Smoked Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

by Michael

The Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail is a variation on the traditional Old-Fashioned. This is a classic cocktail – a drink out of time and fashion. Its sophistication and at the same time simplicity have made it popular for over 200 years.

The classic Old-Fashioned was discovered around 1800, before the word “cocktail” itself came into use. It was a very simple drink, bourbon or brandy with bitters, water and sugar. The cocktail acquired its name a little more than half a century later, when a wide variety of such drinks appeared and it became necessary to highlight the very original cocktail.

Smoked Old-Fashioned

By the way, Old Fashioned is included in the list of official IBA cocktails of the International Bartenders Association and is recognized all over the world. This means that there is an “official” definition of a drink, a kind of standard, it contains:

  • Bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Sugar cube
  • Water
  • Angostura bitter
  • Orange peel

Over time, the classic recipe has changed, supplemented depending on regional and cultural characteristics. A similar cocktail was mixed, including on the basis of absinthe, vodka, brandy, Curacao and other liqueurs. Later they began to add soda water, gin.

Various spices and flavorings were added. And so the Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail was born. Its main feature, as the name suggests, is the addition of smoke. Who is its author and when exactly it arose is not known for certain.

It is also unknown whether this was done deliberately or whether the person who prepared the cocktail simply used smoked dishes, for example, working in a smokehouse. One way or another, an interesting recipe was discovered that was enjoyed by connoisseurs of strong alcoholic cocktails.

We offer a special Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail recipe!

You will need these ingredients:

  • 2oz Bourbon Whiskey. Good bourbon is the foundation of a good cocktail. Do not chase cheapness if you want to enjoy gourmet pleasure, but not a spoiled mood. Take good alcohol.
  • 1/2oz simple syrup. Simple syrup is essentially a mixture of sugar and water in equal amounts. The classic recipe calls for brown cane sugar. Just dissolve ¼ oz of sugar in ¼ oz of water, and you’re done. Some bartenders bring the syrup to a boil, but we don’t see the point. You can also skip the mixing process and simply add the sugar directly to the shaker with bourbon and ice.
  • 1 teaspoon bitter. This ingredient is quite specific, the dosage can be more or less. We do not recommend using too much, as bitters can overpower the aroma and flavor of other ingredients.
  • Don’t forget to add some fresh orange zest to spice up and decorate your drink.
  • Add one cherry to the glass. Let’s not over complicate what is really simple – take a regular fresh cherry. But no less good are special canned cocktail cherries.
  • Several ice cubes. Many bartenders use special devices to get crystal clear ice. It does not matter if you have ordinary cloudy ice, this will not affect the taste of the drink in any way.
  • Cinnamon stick. Ground cinnamon is not suitable for this cocktail, as it cannot be set on fire.
  • Smoke. In fact, the key ingredient of the Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail. There are many ways to get this smoke – from simple traditional, to modern electronic devices.

Smoked Old-Fashioned

Let’s start cooking!

  1. Mix the bourbon, syrup, beater and ice in a shaker.
  2. Make smoke. The very essence of Old-Fashioned is simplicity and tradition, we can do without complicated devices. Simply light a cinnamon stick on fire, place it on a saucer, and cover with a cocktail glass. The flame will go out, smoke will appear, which will fill the glass, and its smallest particles will settle on the walls and give the cocktail a unique spicy aroma and spicy aftertaste. If you don’t like cinnamon, you can use a variety of woods to burn – hardwood or fruit trees. If you have a smoke machine – just use it according to the instructions.
  3. Pour cocktail from shaker into glass, garnish with orange zest and cherries. If you do not want to dilute the cocktail too much, you can filter the ice and leave it in the shaker, the drink is already chilled enough. But if it’s hot outside and you’re in no hurry to drink a cocktail, leave the ice in the glass, it will stay cold longer.

Now you can taste the real tradition, classics, touch the heritage of old times and enjoy the real taste of Old America.


Smoked Old-Fashioned


What wood do you smoke for Old Fashioned?

Hardwoods – oak, maple, ash, but fruit trees are better: apple, plum, cherry, apricot are perfect. We prefer the cinnamon stick. The cinnamon stick adds a special touch of spice and the smoke appears sweet and sophisticated.  Just do not use coniferous wood, oil-laden smoke is quite pungent and unpleasant in taste, and the cocktail will be ruined.

How do you make an Old Fashioned smoker?

You can burn wood on a non-combustible surface, such as a simple plate. Cover the burning wood with a glass, the fire will go out and smoke will come out. If you want more smoke, to make the flavor more intense, then do the same, but take a larger container. Then pour the cocktail from the shaker into this container, shake well and then pour into the glass. In addition, there is a huge variety of different devices – smoke machines, from the simplest to more complicated.

Why do you smoke an Old Fashioned?

Initially, smoking was used to extend the shelf life of perishable products – meat, cheese, etc. But smoke gives a special aroma, taste and piquancy to any product. An alcoholic cocktail is no exception. In addition, a steaming cocktail on the table looks very impressive!

How do you make a smoked drink at home?

It is quite simple and fast, no special ingredients or devices are required. Everything you need can be found in almost any kitchen.

How to make a smoked old fashioned without a smoke gun?

When in the old days people prepared this cocktail, they easily managed without any modern tricks. All you have to do is set fire to wood or cinnamon and cover it with a container to extinguish the fire and collect the smoke.

Best bourbon for smoked old fashioned.

Bourbon for a cocktail should be of high quality. We recommend Bulleit, Knob Creek, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses Small Batch, Jim Beam.

Smoked Old-Fashioned-3

Smoked Old-Fashioned-3

Smoked Old Fashioned


  • 2oz Bourbon Whiskey.
  • 1/2oz simple syrup. (¼ oz of sugar in ¼ oz of water)
  • 1 teaspoon bitter.
  • A little orange zest.
  • Couple cherries.
  • Several ice cubes.
  • Cinnamon stick.


  1. Mix the bourbon, syrup, beater and ice in a shaker.
  2. Burn the cinnamon stick to fill the glass with the smoke. 
  3. Pour cocktail from shaker into glass, garnish with orange zest and cherries.

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