To celebrate “Fall For Stickley” and The Craftsman Gala, we ‘re serving up another Craftsman Cocktail! Our jauntily named “Quarter Sawn Oak” is a variation on a classic Whiskey Smash, a fruity drink similar to a Mint Julep.
Though it appears in earlier bartending manuals, it isn’t given the name “Smash,” until Harry Johnson’s “New and Improved Bartending Manual or How to Mix Drinks in the Present Style,” published in 1888. Johnson’s Old Style Whiskey Smash is a blend of sugar, water, mint, “small pieces” of ice and one “wineglass” of whiskey (about 2 oz.). He added that to a glass with “fruits in season,” gave it a mix and served it with a julep strainer.
Selecting an oak barreled bourbon as the base spirit, gives this otherwise fruity drink a rich toffee-caramel flavor with oaky vanilla notes. It’s a fun nod to Gustav Stickley’s signature choice of raw material, the American white oak.
In the July 1909 issue of The Craftsman, Stickley wrote that the American white oak “possesses not only strength of fiber and beauty of color and markings, but great durability, as its sturdiness and the hardness of its texture enable it to withstand almost any amount of wear.”
The Craftsman’s preference for oak is clear. The article goes on, “There are many varieties of oak in this country, but of these the white oak is by far the most desirable, both for cabinetmaking and for interior woodwork. One reason for this is the deep, ripened color it takes on under the process we use for finishing it [fuming with ammonia],-a process which gives the appearance of age and mellowness without in any way altering the character of the wood.”
As we reflect on a difficult year, we recognize that we were able to withstand its wear and tear thanks to the strength of your continued and steadfast support. Thank you!
Craftsman Cocktail: Quarter Sawn Oak (Whiskey Smash)
2 parts Jim Beam® Double Oak or similar Oak Barreled Bourbon
Half of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon Sugar, Granulated
7-8 leaves Mint, Fresh
1 cup Ice, Crushed
Place the mint, lemon, and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Muddle together until the sugar has dissolved and the lemon has expressed its juices. Add the whiskey, cover, and shake for 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to an Old Fashioned glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Kristen McCauley is the Senior Manager of Education and Interpretation at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. She is not a professional bartender, only a recreational one. Please drink responsibly!
We started Craftsman Kitchen in spring of 2020 as a fun way to connect with the past, work with our hands, create something new and thoroughly enjoy the results! We looked to early 20th century cookbooks in the museum’s collection, as well as dishes served at the Craftsman Restaurant, and to Craftsman Farms herself for inspiration and simple recipes to try and to share.
Harry Johnson’s 1888 “New and Improved Bartending Manual or How to Mix Drinks in the Present Style.”:
“Our Native Woods and the Craftsman Method of Finishing Them,” The craftsman Vol. XVI, Number 4 July 1909: https://search.library.wisc.edu/digital/AAIJODGKJJS62687/pages/A3LHHLUOVMLZ6T8L