You know what’s even better than drinking for pleasure? Drinking for pleasure plus a cause. So get out your calendars, Do-Gooder Drinkers, and make note of the upcoming Old Fashioned Week, 14 to 22 October!
Launched last year by the Paris-based Maria Loca bar and the organisers of Rhum Fest Paris, “OFW” is a 9-day focus on the Old Fashioned cocktail celebrated with drinks specials, charitable donations, master classes and related events. Of course, the event is made possible through partnerships and the brands getting on board to help make it happen this year are Angostura, Havana Club, HSE, Monkey Shoulder and Woodford Reserve. Donations will go, fittingly, to The Isla Foundation, a Nicaragua based NGO whose activities improve the living and working conditions for sugar cane-cutters. In short: a whole lot of philanthropic fun!
At current count, there are 15 Parisian bars participating (with many more to come), some of which regular readers will recognize (Prescription Cocktail Club, Maria Loca), some of which our podcast listeners will know (Les Justes) and plenty of others to discover like WOS Bar, Mini Pong Bar, and more. OFW has seeped into other French cities with participating bars from Lille to Lyon; Tour to Toulouse; Dieppe to Dax, just to name a few. And, this year it’s also gone international with nice showings from Italy, Spain, the UK and Benelux. There’s even a bar participating all the way from Japan.
You can find participating bars and related information on the bilingual official site, designed by Kart Gable. We’ll also be highlighting some of the more special happenings on our Paris events calendar (you know, that place were we collect all the cool things to do while drinking in the city in one handy reference spot for y’all!) And, from now until then, you’ll also find me on the official Old Fashioned Week site writing up the news articles. I’ll be exploring the cocktail from historical and current perspectives as well as getting up close and personal with the bars, bartenders and brands involved.
And to get things warmed up, here’s a little piece of trivia for you: What’s the World’s No. 1 best selling classic cocktail according to this year’s The World’s 50 Best Bars Annual Report from Drink’s International? You guessed it….
While you’re waiting for Old Fashioned Week to roll around if you want to make one on your own at home, muddle together a dash or two of Angostura Aromatic bitters and a sugar cube, add 4 cl of your selected spirit and garnish with an orange zest. Cheers!