It should come as no surprise that Ian Fleming and James Bond were devotees of this classic cocktail. In its simplicity, it is a drink in which the choice of ingredients is paramount. In Live and Let Die, Bond is careful to specify his choice of whiskey: Old Grand-Dad, a traditional bourbon with a high rye content. Here, it takes on the character of its base spirit; the sugar, bitters and orange zest are simply base notes. To find the version you like, choose a whiskey that you like to drink unadulterated, but feel free to experiment with any aged spirit: rum and Scotch work particularly well.
4 dashes of Angostura bitters
2 dashes of orange bitters
11⁄2 teaspoons rich demerara
syrup (see page 9)
60ml (21⁄4fl oz) bourbon or rye
Measure the bitters, sugar syrup and one-third of the whiskey into a rocks glass with 2 ice cubes. Stir until the ice cubes have halved in size. Add another one-third of the whiskey with 2 more ice cubes and stir until these have also halved in size. Add the remaining whiskey and fill the glass to the top with ice.
Stir until the liquid is ice-cold and dilution has brought the level of the drink near the top of the glass. Garnish with an orange twist, spritzed over the glass to express the oils.
NOTE: if you are pushed for time or are making multiple cocktails, use a mixing glass to stir the drink down with sugar syrup and bitters, and then strain into a frosted rocks glass over ice cubes or an ice chunk.
Recipe taken from Shaken: Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming, the official cocktail book