Back in November, slate.com published a long, thorough, kind of insanely detailed history of the old fashioned. My favorite part of that actually comes from a Letter to the NYT Editor dated Jan 1, 1936. The author simply names himself "OLD TIMER."
Consider, for instance, the old-fashioned cocktail. Time was when the affable and sympathetic bartender moistened a lump of sugar with Angostura bitters, dropped in a lump of ice, neither too large nor too small, stuck in a miniature bar spoon and passed the glass to the client with a bottle of good bourbon from which said client was privileged to pour his own drink. In most places the price was 15 cents or two for a quarter.
Nowadays the modern or ex-speakeasy bartender drops a spoonful of powdered sugar into a glass, adds a squirt of carbonic to aid dissolution, adds to that a dash or two of some kind of alleged bitters and a lump of ice, regardless to size. Then he proceeds to build up a fruit compote of orange, lemon, pineapple and cherry, and himself pours in a carefully measured ounce and a halt of bar whisky, usually a blend, and gives one a glass rod to stir it with. Price 35 to 50 cents.
Profanation and extortion.
The whole article is worth a read. Check it out here.