Task: Stephen wanted to send out a unique promo before the holidays that highlighted his attention to detail, and the quality of his food and beverage photography. During a trip to Kentucky's bourbon country last fall, we spotted two-ounce bottles of Four Roses Single Barrel. He quickly conceived of a cocktail kit of sorts that included the bottle of fine bourbon, a small bottle of bitters, and a sugar packet—all of the necessary ingredients for his favorite cocktail, the Old Fashioned.
The promo not only required excellent photography and tasteful design (executed by the talented people at Ideogram Studio), but also some language about the Old Fashioned and bourbon that matched his brand. I wrote a brief history of the Old Fashioned and bourbon for the promo. It was something energetic and to the point, while also carrying a certain informative, masculine elegance.
The necessary ingredients are simple: water, sugar, Angostura bitters, and whiskey. If it were any more complicated, it wouldn’t be called an Old Fashioned. That’s part of the attraction—tasting the same flavors that some believe comprised the first cocktail back in 1806. While you can get the water, sugar, and bitters just about anywhere, the real quality comes from the whiskey, more specifically, the bourbon. And bourbon has rules.
Bourbon has to come from the United States, and its best varieties use naturally filtered water that has passed over Kentucky’s limestone. It has to draw more than half of its grain from corn. And bourbon has to be aged in new charred barrels, ones ideally cut from North American white oak.
While they say in Kentucky there are more barrels of bourbon than people, only some of the best end up bottled as Four Roses Single Barrel. Comprised of 60 percent corn, it’s known for hints of fruit and a spiciness perfect for the holidays. While the Old Fashioned’s classic simplicity has led to an array of modern interpretations, this little box bears the real essentials to old-fashioned success: a simple recipe and a high-quality key ingredient.