Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Incredible Crusted Steak Sandwich

Good morning to you my little chick peas!

Well, apparently it's meat-a-licious week at Taste Buds this week. I don't think Haydn and I could have made 2 meatier posts if we tried! 

That being said, a little meat never hurt anyone. Wait a second, that's not true. 

Take two: A little small scale, grass fed, organic, eaten in moderation meat never hurt anyone. There, that's better. 

Speaking of happy food, I have a bit of an announcement to make today! And if you've just come from Gastronomical Sovereignty, I apologize for the regurgitation - but how many different ways can you say the same news?

Sam @ Cooking My Way Through My CSA and I have been secretly corresponding with each other to bring you something new, fun and important next week! It's kind of a big deal - like us. Like you!

This is very cryptic, isn't it?

Oh hell, I'll just say it: Starting next Wednesday we will be co-hosting a weekly linky party/blog hop that encourages fresh food production, consumption, activism and awareness for bloggers and blog readers alike! We want to feature you and any and all of your CSA collections, farmer's market treasures, home grown/raised hauls, and/or any seasonal recipes or DIY projects or tutorials related to the above. Ultimately, we want to create a space and a resource for seasonal, organic, pastured, small scale happy food and the people that love it. Fun, right?? The blog hop will go live on Sam's blog and Gastronomical Sovereignty Wednesday at midnight, Eastern standard time with more instructions then. Hold onto your butts! It's gonna be a time!

And now to steal the segue I posted yesterday at GS - because why stop with the news? - how about a time for your mouth? A real good time!

....yeah, saying the same joke twice doesn't quite work, does it? I'll refrain from plagiarizing myself from now on. I promise.

Incredible Crusted Steak Sandwich
(printable recipe) - serves 2.


2 5oz 1-1/2" Steaks, patted dry. (i.e. Sirloin, Strip-loin, or even Beef Tenderloin).
3 Oz Blue Cheese, crumbled.
1 Lemon for Zest.
2 Sundried Tomatoes, finely chopped.
2 Tbsp Pine Nuts.
2 Portobello Mushrooms, diced.
1 Shallot, diced.
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped.
1 Large Sprig of Fresh Thyme.
1 C Heavy Red Wine.
Virgin Olive Oil.
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
2 Decent Size Slices of Focaccia (approx big enough to fit your steak), with one side of crust cut off.

What to Do:

Remove the steaks from the fridge up to 45 minutes - but no less than 30 - before cooking them. This allows them to come to room temperature and therefore cook more evenly.

Once they're good to go, heat a frying pan (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. As it heats up slather them with some oil (olive oil or a basic veggie one will do just fine) and then generously season the steaks on both sides with a good dose of salt and pepper. 

In a mortar & pestle, mash together the pine nuts, blue cheese, sundried tomatoes, and lemon zest. Set aside.

Place steaks in the very hot pan. Do not move them around at this point. Let them sear! They will "release" from the pan when the outside is good and brown. 

Cook 4-5 minutes, flip. Top with the blue cheese crust and continue to cook for a further 3-4 minutes*. 

Turn your broiler to high. 

Remove steaks from heat, place to rest on a wire rack (to allow air circulation and juice flow) and cover with tin foil.

As the steak rests, place focaccia under the broiler with the cut side up. Watch carefully! Toast until golden and remove from the heat. Set aside.

Sauce: Reduce the heat to medium and chuck the shallots and garlic into the pan with all the brown bits left over from the steak, along with a small glug of olive oil. Stir well and allow to soften for about a minute. Add the mushrooms. Get some nice brown color on those babies. Once they look just about done, carefully add the wine and thyme to the mixture. Bring to a simmer and reduce by about half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Place the bread on the plate, top with the rested steak and a couple spoonfuls of the sauce. Pair with a helping of Grilled Balsamicy Summer Asparagus, Smurshed Potato Things, or really class it up with a handful of Garlicky Oven Fries.

* This cooking time will result in a medium-rare steak. If you want your meat cooked less or more, here is a simple guide to doing so.


Can you think of anything you can link up for the Blog Hop?


