Barbecue lovers rejoice, smokey flavors are here to stay! The added smokey layer to a classic Old Fashioned is an easy way to give new life to this classic cocktail.
History of the Smoked Old Fashioned
The old fashioned was created in the 1800s. The simple ingredients and the strong flavors of the cocktail have withstood the test of time, and this cocktail continues to reign as one of the most popular beverages ordered in America.
The core ingredients include rye or bourbon, sugar, and bitters. Many consider this cocktail to be strong in alcohol flavour, but sipping the beverage is the secret to enjoying the harmonious flavors from the ingredients.
Now, smoked cocktails are popping up more frequently on the bar scene. Whether it is with food or in drink, Americans love the smokey taste. The first smoked cocktail ever made was in 2007, in a bar in New York City. Barman Eben Freeman mixed up smoked Coca-Cola with bourbon, and we have not looked back since.
A Smoked Old Fashioned is a natural fit because whiskey lovers tend to prefer flavors within the savory arena. It has been said that if you enjoy the flavors of whiskey and rye, you will enjoy smoked products and drinks too (such as Mezcal).
Smoked cocktails modifies the flavour of the cocktail, but the true wow factor of the beverage is in the presentation. When done correctly, receiving a smoked cocktail feels like a magic show reveal. You almost can’t believe that you can actually drink whatever is under all that wispy smoke.
Overview of the Ingredients
The ingredients of the Smoked Old Fashioned are identical to the ingredients of a regular Old Fashioned. You will need to pick your alcohol, either straight rye or bourbon. Both of these alcohols are used for Old Fashioned interchangeably because of their deep silky flavors, and their roots in American history.
You will need to properly muddle a single sugar cube with Angostura bitters. These aromatic floral bitters are an essential part of the Old Fashioned cocktail(soo also: Manhattan vs Old Fashioned Cocktail – What’s the Difference? ). These botanical additions stimulate our olfactory senses, which compliments the flavour of the alcohol.
Did you ever notice that citrus will make its way into cocktails about 95% of the time? This is because the acidity of fruit helps to cut through very strong flavors. By cutting through these flavors, we can actually better experience them.
For Smoked Old Fashioned (and regular Old Fashioned) it is necessary to include the peel from an orange. All citrus rinds will bitter over time due to the natural oils found in the peel. Once crushed and exposed to air, these oils start to breakdown, which leads to release of bitter flavors. Using an orange peel will add brighter notes and more complex flavors to your beverage.
A smoked Old Fashioned also calls for a bright red cherry (see also: Best Cherries For An Old Fashioned)to garnish the beverage. This bright pop of red is usually seen on a Manhattan, but in this scenario the Smoked Old Fashioned is borrowing this accessory from it’s East-coast cousin.
It is not an ingredient, but it is an essential part of this cocktail: you will need to use a cocktail smoking kit or a smoke diffuser to make this drink. Also, plastic wrap will be required to trap the smoke in the glass, to allow it to fully infuse into the drink.
If you are hesitant about buying a smoke infuser, consider other areas of your culinary life that may benefit: smoke infusers can also be used for meats, spices, and even cheeses. If you love the smokey flavour in your foods, you may want to seriously consider investing in a smoke infuser.
There are also liquid smoke extracts available on the market. These are bottles with small droppers that can be used to quickly infuse smokey flavors into a beverage of a food. These extracts vary significantly in quality per product. It is also very easy to “over-smoke” your food because of the high concentration of these drops. One drop too many and the beverage can acquire a very artificial taste.
Helpful Tips for Making a Smoked Old Fashioned
If you do not want the full beverage to be smoked, but want the essence to remain, try smoking different components of the drink.
For example, try smoking the orange peel or the garnish cherry before adding It to your beverage. This is a mild way to introduce your palette to a smoked old fashioned, without going all in. If your guests are also on the fence about smoked cocktails you can easily prepare them this variation instead.
Similar to the original version of this drink, the Smoked Cocktail is served with one large ice cube (see also: Clear Ice Cubes For Cocktails). You have the creative liberty to chose an ice cube mould of any kind, but the final mass of the ice should be large.
This is because the slow melt of the ice will result in a slow release of water into the cocktail. This will further amplify the flavors of the beverage without rapidly diluting the cocktail. This beverage is meant to be sipped, and a larger ice cube will facilitate an extended experience.
Smokey cocktails are here to stay, and we are happy about it. You gotta love the extra layer of flavor that smokiness brings to the table.
- Place the sugar cube and orange peel in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Lift up an edge of the plastic rap to insert the tube from the smoke infuser into the bowl. Fill the bowl with smoke then remove the tube. Let the ingredients sit for one to two minutes then release the smoke
- Muddle the smoked sugar cube with Angostura bitters in a short glass
- Add the ice cube and pour in the rye or bourbon
- Add the smoked orange and a cherry to garnish
- Similar to the small bowl, cover the glass with plastic wrap. Lift a small portion to insert he smoke infuser tube, and fill the glass with smoke. Allow to stand for one to two minutes. Remove the plastic wrap before serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 345mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g