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!
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.