I was at The Columbia Room this past weekend. It was a brilliant experience, as it always is in Derek Brown’s cocktail sanctuary. One of the cocktails that most intrigued me was the Omar Bradley. The story goes that General Omar Bradley, in the midst of campaigning through the deserts of North Africa, wanted to have an Old Fashioned, but didn’t have citrus available. He substituted orange marmalade as an alternative to citrus and the result is brilliant. Now my first reaction was, “How the hell did one of the most important American generals in World War II find the time amidst defeating the Nazi war machine to come up with such a polished cocktail?” Well, I don’t know the answer to that, but here is Derek’s take on the use of marmalade in cocktails that he posted for The Atlantic earlier this week. Derek used a Jamaican marmalade, Busha Browne’s Burnt Orange Marmalade, which has a rich taste which pairs well with bourbon and rye. He links to Eric Felten’s recipe for the Omar Bradley:
2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
1 tsp (heaping or not, to taste) orange marmalade
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake well with ice and strain into an Old-Fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a cherry.
When Derek served us this cocktail, he used Old Weller Bourbon and subbed Fee Brothers’ Old Fashioned Bitters, which worked really well as an alternative to Angostura. He also used Busha Brown’s, which added a nice smokey-sweetness to the drink. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a nice variation on the Old Fashioned.