Here’s a way to take one of the oldest classic cocktails up a notch…or two or three: a Smoked Old Fashioned! This drink is for the adventurous home bartender who’s after over-the-top flavors. It requires some special equipment (a smoking gun) and a little time. But it’s absolutely worth it! The Smoked Old Fashioned is a cocktail that’s cold-smoked, infusing a smoky depth into the classic whiskey drink. It makes a drink experience you’ll never forget.
How to make a smoked Old Fashioned
Making a smoked Old Fashioned requires 3 separate applications of smoke. Here are the basic steps:
- Smoke the sugar, cocktail cherry and orange peel for 2 minutes. It’s easier to infuse smoke into the garnishes vs the liquid. So here the garnishes are the important part! Use the smoking gun to add smoke to the glass, then cover with a larger glass or glass pitcher.
- Smoke again for 2 minutes. To really infuse the smoky flavor, you’ll do a second “booster” smoke by filling the glass with smoke again and covering it.
- Make the drink. Muddle the sugar with water, then add the bourbon and ice. Add back the smoked garnishes.
- Smoke a third time. Smoke the glass for a third time for 2 minutes to infuse the final smoky flavor and make for a showy presentation.
To make it even more showy, use clear ice!
The ice you use matters! We’ll assume you’re a seasoned home bartender if you’re trying a smoked Old Fashioned. Since it’s all about presentation, we highly recommend using clear ice.
More about the Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned gets its name because it started as literally the cocktail. The first cocktail in existence! It was first documented in the early 1800’s by a New York paper. Once more cocktails started coming along in the 1806’s, they needed a name for that original whiskey cocktail. The “Old Fashioned” was born.
The Old Fashioned is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the drink, which is:
- Bourbon or rye whiskey
- Sugar cube
- Angostura bitters
- Orange peel and cocktail cherry garnish
The smoked Old Fashioned came along because bartenders started cold smoking drinks to infuse a smoky flavor. It’s a modern spin on the classic that’s absolutely worth a try.
Want another spin on the Old Fashioned? Try the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, made with brandy and topped off with lemon lime soda. Or try a Maple Old Fashioned with maple syrup.
- 1 sugar cube (1 teaspoon sugar)
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- ½ teaspoon water
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) bourbon whiskey
- Orange peel for garnish
- Cocktail cherry for garnish
- Large ice cube (use clear ice!)
- Smoke Stack cocktail smoker
- Place the sugar cube in a lowball glass and add the bitters. Place the cocktail cherry and orange peel in the glass. Fill the glass with smoke from the smoking gun and cover the glass with larger glass or pitcher. Wait 2 minutes, then release the smoke. Then fill the glass with smoke again for another 2 minutes, then release.
- Remove the orange peel and cherry. Add the water to the sugar cube and mash and swirl it with a muddler or wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add the bourbon whiskey and swirl to combine. Add a large ice cube.
- Squeeze the orange peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry. Fill the glass again with smoke and cover with the larger glass. Wait 2 minutes, then release the smoke and serve.