It’s fall and I’m spending time outside by the fire pit making s’mores and drinking s’mores old fashioned cocktails. For all of you Bourbon Women out there, you know it’s still Old Fashioned Week in Louisville so I’m continuing to produce old fashioned cocktails for you to enjoy, and this time we’ve got a cocktail full of chocolate, toasted marshmallow and smoky flavors to sip on. Of course, we garnish it with the perfect pairing, s’mores.
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One of the best things about s’mores is the messiness of them, and the fact that you build them over a fire, so while you’re making them, you’re got the smells of fall, wood smoke and toasted caramel flavors wafting all around you. I wanted to recreate that experience in a cocktail. Just because we’re bourbon women doesn’t mean we don’t want to get our hands dirty if it makes a great cocktail. We’d all love a day in the rickhouse or distillation floor, so playing with cocktails is just a bonus.
If you want to learn more about the old fashioned and what it is, and how to make a perfect one, check out my article here.
A S’mores Whiskey Cocktail
While many s’mores cocktails focus on marshmallow vodka, I wanted to stay true to the roots of the old fashioned and stick with a whiskey. I chose to add the marshmallow flavors with a marshmallow syrup, made with toasted (and, I’ll admit, slightly charred) marshmallows. While I made the garnish in the house with a kitchen torch, you can always make one outside while enjoying the fire.
In my case, I made the marshmallow syrup at home, but both Torani and Monin make marshmallow syrups you can buy in stores or purchase online. When you make the syrup at home, you’ll have a slightly cloudy syrup, so your drink will be a bit cloudy, but it will taste fantastic, and you can control the amount of toast you give the marshmallows before making them into a syrup.
Flavors in the S’mores Old Fashioned
In addition to the toasted marshmallow syrup, I’m adding crème de cacao or any other favorite chocolate whiskey, and a touch of smoke.
Because I used whiskey, I knew that adding some smoke in the form of a whiskey or mezcal would match perfectly. While I used mezcal because it was what I had close at hand, a peaty scotch would work just fine to add some of that smoke flavor.
To kick up the earthiness of the chocolate, I added Bittermen’s Xocolotl Mole bitters. They added just a touch of heat, but nothing that distracts from the flavors of the s’mores old fashioned. While you could use any chocolate bitters for this, if you have the Bittermen’s it builds the cocktail in a wonderful way.
How to Make Toasted Marshmallow Syrup
While you can buy the syrup, if you have marshmallows on hand it doesn’t take long to make. Simply toast 12 large marshmallows with a kitchen torch or over a fire. Put them in a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water over medium heat and stir until everything dissolves.
When you make this at home, the resulting syrup will be very foamy and look almost creamy. Once everything has dissolved – it’ll take about 5 minutes once the heat gets to a simmer – remove from heat and let cool.
Make sure to strain this one through a metal sieve as it will have some char in it from the marshmallows. If you need to, once it’s cooled down in the fridge you can strain off any extra white foam that appears as it cools. However, don’t discard – that foam is pure marshmallow flavor and can be added to desserts, pancakes, ice cream, coffee, etc.
Time to Mix up that S’mores Old Fashioned
Once you’ve got your syrup, simply combine it with your bourbon or whiskey of choice, your bitters, a touch of smoke element and you’ve got your cocktail. Make sure to serve this one over one large rock if you can, you don’t want to over-dilute since it’s got that lovely smoke and sweet in it.
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Recommended Bar Tools
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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:
S’mores Old Fashioned
- 1.75 oz bourbon
- ¼ oz crème de cocoa or chocolate whiskey
- ½ oz toasted marshmallow syrup homemade or store-bought**
- 16 drops Bittermen’s Xocolotl Mole chocolate bitters
- 1 barspoon peated whiskey or mezcal
- Garnish: torched marshmallow or s’mores
- Combine bourbon, chocolate whiskey, toasted marshmallow syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with one large cube. Garnish with a torched marshmallow or a full-on s’more.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 12 toasted marshmallows