This post is linked up with Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Fight Back Friday; Fresh Bites Friday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bag-Free Brisket (Scratch Made)

The Lowdown:

If corned beef reminds you of some log shaped piece of meat in a bag, you're not alone. With fond memories, I pass by it every time I'm hunting and foraging in the grocery store. I don't remember the last time I had corned beef, but I do recall loving it. That fall apart texture. The aroma. The grip-you-by-the-balls flavour. All things that I appreciate in a meal.

But how many of you have actually made one yourselves? I sure know I haven't. Part of the problem -- that damn curing salt (Prague powder #2 or pink curing salt). I live in Victoria, BC which is by no means a small town. However, finding that salt proved to be a killer. I searched for weeks, going to specialty butchers, delis, grocery stores, markets, and meat shops. Nothing. Then I got the brilliant idea to search online. In the true spirit of difficulty, I couldn't find a place that would ship to Canada. Then, I did. But they had issues dealing with my visa. For the love of everything holy, why can't I buy this damn salt! It's like it's the international salt of mystery. Double-0 Salt, with the dastardly plan of preventing people from making cured meats.

Obviously, since I'm writing this post, you know I've somehow got my grubbly little mitts on some. Let me take you back... way back. So two days ago I was complaining (and by this I mean ranting out of control) about this predicament with a friend, the GM of Smoken Bones, when his chef, who I've become friends with, over heard me. With a simple gesture of his hand, he vanished with a puff of smoke and reappeared moments later with the secret ingredient. No, not eye of newt, a porcupine quill, or old man's beard. It was the Double-0 Salt that has eluded me all these tiresome weeks. Okay, he's not a magician per se, so he didn't really vanish with a puff of smoke. However, he did get me the salt and he is a mastermind when it comes to smoking meats, cheeses, and just about anything else. Warning! Warning! Shameless plug alert! If you're ever in this part of the world check out Smoken Bones.

Back to the mission at hand. I now had the salt of curing in my possession. Fast forward 12 days. The brine has done its magic. The brisket is either ready to be smoked (to make Montreal smoked meat) or boiled to make a traditional brisket dinner. Decisions decisions.

The Lowdown:

3 lbs Beef brisket
1/4 cup Sea salt
2 tbsp Pink curing salt (Prague Powder #2)

2 tbsp Coriander*
5 whole Chili peppers, dried*
2 tbsp Peppercorns, whole*
6 Bay leaves, dried*
2 tsp Cumin, whole*
1 Cinnamon stick, crushed*
1 tsp Clove, whole*
1 Cardamom pod, whole*
1 tbsp Mustard seed*
1 tsp Allspice, whole*

*These ingredients can be skipped if you are choosing to use store bought pickling spice.

The Lowdown:

  1. Place the beef brisket into a sealable container that is large enough to house the brisket, then add pickling spice ingredients, salt, curing salt, and enough water to entirely cover the brisket, and then some (I used approximately 4 cups).
  2. Place in a refrigerator for 7-12 days to allow the pickling spices to ramp up the brisket's flavour.
  3. Remove the brisket from the brine, and allow to soak in regular water for 20-30 minutes to get all the excess salt out of it.
  4. Dump out the soaking water and refill the pot so that 3/4 of the brisket is covered by water. Optional, add a cinnamon stick, a few cloves, some mustard seed, some peppercorns, and some all spice to the water (this will really make the brisket a knockout).
  5. Cover, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. Remove from water and serve warm.
  6. Enjoy.

Featured on: Chef in Training, 33 Shades of Green, Premeditated Leftovers, Spain in Iowa, Food Renegade, Lady Behind the Curtain,

Stay Rad - h

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I like it hot and cheesy!

I've missed you lovelies!

Due to a ridiculously busy week of also family visitations, work schedule fuck ups, Haydn's birthday, university convocation, hair appointments, and the need to finish the last book in The Hunger Games, I took last week off. And you know that? I'm damn glad I did!

It just needed to be done. 

Those of us with blogs know how time consuming they can be, but my wonderful friends who aren't obsessed with their computers don't realize that between 3 posts a week @ Gastronomical Sovereignty and 1 here, I probably waste spend near 40 hours a week cooking, taking photos, editing photos, posting, promoting, and doing general blog things. It really is about 10 hours a post - and while I love it, I needed a week off. 

