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How to Make the Perfect Old Fashioned

The Canoe Club in Bluffton, South Carolina looks and feels like an exclusive private club founded by Teddy Roosevelt or some other legendarily adventurous type, though in fact anyone can go. 

It just happens to be hidden away on the 20,000 acre Montage Palmetto Bluff resort, one of the poshest retreats not just in the South Atlantic, but the whole country, in our view.

While in the area for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival recently (of which more later) we made a point of traveling to the Canoe Club for one of their delectable cocktails. 

Word is when the restaurant/bar was originally built the architect asked what the budget would be. "There is no budget," he was told. 

Hence the soaring space, built to look like the inside of a handmade canoe, is paneled entirely in polished wood, while the windows overlooking one of the property's many picturesque rivers are also immense. 

And it's not just a gimmick; the whole place sits on top of Palmetto Bluff's actual boat club, which from the outside doesn't really indicate the treasures within. 

It's not until you're inside and up the stairs that all is revealed.

It could be Tony Stark's private hunting lodge, or just about the coolest restaurant in the South, though it doesn't get much press to that effect. 

Which is fine with us, though we're willing to share the secret with you – as well as the recipe for the Club's famous Old Fashioned:

Prep: Empty half of the syrup from a jar of Luxardo cherries and fill will Bulleit Rye Whiskey. Let soak for a minimum of 2 days.

2 oz. Maker's Mark 46 Bourbon

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters

1/8 oz. Luxardo / Bulleit Rye Whiskey Syrup

Build in rocks glass; add large ice ball or square and stir gently; garnish with orange peel and Bulleit Rye-soaked cherry from jar.