Doing Old Fashioned Week – the Monkey Shoulder way

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

01 November 2018

Offering simplicity, convenience and consistency, the Monkey Shoulder Lazy Old Fashioned puts a contemporary twist on everyone’s favourite cocktail

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail with serious street cred and one heck of a history. Old it may be, but it’s well and truly in fashion, having been named the world’s most popular cocktail for the last four years in a row.

First cited in The Balance and Columbian Repertoire in 1806, as ‘spirits of any kind, bitters, sugar and water’, it has survived some fairly dubious fruity iterations during the Prohibition years, before being hauled back into popular consciousness by the cultural phenomenon that was Mad Men.

Apart from being that old smoothie Don Draper’s tipple of choice, it has led a rich fictional life with references in the likes of Bukowski and, more recently, in cult animation Archer– the oft quoted, ‘I was going to make an Old Fashioned, but I couldn’t find the bitters.’

Bartenders' testimonials

Jim Wrigley, Bourne & Hollingsworth

'I like it because I'm lazy and old... Actually I'm a big fan, because it allows for a completely consistent delicious drink to be delivered to the guest in a heartbeat.'

 Sam Baxendale, Kin, Edinburgh

'Efficiency is the best form of laziness, getting consistently delicious drinks into our guests' hands quickly, and allowing us to spend more time with them and less twiddling a bar spoon.'

For a drink that, at its heart, is just whisky, sugar and bitters, there are myriad ways to construct the Old Fashioned and heated debate over how to perfect it. But then, when perfectly balanced, this austere, square-jawed cocktail can be truly sublime.

And therein lies the conundrum: how do you ensure speed, consistency and quality when ‘Old’ and ‘Fashioned’ are the only two words being uttered by your customers during Old Fashioned Week?

The answer – like the cocktail itself – is elemental. The Monkey Shoulder Lazy Old Fashioned. Where once prebatching was considered a bit of a taboo, most savvy bartenders have now seen the light thanks to its practice in leading establishments such as Scout and Dandelyan.

When your bar is heaving, the Lazy Old Fashioned allows you to crank out 12 cocktails in less than 30 seconds. On top of speed, you can ensure that every drink you pour tastes exactly the same – drink after drink, round after round, throughout the night. What’s more, it’ll last for at least two weeks.

UK ambassador John Wayte
UK ambassador John Wayte

'That's 12 cocktails perfected in less than 30 seconds, ready to simply pour out over ice – be it a bartender or a guest at a house party, who wouldn’t want that?!' said John Wayte, Monkey Shoulder's UK ambassador(@Barmonkey_).

'From house parties to music festivals, our mission is to make the world’s favourite drink more accessible than ever,' added Joe Petch (main image, left), global Monkey Shoulder's global ambassador (@discodrinks).

So roll up your sleeves, here’s how you create Monkey Shoulder’s oh-so-simple masterpiece… Grab a 70cl bottle of Monkey Shoulder and pour 100ml of whisky out of it. Add 90ml of sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water), then add 30ml of Angostura Bitters. Cork it. Shake it. Print off a #LazyOldFashioned label and leave it in the fridge to chill. When you’re ready to serve, pour 60ml over ice and garnish with an orange zest.

Great Drinks-spec-tations: the Monkey Mixer Truck
Great Drinks-spec-tations: the Monkey Mixer Truck

Et voila! There you have it: genius – or at least 12 Old Fashioneds – in a bottle. But the folks at Monkey Shoulder haven’t stopped there – they’re thinking big with their 4.5l Gorillla and the Monkey Mixer Truck, a converted cement mixer that can hold up to 11,000l of up to 12 cocktails; one of which is ALWAYS the #LazyOldFashioned. That should see you through Old Fashioned Week at least!

The Lazy Old Fashioned

Glass: Old Fashioned

Garnish: Orange zest

Method: Pour 100ml of whisky from the bottle. Add sugar syrup and Angostura Bitters. Cork it. Shake it. Print off a #LazyOldFashioned label and chill in fridge. When you're ready to serve, pour 60ml over ice and garnish.

  • 70cl bottle of Monkey Shoulder
  • 90ml sugar syrup
  • 30ml Angostura Bitters

 Ginger Monkey

Introduce your customers to Monkey Shoulder...

Glass: Highball

Garnish: Orange wedge

Method: Fill a long glass with ice. Pour in the Monkey Shoulder and dry ginger ale. Gently stir and garnish with the orange wedge.

  • 50ml Monkey Shoulder
  • 120ml dry ginger ale


Stay up-to-date with Monkey Shoulder happenings...

  • Monkey Shoulder:            @Monkeyshoulder
  • Joe Petch, global ambassador:  @discodrinks
  • John Wayte, UK ambassador: @Barmonkey_

Old Fashioned Week takes place 1-10 November –  make the #LazyOldFashioned your own and get involved!



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