But now I'm back! And that also feels damn good.

And to celebrate? How about a little cheesy spicy goodness? For this week's make-something-from-another-blog-post I decided to pull out a little trick from Kimberly @ Rhubarb & Honey.

The chick is fuckin' rad and so is her food philosophy. She also happens to partake in The Secret Recipe Club with me - and while I may not get as my SRC assignment, it doesn't mean I can't give the woman props and make something from her blog.

Her recipe has less fat in it than mine does but I have a slight fear of anything "low fat" or "non-fat".... If they take the fat out of an ingredient, they have to replace it with something. What is that something??? Ick! So instead, I went all-fat. And let me tell you, I'm pretty sure my thighs are feelin' it. But it's all good because anything that is cheesy and spicy makes me a happy girl... 

Speaking of which, have you read 50 Shades of Grey??? I'm on the first book right now and I've never read anything so outright cheesy and hot in all my life. But it's Summer time - when else during the year can you indulge in such sauciness?

Gooey Cheesy Baked Jalapenos
 (printable recipe) - serves 5 - 6.


6 JalapeƱos, halved and seeds & ribs removed.
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated.
1/4 C Cream Cheese, whipped.
4 Scallions, finely chopped.
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour.
1 1/2 Cups Panko Crumbs.
4 Large Egg Whites.
Course Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
1/2 C Sour Cream.

What to Do: 

Pre-heat your broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top and lay jalapenos on rack, broil for approx 2 minutes or until they start to char. Allow to cool completely and turn the oven down to 400 degrees F via the regular element.

In a small bowl combine the cheddar, cream cheese and half the scallions. Gently spoon & tightly pack into eat half pepper.

Place the flour and panko crumbs in two separate shallow dishes, seasoning both with a little salt. In a third bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy.

Dredge each jalapeno through the flour,s haking off the excess, followed by the egg whites, and then the panko.

Place back on the wire rack/foil lined baking sheet again and season with salt and pepper. Bake until breading is golden and cheese is melted, approx. 20 minutes or so.

As they brown, mix the remaining scallions into the sour cream and season lightly with salt.

Serve baked jalapenos with the sour cream on the side for dipping.


What do you do to relax? How do you know it's time for a break? Good Summer read suggestions, darlings?


This post is linked up with Whole Foods Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Cast Party Wednesday; Simple Lives Thursday; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Fresh Bites Friday; Fight Back Friday.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thank-ya Solyanka

The Lowdown:

There were two reasons that I wanted to start wasting my time with this blog. One was to prove Kristy wrong. If you get to know me, you'll soon understand that this is a common theme in my life. I once ate an entire pack of expired bacon just because my lovely girlfriend said I couldn't. Well, I did... and paid dearly (Kristy can tell you all about it as it effected her birthday). But the point is that I did it! Proving a point is much more important than the consequences that follow. 

Secondly, it was an excellent way to expand my repertoire. Obviously it expanded my repertoire of recipes and cooking techniques (not to mention useless dishes and place settings... ugh). But an unforeseen result of this blog is the expansion of my musical repertoire. Often while I'm writing these posts I'll throw on youtube and search for a song, any song, that happens to come to mind. Then, I'll listen to the recommended songs on the sidebar. Often, I'll put these in the posts. I'm sure you've noticed.

To continue on with that tradition, Wyclef Jean - Knockin on Heaven's Door, is a great place to start. It suits the theme of this post, as it is a remake of Bob Dylan's classic hit. Likewise, on our schedule, this week's post is a remake of another blogger's recipe. Yes, I've actually started following the schedule.

Being that summer has seemed to have forgotten about Victoria, I was craving a cold weather favourite. For me, this is usually soup. Then I remembered a soup that my Nan once made a while back. Dill pickles in soup? I'd thought she'd surely become senile (I'm still not fully convinced that she isn't). But as it turned out, I loved it. Who'd know that tomatoes, dill pickles, and onion would make a delicious soup (other than the hundreds of millions of people who have enjoyed solyanka before me).

