Originally created by Jerry Thomas, the 19th century “father” of cocktails in America. The Improved Whiskey Cocktail is quite an old cocktail of the normal per-prohibition style, very similar to the old fashioned but with the addition of Absinthe. As with many cocktails from this era I find most recipes much too sweet so I have toned down the simple syrup for my recipe below.
Although this is quite similar to the old fashioned, the addition of absinthe and maraschino give it a completely different flavor. Almost like an old fashioned and a sazarac combined, but more balanced, although there is absinthe it is in no way overpowering. This would be a great one for a nice quiet night, maybe flame the lemon peel for effect if serving in a dark bar.
Shake well and garnish with a lemon twist, making sure to express the oils before serving.