Meet the Creators of Craft House’s Newest Craft Cocktails
For Southern food with a Californian influence and a view of the sun setting behind the Lantern District archway, there’s no better place to go than Craft House in Dana Point. Locals have flocked to the eatery for years, particularly for Chef Blake Mellgren’s cooking and the incredible bar experience. Not only is the Craft House team serving delicious, sustainably sourced dishes, but they’ve also added three totally unique old fashioneds to the drink menu. Trust us, these aren’t your typical bourbon-and-orange-twist cocktails—from mezcal and jalapeño to rosemary and scotch and bacon and rye, these are drinks you’ll have to see (and taste) to believe. Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipes
Burley Old Fashioned
Made by: Brenden Burley, Bar Manager and Lead Bartender
Ingredients: Cherrywood and charred jalapeno smoked glass, mezcal, housemade Oaxaca bitters, Montenegro
Flavors: Smoky, spicy, smooth
“Old fashioneds aren’t just bourbon and whiskey—they can be anything,” Burley explains. “Mezcal is my favorite [spirit], which is why I made mine with mezcal… It’s not just smoky; it has more flavor and more depth.” In this cocktail, the mezcal offers a soft palate with a touch of vanilla. The Oaxaca bitters lend a unique taste, and the Montenegro is the “secret weapon” that blends it all together. Burley recommends pairing his old fashioned with anything spicy or any Southern dishes on the menu—which Craft House has no shortage of.
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipes
Kate’s Old Fashioned
Made by: Kate Clements, Bartender
Ingredients: Blended scotch, honey, black walnut bitters, Angostura bitters, Laphroaig mist, toasted rosemary
Flavors: Herbaceous, warm, peaty
The blended scotch is the star of the show in this old fashioned, and despite this spirit’s intimidating nature, Clements has created a warm and easy-to-drink cocktail with her fellow ladies in mind. “For the longest time, I was the only girl [behind the bar],” she explains. “It was fun making a more feminine old fashioned.” The toasted rosemary meets your nose first, which is followed by a sweet, full-bodied flavor that’s accented by the peatiness of the Laphroaig mist. Clements recommends pairing her concoction with the seasonal squash and sage risotto. “Those flavors go perfectly with [my old fashioned].”
Nate’s Old Fashioned
Made by: Nate Murguia, Lead Bartender
Ingredients: Bacon-washed rye whiskey, maple syrup, Angostura bitters, bacon strip, cherry
Flavors: Bold, sweet, savory
For those looking for a sweet and savory twist on the classic old fashioned, this one’s for you.
“I am a huge pork fanatic, especially when it comes to bacon!” Murguia says. The bacon-washed rye gives the drink a rich mouthfeel, and the sweetness of the maple and cherry complement the saltiness of the bacon beautifully. “I wanted to create a drink that can be enjoyed during a meal or after a meal for dessert with the maple syrup,” he adds. All that and a slice of bacon—what’s not to love? Murguia says that this drink goes best with comfort food flavors like Craft House’s famous meatloaf or the pork T-bone “for the ultimate pork experience.”
Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipes
Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.