If any of you are interested in other Eastern European dishes, or the original post that this came from, you can find it at If any of you are interested in another amazing remake, check out Wyclef Jean - Wish You Were Here. This is, in my opinion, is an amazing remake of one of Pink Floyd's greatest songs. Most of the time you hear a cover, it sounds as if the artist is just trying to make easy money off of another artist's hit. However, Wyclef's covers seem as if they are paying homage to great artists that have since been forgotten by the majority of today's people, while adding his spin on modern issues. I hope I can pay the same sort of homage to solyanka. Enjoy.

The Playlist:

500g Meat (I used leftover turkey, but any mixture of meat is good).
6-8 Tomatoes, chopped*
2 cups Pickles, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Lemon, juiced*
1 tbsp Honey (sugar if you don't have honey)*
2 Bay leaves*
2 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Canola oil
750ml Water
Salt & Pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL - Vegetarian:
1 Carrot, chopped
1/4 head Cabbage, chopped
1 Potato, cubed

*A can of tomato sauce can be used in place of these ingredients.

The Skinny:

  1. In sauce pan: stew tomatoes with bay leaves, parsley, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes (I mashed mine). Alternatively, you could used a can of tomato sauce to save time.
  2. In frying pan: brown onions, garlic, and meat in oil.
  3. In large pot: bring water to a boil.
  4. While water is heating, combine onions, meat, pickles, and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Put mixture into boiling water, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.

Featured on: Chef in Training33 Shades of GreenPremeditated LeftoversSpain in IowaFood Renegades, This Chick Cooks, Lady Behind the Curtain, What's Cooking Love,  

Stay Rad -h

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lemongrass Coconut Milk Chicken

The Lowdown:

Once again, this was one of those days where laziness takes over. A morning full of ambitions, and an afternoon full of procrastination. That is, until the dreaded phone call from my better half. Date night. Shit. Forgot. Trouble in paradise? Nope, I am too witty and quick minded to be caught flat-footed on date night. There are four easy steps to avoiding disaster when this happens:

  1. Act confident on the phone. Women can sense urgency in a man's voice. It's a primal instinct that they keep keen. Tell them that you have a cute surprise planned and can't wait to see them. Remember, no hints.
  2. Assess the pantry and get shit started ASAP. People are generally cranky when they get home from work. This is especially true when you've had all day to accomplish "the list" and managed to complete none of the tasks.
  3. Form all of the pillows on your bed into the shape of your body and make a pre-recorded message, that cues when the door knob rotates, saying how sick you are and not to come into the room. Tie all of your sheets into a rope and rappel down the side of your building to safety.
  4. Apply for a fraudulent passport and forget your past life. You are now free of a woman's fury.
Or, if you are lucky enough to have enough ingredients (and creativity) to come up with something, it is advised that you do so. Luckily for me, this was the case. Although I am sitting here laughing to myself, be assured, this was a close call. Oh! I almost forgot. An optional step 5 is to go rent a movie that is cute and romantic. By this, I mean a movie that has no plot line, requires zero brain power or intelligence, is horribly acted, has no words larger than three syllables, and makes you vomit from the thought that you just wasted two and a half hours of your life. Yes, the dreaded "chick flick."

Anyway, being summer(ish) I have stopped grocery shopping for the most part. Needless to say, my options were very limited. So this makeshift dish was the fruit of my (very hasty) labour. All I have to say is, thank God I had golden beets and chicken breasts.

The Playlist:

1 can Coconut milk
3 Chicken breasts
1 Mango, peeled and cubed
1 tsp Coriander seed, coursely ground
1 tsp Cumin seed, coursely ground
1 tbsp chili powder
1 stalk Lemongrass
1 tsp Lemon zest
3 Kaffir lime leaves
3 Shallot, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Rice flour
Salt & Pepper, to taste

The Skinny:

  1. Heat coconut milk, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil and allow to cook for 15-30 minutes. Remove lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
  2. To pot: add salt, pepper, mango, shallot, garlic, coriander, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. If possible put the chicken breasts into the sauce and refrigerate over night. If not, marinate for as long as possible.
  4. Remove chicken from sauce and generously coat with rice flour, heat oil in a large frying pan and cook until chicken is browned on both sides ( as well as cooked through, obviously).
  5. While chicken is cooking, put coconut sauce into a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until liquid is thoroughly heated. Puree if desired. Place sauce onto the chicken.
  6. Serve hot.

