This week on Dash + Twist I will be highlighting a vegan restaurant, Charlie Was a Sinner.

Charlie was a Sinner sits on one of the hottest restaurant blocks in Philadelphia. Located on 13th, between Walnut and Chestnut streets, this small stretch piles up restaurants and bars like rush hour traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway. If you’re from the area, you know exactly what I’m talking about, if not, head out to Philly. It’s an awesome city, just stay away from the highways at 5pm. Philly is also where I currently reside, if you ever want to kick it and grab an O.F or something. I’m not desperate for friends, I swear.

Now you may be thinking… a vegan restaurant? That’s an interesting location for a cocktail review? Well, I should note that Charlie’s (to me) is a cocktail bar 1st, eatery 2nd. Im certainly not knocking their vegan ricotta cheese, but their cocktail program is just out of this world. Cheesy joke alert: Speaking of out of this world, how do you throw a party in space? Planet. (Plan It). moving on…If you’re not an Old Fashioned fan, you can still find your drink at Charlie’s, but honestly that’s not why you’re reading this, so let’s get into the Old Fashioned.

I am going to paint the picture for you.

It’s Friday night, a few friends and I luckily land some seats at Charlie’s religiously crowded bar. Sinners everywhere…

Sebastian: “What can I get for you guys?” [Side note: I never received permission to use the bartenders actual name, so for story telling purposes, he’s Sebastian.] Well Sebash, since we are on a nickname basis now, I’ll have an Old Fashioned, please…but…not just any Old Fashioned. If you don’t mind, I would like if you could put your personal spin on it. Sebastian didn’t hesitate. He knew exactly what he was doing and even started reaching for ingredients before I could finish my douchey annoying sentence.

The Ingredients of Sebastian’s Old Fashioned: Hmmn maybe we can call it the “Old Sebastianed?”

Below is the Dash + Twist layout for Old Fashioned Recipes that I come across. I will list the traditional Old Fashioned cocktail (See post) to the left. Then list the rendition next to it. All additives will be listed at the end. I will also never give specific amounts, because I want to keep some type of trade secret. This should also encourage you, the audience, to play with the recipe, and maybe even make it better. Good luck!

Sugar – Apple cider reduction

Bitters – Angostura Bitters

Ice – Large circular ice ball

Spirit: Rittenhouse Rye whiskey

Additives: A brûléed green apple garnish.

This is a very interesting take on an Old Fashioned and even included some pyromania! It started with yesterday’s left over boozy apple cider that was reduced down to a unique version of simple syrup. The syrup was mixed with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, the industry folk tend to just call these Ango bitters for short. Ango bitters are without question the most popular bitters used in Old Fashioneds. So, you’ll hear that Ango word a lot.

Next, the rocks, actually, in this case the ‘rock.’ One large, spherical ice cube. well, not a cube…a ball…whatever, I think you get the point. Basically it was what Leo wishes he avoided in that classic dual VHS hit, Titanic. Why did Sebastian use one large piece of ice? The answer is simple, it melts much slower, which doesn’t water down the whiskey, and also it looks dope. Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey was the spirit used in the cocktail. This 100 proof, bonded whiskey was originally distilled in Pennsylvania, hence being named after the famous Philadelphian, David Rittenhouse. This sub $30 rye whiskey works lovely on the rocks, but even better in an Old Fashioned. See Modern Thirst’s detailed breakdown of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey.

Last but not least, fire! Sebastian tossed a shaker atop the bar, spun it upside down, threw a green apple slice on top, then equipped a bakers torch and incinerated the apple. It became a beautiful J.LO caramel color and used as a very impressive garnish for the drink.

There you have it, the first unique Dash + Twist review of a modern Old Fashioned. Charlie was a Sinner, but his bartenders are saints!