Before actress and comedian Aisha Tyler became one of America’s favorite talk show hosts on Talk Soup and co-host of The Talk, the Dartmouth College graduate was a bartender at the since closed Peter Christian’s in Hanover, New Hampshire, while she was in college.
The San Francisco native never lost her knowledge or passion for the art of mixology and has just launched Courage+Stone, a line of ready to pour old fashioned and Manhattan cocktails, both 80 proof. No mixing, muddling or measuring, the craft cocktails can be delivered straight to your door, ordered from their website.
Together with partner David Kanbar, Tyler started out of the gate with an old fashioned and Manhattan, with 30 percent of the online profits benefiting the Bartender’s Guild to support the hospitality community during the shutdown. Next up is a departure from the standard bourbon version — a bottled gin old fashioned and she’s sharing the recipe and tips exclusively with L.A. Weekly.
“The original old fashioned cocktail didn’t actually have a specific spirit base,” Tyler, whose inspiration for the drink comes from Ryan Gosling’s sexy muddling of a cocktail in Crazy, Stupid Love, tells us. “It was a style of cocktail made with whatever was available — there was a brandy old fashioned and the whiskey old fashioned.”
Gin Old Fashioned
- 2 ounces gin (go for a floral-style like The Botanist over a more juniper-forward gin)
- 1 ounce vermouth bianco (not dry)
- 3 bar spoons Giffard Pamplemousse (or similar pink grapefruit liqueur)
- 3 drops Angostura bitters
Pour 2 ounces of gin into mixing glass filled with ice. Add 1 ounce vermouth bianco (not dry white vermouth as typically added to a martini, or sweet red vermouth as typical to a Manhattan, but sweet white vermouth), 3 bar spoons (a scant teaspoon=a bar spoon) of grapefruit liqueur, and 3 drops Angostura bitters. Stir to chill and blend (don’t shake!) and pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
Tyler hosts weekly virtual happy hours on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5 PM PT on her @aishatyler Facebook and YouTube platforms. Each time she mixes a classic cocktail, she asks viewers to mix along at home and profiles a new charity, to which she donates and asks viewers to consider doing the same.