I’m ‘Usually’ More Picky

3 Feb

A few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to stop by Fort Worth’s much-acclaimed The Usual. If you’ve never been, it’s located on the Magnolia Avenue strip and prides itself on its speakeasy-style cocktails and neighborhood friendliness.

Here’s the thing. Ever since this prohibition trend has swept its way across DFW, my whiskey style has gone from neat to shaken. That’s right, everyone. As of late, I prefer cocktails.

Now don’t you go spreading rumors about me. I’m not sitting around milking cosmos. In light of the ’20s making a comeback, I’ve become a total Whiskey Smash junkie.

If you’ve never had one, a Whiskey Smash is the most delicious thing you will ever taste. It doesn’t taste much like bourbon, which is almost regrettable, but you can trust that a few sips in, you won’t remember why you were sad.

Here’s the thing though — I ordered a Whiskey Smash at The Usual, the tender gave a promising nod (I’m sometimes nervous they wont know what it is, even though it was pretty common back in the day), and then he took out his iPhone and Googled it.

I almost cried.

Fortunately for me, he could read, and made a decent drink. Apparently, I should’ve quit while he was ahead. When I went back for seconds, homeboy made it from memory and forgot the mint and simple syrup. What the hell!?

In light of the bitter atrocity I spitefully downed like a bad shot, I’ve included a recipe to help spread knowledge to the dark corners of soberdom. Learn it. Live it.

I did take a swig of a friend’s Old Fashioned as well. I prefer the sweeter components as enhancements to the bourbon, rather than eye candy. It wasn’t my style, but I’m sure some people would disagree.

Despite the disagreeable nature of the drams though, I thought the venue was great. I have the feeling that even when it’s dirty, it will still look clean, and the time I spent there wasn’t at all crowded or obnoxious.

In terms of the employees, the bartenders and wait staff were very personable and even knew their regulars’ names.

All in all, I would recommend The Usual as a less rowdy alternative to Fort Worth’s other younger spots, but when you step up to the bar, I suggest playing it safe.

Now here’s a little truth for you:

Whiskey Smash

  • 3 lemon wedges
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz. bourbon (I prefer more, and I prefer Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 oz. water (optional)
  1. In the bottom of a shaker, muddle together the lemon wedges, mint and simple syrup to extract as much oil and juice from the lemon wedges as you can.
  2. Add bourbon and ice, and shake extremely well.
  3. Strain thoroughly into chilled glass. You don’t want seeds or debris in there.
  4. Die; go to Heaven.

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