Fourth in our Quarantine Old Fashioned is a Smoked Old Fashioned. This is a return to the basics from the riffs we’ve been doing the last 3 days. For this cocktail I returned to my most basic formula: 2 oz bourbon, 1/2 oz demerara and orange/angostura bitters and tweaked it just a smidge to add bitters with smoke and a little heat.
If you’re a classic old fashioned drinker you probably aren’t interested in adding a lot of different things to your cocktail. You want it to taste like an old fashioned and you want to taste the whiskey. A lot. You’re in luck. I’ve got a classic old fashioned with just one small tweak. I added some bitters that are smoky and have a tiny bit of heat in them (Hella bitters smoked chili bitters). For this one, you’ll like it best if you make it with raw sugar to create a 1:1 demerera simple solution and use a barrel proof bourbon or rye. This one will put hair on your chest.
Now, for the simple syrup, I used raw sugar, but if you don’t have that you could do a simple syrup with 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar for a very good approximation of it. And if you’d like to really play, see if you’ve got some sorghum in your pantry, and create a simple with that as your sweetener. It adds a lot more earthly, full-bodied notes to the cocktail that a straight white sugar simple syrup.
On additional step was smoking the glass. For this, I lit a cinnamon stick on fire, and set the glass over the top of it to put out the fire, but to soak in the smoke while I prepared the cocktail. We have nothing but time right now, don’t we? This puts the smoke in the smoked old fashioned.
So go to your bourbon cabinet and find a barrel strength bourbon (or rye). I recommend Pikesville Rye or Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Both are bar staples for me because of their aggressive and complex flavor profiles and their easy availability here in the Kentucky.
Smoke and Spice Old Fashioned
- 2 oz 110 to 115 proof bourbon – barrel strength preferred
- ½ oz demerara simple syrup
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- 2 dashes Hella smoked chili bitters
- Garnish: orange peel/smoked cinnamon stick
- Combine bourbon, simple and bitters in a mixing glass and add ice. Stir well to combine and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large cube of ice. Express an orange peel over the top of the cocktail and sip slowly. As the high proof bourbon melts the old fashioned changes character and evolves into a sweeter, more approachable drink. Or it could just be the alcohol.