Stay rad -h

Featured on:  33 Shades of Green, Chef in Training, Amee's Savory Dish, A Little Spain in Iowa,

Thursday, June 07, 2012

RPI: Bourbon with a side of bourbon...

While we may be very popular = no real time to make RPIs, it doesn't necessarily mean Haydn and I are being invited to "attend all of Victoria's most highly acclaimed art shows, movie premieres, and backyard barbecues".

Unlike Haydn, I have no quarrels with the art world so if we were attending acclaimed art shows, I'd actually be a pretty happy girl - hello, free alcohol. And movie premiers in Victoria? Yeah. Right. We live in hippie-ville Canada and I darn tootin' love it! Backyard BBQs though? Heck yeah - I've been on that train. Choo Choo! My point? Yes, we are busy. But not doing anything you'd find remotely interesting. Except the barbeques - those are pretty rad.

Also unlike Haydn, I got into the serving industry because I genuinely love it. Well, loved it. I get paid to socialize, meet new people, be around quality (or not) food and drink, and basically run my own business. And you know what? I'm damn good at it.

Fast forward 10 years later though: I hate people. No I don't.  But I do dislike working nights, I don't enjoy having to be "on" 30 or more hours a week, and I am awfully sick of seeing the worst of people - rudeness, crudeness, and general crankisorus-rexs. I'm over the serving industry - unless I can wiggle my way into management, I have no interest sucking up to enjoyable and non-enjoyable customers alike.

I have come into contact though with some pretty rad people, dishes and drinks. And while Haydn focuses on the history of the cocktail a little more than I do, I adore the art of the cocktail.

The love and care and creativity that goes into actually mixing and preparing drinks - be it wine, beer, spirits or a culmination of any of the above. It's still very new to me but the chemistry of making a good drink is very similar to that cooking - it's all about balancing flavours and making it pretty. Because as they say in food, you eat with your eyes first. Drinking is no different.

My current fixation? The Old fashioned. As I said @ Gastronomical Sovereignty yesterday, there's something just so rugged and burly about this drink...and me when I'm drinking it. Garnish it with some bourbon soaked cherries, and you've got a happy, happy girl... though that could be the bourbon talking.

The Old Fashioned
(printable recipe)

Serves One

2 Oz Good Quality Bourbon (i.e. Maker's Mark).
Three Swigs of Angostura Bitters.
Three Swigs of Orange Bitters.
1 Oz Organic Cane Sugar Simple Syrup.
1 Huge or 2 Large Ice Cubes.
1 Small Strip of Lemon Zest, pith free.
1 Slightly Larger Strip of Orange Zest, pith free.
3 Bourbon Soaked Cherries.

What to Do:

To make simple syrup: Place 2 C water and 2 C organic cane sugar in a heavy bottom pot. Heat over a medium-low burner, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves completely. Once dissolved, remove from the heat and if you like, add a Tsp of pure vanilla extract. Pour into a large glass mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep quite a while.

In a rocks glass, combine the bourbon, bitters and simple syrup. Add the ice and stir for a good 45 seconds to a minute - this allows some of the ice to break down in the drink making it much more palatable. 

Squeeze and twist the strip of lemon, drop it in the drink. Do the same with the orange strip but rub it cut side down along the rim of the glass before tossing it in. 

Skewer the cherries on a metal or wooden toothpick and drop in the drink. 

Let sit for a minute or two. Sip.



