L ooking for a great smoked old fashioned recipe & guide? You’ve come to the right place!
An old-fashioned is a combination of spirit, traditionally some type of whiskey, sweetener like sugar cubes or simple syrup, and usually an aromatic bitters. Note, if you’re are using a sugar cube don’t forget to add some water to the recipe.
This classic cocktail has had a resurgence in popularity lately and you can find an Old-Fashioned on the menu just about anywhere you go. It’s delicious, easy to make, and can serve as a great base for new creations!
Fundamental Old Fashioned Recipe:
- 2 oz bourbon
- 0.25 oz simple syrup
- 2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
Combine in a mixing glass, stir, strain over ice, and garnish with an orange peel and cherry.
This basic formula for a old fashioned recipe is flexible and elegant. It gives you a lot of opportunity to create new drinks just by changing or adding one element, fractioning the basic spirit, switching the sweetener, or using an interesting bitters.
Conference by Brian Miller – In this example Brian is using four spirits instead of one but they all add up to the same 2 oz. This is called fractioning and it’s a great way to add an interesting take on an existing recipe. He’s also fractioning the bitters — instead of using one he’s using two; an aromatics and a Xocolatl Mole bitters. This gives it a hint of smoke and chocolate.
- 0.5 oz Ritten house Rye
- 0.5 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 0.5 oz Calvados
- 0.5 oz Hine H cognac
- 1 teaspoon demerara syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
- Garnish 1 lemon twist and 1 orange twist
Rum Old-Fashioned – In this recipe bourbon is substituted for rum and Demerara syrup is used instead of simple syrup. This creates an Old-Fashioned with a different flavor profile that’s rich in vanilla and molasses; almost like a desert.
- 2 oz Papa’s Pilar rum
- 1 bar spoon Demerara syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Dessert Old-Fashioned – If the last recipe was almost like a desert this one is practically a chocolate cake. Willet has hints of cinnamon that combines well with the vanilla syrup and chocolate bitters. Truly luxurious!
- 2 oz Willett Rye
- 1 bar spoon of vanilla syrup
- 2 dashes Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters
But wait you say! Where’s the smoke? It’s very much in vogue to smoke drinks today and that’s doubly true for the Old-Fashioned. As chance may have it it’s also one of the few drinks that I feel really benefits from smoking.
There are a lot of different ways to smoke a drink. The one I’ll be talking about today is perhaps the most accessible; no special equipment required outside of a torch and a grilling plank. There are a lot of different types of wood you can use and most of them can be found locally in grocery stores, Home Depot, or anywhere else that sells grilling accessories and supplies.
Personally, I enjoy using Cedar, Cherry, Maple, or Hickory. They produce a soft saddle smoke that compliments the drink well without overpowering it. Using a wood like White Oak or Alder can be a bit harsh and overwhelming.
Practically speaking you’ll need:
- Basic spirit such as Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Rum, or Tequila.
- Simple syrup or other sweetener like Demerara syrup or Agave.
- Bitters! Really you could use anything that satisfies your palate.
- Torch – I use the Blazer brand that can be found on Amazon.
- Wood grilling planks – Maple is my favorite!
- Mixing glass – If you don’t have one a plain glass to stir it in will be fine or you can buy one from me here!
- Spoon – Preferably a beautiful bar spoon but in a pinch table spoons, teaspoons, and hell even a finger might work.
- Julep strainer – I love these from Yukiwa but if you don’t have one a hawthorn will work as well.
- Peeler or pairing knife.
- Cherries and orange for garnish.
- Ice – Regular ice for stirring and if you can swing it ice in a large cube or sphere for the cocktail itself. You can usually find this big ice molds at a liquor store or on Amazon for really cheap. Sometimes Bed Bath and Beyond has them as well!
Smoked Old Fashioned Recipe & Instructions
Torch your plank and place the rocks glass over it. While the glass is getting nicely coated in smoke combine the following ingredients in a mixing glass:
- 2oz Bourbon0.25oz to 0.5 oz simple syrup – it depends how sweet you like it.
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2-3 dashes Orange bitters. I like to use bitter bottles because the dashes are small and consistent. If you use the bottles the bitters come in keep in mind that the emptier the bottle become the bigger the dashes become so you need to use less of them!
Add some ice and stir. Flip your glass that’s been smoking and cover it quickly with a napkin. Try not to use your hand especially if you are making it for someone else since its not very sanitary. Put your ice in the glass and strain the cocktail over it. Garnish with a flamed orange peel and a cherry.
When I pick a bourbon or rye for an old-fashioned I try to pick something with more body and texture like Buffalo Trace, Rittenhouse Rye, Willett Rye or E.H. Taylor Small Batch. I leave the lighter bourbons like Basil Hayden’s and Angel’s Envy to drink neat at the beach. Just remember there are no hard and fast rules with the spirit you choose. It’s all about what you enjoy.
Have fun and happy drinking!