For Chilling Out, Nothing Beats This Better Luck Tomorrow Classic

The Cold Fashioned is a mature and complex take on an all-too-traditional cocktail.

By Timothy Malcolm October 22, 2019

Welcome to Originals. Each month, I'll recommend an original cocktail that I can't get enough of from a bar that I also can't get enough of.

when driving home from work, I often notice the packed patio around happy hour at Better Luck Tomorrow. I'll feel a twinge of FOMO, wishing I could be among the party people enjoying a nice beverage at Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel's Heights bar and eatery.

Most specifically, I'm wishing I could be sipping a Cold Fashioned. Few cocktails on the Better Luck Tomorrow menu have stayed put since the place opened in mid-2017, but this stunningly boozy take on the Old Fashioned is one of them (shoutout to the Salty Cat and Gibson), and there's reason for it: It's fantastic.

Terry Williams, general manager of Squable and formerly of Better Luck Tomorrow, shared the recipe for the Cold Fashioned with Punch. It's a mix of a few potent potables, including bourbon, three-year rum, and brandy (preferably solera-aged Lustau), plus piloncillo (cane sugar) syrup, bitters, and water. You get nutty and vanilla flavors, plus a touch of sweetness and a lot of smokiness in one of the more layered Old Fashioneds you'll ever enjoy.

But why cold? Well, according to the recipe, you're supposed to bottle and chill all the ingredients in a freezer, then pour into a frozen highball glass. A large ice cube fools the drinker into thinking there's a lot of booze here, but it's about two ounces, which is more than enough considering the different spirits packed into the mix. 

I'm happy visiting Better Luck Tomorrow for its Party Melt, or maybe some fried chicken or its insanely delicious hummus. But most times I'm here because I want to sit back, let the time drift, and chill out with my favorite Old Fashioned in Houston. Now I'm feeling FOMO again.

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