They mightn’t have the same halo of popularity which currently surrounds the Aperol Spritz or the Negroni, but there’s a good bet that decades from now, we’ll all still be drinking Old Fashioneds — likely with the same curiosity and gusto we have for them in 2019.

Described by New York Times drinks writer Robert Simonson as “an austere, perfectly balanced assemblage of whiskey, bitters, sugar and water” in his new book dedicated entirely to the drink, this grand old libation — paradoxically hip yet antediluvian — has upheld a reputation as mixology’s gateway drug since its apocryphal beginnings in the 19th century.

A slew of appearances in pop culture — from Mad Men to Crazy Stupid Love — have enriched that perception: after all, what’s more approachable (and suave to boot) than a drink which can be prepared in under 60 seconds, using a total of four ingredients?

The elemental composition belies just how challenging it can be to make a great Old Fashioned. To attain the balanced flavour and silky smooth mouthfeel that boozehounds love, a number of factors (many of them seemingly trivial) come sharply into focus. Here then are six of Hong Kong’s best Old Fashioneds — those that achieve that oft desired equilibrium between flavour, temperature and texture.