Distilled: Slow & Low uses old-timey recipe to create modern-day Old Fashioned

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From the December 5, 2013 edition

If you read this column on the reg, you know my feelings about flavored whiskey. I get why it exists (people want to sweeten every booze these days), and I understand why some like it. It’s just not for me. I want to drink something that says, “I work and/or live in a hole.”

With Hochstadter's Slow & Low, I’ve found a flavored whiskey I can endorse. It’s probably a love it or hate it deal for some, but for an Old Fashioned drinker like myself, it hits a nice sweet spot.

Slow & Low is as close to an actual Old Fashioned, only in a bottle, as you’re going to find. (I like to call it Don Draper in a bottle. The bottle’s style is dapper too.) Using its original 19th Century recipe and method of drinking rye as inspiration, Hochstadter's added a twist resulting in Slow & Low.

Back in the late 1800s bartenders would serve rye with a piece of rock candy so the customer could sweeten the booze to their liking. Expanding on this, Hochstadter's added air-dried navel oranges, raw honey and horehound (an herb found in bitters).

The result really is a rye (84 proof) that tastes very much like an Old Fashioned, although the orange aroma and taste is more prevalent. That means none of the muss and fuss, if you want an Old Fashioned — just pour a glass.

Slow & Low is fine straight, but it’s also a spirit with immense cocktail potential. Cris Dehlavi, M at Miranova’s bar manager and brand ambassador for Cooper Spirits (which distributes Slow & Low), has created successful concoctions. She recommends using Slow & Low in a sazerac. Or to replace the rum in a Hot Buttered Rum, which sounds like a fantastic, spiced winter drink.

Slow & Low has a number of nice qualities (it’s very smooth) and big flavors, but it may not be for everyone, especially whiskey purists. But even skeptics should give it a try; it’s value priced at $21.80 and available at most boutique liquor stores. This is an interesting twist on the flavored whiskey trend that deserves to stick around.

Photo courtesy Cooper Spirits