 This post is linked up with Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday;  Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Tastetastic Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Foodie Friday; Fight Back Friday; Fresh Bites Friday.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

RPI: The Born Again Old-Fashioned

The Lowdown:

Kristy and I, unfortunately for you, are currently experiencing the side-effects of being just too freakin' popular. Friends begging us for our presence, text messages out the wahoo (yeah, that's right I said wahoo), not to mention we've been asked to attend all of Victoria's most highly acclaimed art shows, movie premieres, and backyard barbecues. Art shows... nah. Backyard barbecues definitely get the thumbs up though. What I'm getting at is that our RPI didn't quite formulate. In fact, it failed. Miserably. If you enjoy the finer side of spirits, this is a bonus for you. If not, well... shit.

Bartending, to most, is a simple and effective way to look cool. How can I say anything different? I've been bartending for some time now, and rarely do I ever look into the history of what I'm making or, mostly likely, drinking. But I sure as hell do look cool. To be honest, I only got into bartending to put myself through too many agonizing years of school. Finally, knowing that my days as a bartender are nearing at an end, I thought I should start to explore the classier side of bartending.

One thing, that I can truthfully say, is that I have always appreciated the classics. Sugary and fruity drinks have never been my thing. Scratch that, they haven't been my thing since I was 16 and drinking out of a 2L cider bottle with 4 other friends. Ah shit, scratch that once again. I did also enjoy freshly made pina coladas while I was away on vacation last month. But how can you resist a bit of Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville and a freshly made blender drink? That's right, listen to that song and tell me you aren't craving a blended drink.

Beyond the aforementioned slips of my past sips, I've always enjoyed the bite that a well crafted drink has. This of course, is much different than the bite that a poorly made drink at a stag or toga party has (you know, where coke is added for colour). Bite. Yes, bite was one of the reasons that this cocktail has so many variations (or so history says).

This recipe (not the name however), and the word cocktail, are claimed to have been published in 1806. The term cocktail was a simple definition that included a beverage that contained bitters, sugar, water, and spirits. It's clear to see that a Old-Fashioned clearly fits within these boundaries. Although, 1806 is when the general definition of a cocktail was unveiled, it wasn't until 1895 that the words "Old-Fashioned" were published in relation to the, once again popular, cocktail (Kosevich, 2009). Although, the Old-Fashioned is synonymous with whiskey today, it used to be a simple process of building a cocktail (Patterson, 2011). In other words, every spirit had its own version of the old-fashioned (IE: rum old-fashioned, tequila old-fashioned, etc).

Cocktails, in their primitive definition, were essentially there to make the spirits of the time manageable. Since then, the original recipe has spawned a million illegitimate children. Some say that the prohibition was to blame, when underground bartenders made cocktails that were disguised as non-alcoholic beverages. A few other sources stated that spirits, during the prohibition, were made so poorly that fruit had to be added just to make them bearable (Kosevich, 2009).

So whether you are a purist wanting to prove your historical sense of this cocktail, or you're the type that enjoys an entire fruit salad muddled into your Old-Fashioned, I hope you enjoyed this extremely brief look at one of the world's most misunderstood cocktails. Now you know why one of the first cocktails invented was referred to as an Old-Fashioned. So while you're enjoying making your own Old-Fashioned, listen to this fine diddy, because it's 5 o'clock somewhere

The Playlist:

1806 Old-Fashioned

3 oz Rye**
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 Sugar cube*
1 tsp Water*
1 sliver Lemon zest

* This is essentially simple syrup, so if you are in a rush (or lazy) you can substitute 0.5 - 1 oz of simple syrup for these two ingredients.

** After reviewing many bartending sites the preferred alcohol is Rye because it is much less sweet than Bourbon. "Purists," don't hate, because there will always be a place for Bourbon in the Old-Fashioned. 

Sarsaparilla Old-Fashioned

3 oz Rye
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 oz Sarsaparilla infused simple syrup***
1 sliver Orange zest

*** In small pot: bring 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp sarsaparilla root to a gentle boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain out sarsaparilla root.

The Skinny:
  1. In an old-fashioned glass (now usually referred to as a rocks glass) muddle sugar cube, bitters, and water together until a paste forms. Rotate the glass on an angle so that the sugar paste coats the lining of the glass. Or if you are using simple syrup simply put the simple syrup in the glass (a bit of a tongue twister).
  2. Add rye (or bourbon), a large ice cube, and the lemon zest.

Stay Rad - h