This week in the Mixologist Diaries we're getting some insight from Bar Manager and Mixologist Michael Drennan, a.k.a. "Dre," of O.P. Rockwell (one of Park City's best live music venues) on how to put a simple twist on a classic Old Fashioned. Typically this drink riff is called a Fancy Free, but since Dre mixes it with locally owned Vida Repasado Tequila, he calls it a Libre de Lujo (Fancy Free in Spanish). Mixing craft cocktails at home can be daunting; as such Dre purposefully concocted this drink using just a few key ingredients that most cocktails lovers will likely already have on hand.
With 14 years of bartending experience--two and a half of which spent at the helm of O.P. Rockwell--you might be wondering why Dre would choose to showcase such an unassuming drink. "It's like cooking, you don't necessarily want to use everything. By going simple you show a focus and deliberate direction to your creation," says Dre. "That's why the so-called uncomplicated drinks, like an Old Fashioned, serve as a litmus test for your bartending skills. You can't mask any mistakes." At a venue like O.P. Rockwell, where bartenders serve close to 1,400 drinks on show nights, there isn't much room for error. If you were to compare the Libre de Lujo to a person, it would definitely be Benicio del Toro; a bit grizzled, but still fresh and straight to the point. Take a swing at home at mixing up your own Libre de Lujo or, the next time you're on Main Street, pop into O.P. Rockwell to grab another one of Dre's vast repertoire of cocktails and pick his brain (pre-showtime, of course).
Libre de Lujo Recipe
- 1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 1/2 oz. Vida Repasado Tequila
- 2 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters
- 3 Dashes of Orange Bitters
Put all the ingredients together in your mixing glass, then add ice. Stir (don't shake) for about 30 seconds to create proper dilution and to get a nice clear drink. Strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel (first rubbed around the rim to express the oils).
Here's Dre's tutuorial:
Now go try it yourself and let us know how it goes!