle retails at $9.99 and serves up 12 cocktails, which is portioned to be able to fully mix an entire 750ml bottle of whiskey with a bottle of Old Fashioned syrup.
The Old Fashioned is one of my favorite cocktails, and I have had some amazing ones and some really horrible ones (one day, I will write about the worst Old Fashioned I ever had, a story that always brings chuckles). Needless to say, I am picky. Pratt's Old Fashioned syrup makes a solid and quick cocktail. I crafted a cocktail per the instructions on the bottle, expressing a blood orange peel across the top instead of my usual lemon. The flavor of this blend is very orange forward, but I oddly get cherry flavor at the finish, which is actually nice. This mix makes a fairly sweet old fashioned, so be sure to adjust the proportion depending on your taste preferences.
I also tested the Old Fashioned syrup in a non-alcoholic preparation, using 3/4 oz of syrup, 5 oz soda water (I opted for Topo Chico), and 1/4 oz apple cider vinegar. This syrup does make a solid Old Fashioned, but I would encourage Pratt to market this product as a lovely non-alcoholic mixer! The non-alcoholic cocktail (aka: spirit free or mocktail) movement is gaining quite a lot of steam, and I am not a fan of most of the N/A spirit substitutes out there. However, this particular product (and I am sure the rest of their line!) is excellent in a non-alcoholic preparation. So this is a cocktail product that literally everyone in the house can enjoy!
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Cocktail syrups in general make lovely gifts, especially when paired with a bottle, a few minis, glassware, or barware gifts. Pratt Standard's packaging is really lovely, and looks rather lux with the hand-stamped wax seal (a la Maker's Mark). A little gift box of one of these syrups and some Maker's would be a total delight.
Pratt Standard Old Fashioned syrup and their other products are available online and at select retailers. Pratt Standard produces Ginger, Grenadine, Kola, Tonic and Rich Simple syrups year-round, plus seasonal syrups, including Blackberry Mint, Rosemary Grapefruit and Bitter Lemon available in the spring and summer; and Earl Grey Vanilla and Cranberry Orange available in the fall and winter.
Born and raised in the Bluegrass, Erin Petrey has always held an affinity for her home state’s signature spirit: Bourbon. Throughout her world travels (36 countries and counting!), Erin delights in spreading the gospel of Bourbon across the globe, from Spain to Korea and even here at home in the Nation’s Capital, where she also serves President of the Kentucky Society of Washington. She loves helping people find their next favorite bourbon or cocktail. Though bourbon is her first love, gin comes in a close second. Her favorite cocktails are the Black Manhattan, Gin Gimlet, and Aviation. If you see her, be sure how to ask her how to make the perfect Old Fashioned.
Read Erin's full profile.