Smoked Old Fashioned Cocktail

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This Smoked Old Fashioned feels sophisticated, but it’s actually deceptively simple to make! The smoke, which lingers as you sip, lends an unmistakably woodsy note that pairs perfectly with the sultry-sweet flavors of bourbon and orange. Whether you’re looking for the perfect camping cocktail or just enjoying a quiet night at home, it just doesn’t get any more cool than a Smoked Old Fashioned!

Two glasses of smoked old fashioned cocktails on the rocks with ice cubes, garnished with orange peel and two dark cherries each, sit on a weathered wooden surface with a hint of smoke visible above them.

Old Fashioned cocktails are a classic for a reason–a little sweet, a lot strong, and they always hit the spot. We’ve long been a fan of the Old Fashioned as a summer camping cocktail, but we thought we’d kick it up a notch (or several) by making it a Smoked Old Fashioned. And we are so glad we did! 

It might seem complicated to make smoked cocktails, but it’s really not! All you need are your cocktail ingredients, a camping mug or rocks glass, a mason jar, some wood chips, and a long-handled lighter (or, our favorite, a torch head that attaches to your typical camping-style propane canister).

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To make it, just mix together your drink ingredients, then light your wood chips on fire and invert your mason jar over the fire to collect the smoke. From there, add your bourbon mix to the smoke-filled jar and shake until it’s infused with smoke flavor. Pour over ice and add your garnish, then it’s time to kick back and start sipping!

A collection of items for making cocktails, displayed on a wooden surface, includes a propane gas canister, torch, orange, cocktail bitters, bourbon, wooden muddler, sugar cubes, cocktail cherries, and a glass.

Ingredients

  • Bourbon whiskey: No need to go super high-end; your favorite mid-level bourbon will work well here.  
  • Bitters: Our favorite bitters for this Smoked Old Fashioned are Angostura orange. 
  • Sugar cube: An essential part of a classic old-fashioned drink, the sugar cube adds a subtle sweetness that pairs well with bold, spicy bourbon. 
  • Cherries & orange peel: For fruity flavor and color, use the peel from a navel orange (or your favorite variety) and a bing cherry or maraschino cherry. We like to fold the orange peel around the cherry and secure them together with a toothpick. 
  • Cherry wood chips: The smoke from cherry wood chips is subtle and sweet, perfect for smoked cocktails. 

Equipment

  • Camp mug or rocks glass
  • Muddler or wooden spoon
  • Cherry wood chips
  • A mason jar with a lid
  • Toothpicks (for the garnish)
  • A BBQ lighter or torch–we like to use this torch head to light the wood chips. It fits right on the standard green camping propane canisters and is excellent for lighting campfires, too! A long-handled BBQ lighter would also work.

How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned — Step by Step

Prepare your garnish by threading a toothpick with an orange peel and cherries, then set it aside.

Add the sugar cube and bitters to a rocks glass or camp mug. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to muddle the sugar and bitters together until they form a paste-like consistency. Add the bourbon and stir. 

Now, it’s time to make the smoke! Place the cherry wood chips on a non-flammable surface such as the back of a cast-iron skillet. Light them on fire with your torch or lighter, until you have a good, strong flame. 

Place the mason jar upside down over the lit wood chips. The lack of oxygen will extinguish the flame, but the smoke will continue to collect in the jar. 

Once the mason jar is filled with smoke, it’s time to infuse your cocktail with smoke! Lift up the jar in one fluid motion so you don’t lose too much smoke, pour in the bourbon mix, and seal the top with the lid. 

Shake the bourbon mix with the smoke for at least a minute. The longer you shake, the smokier the drink will be. 

Gather your friends around because this is the “wow factor” moment! Add the ice and garnish to your glass, open your mason jar, and pour in the smoke-infused bourbon mix. 

A hand is pouring a smoked old fashioned cocktail from a mason jar into a glass filled with ice cubes, on a weathered wooden surface with blurred greenery in the background.

Tips for Making

  • To make the Old Fashioned garnish, we use orange peel and cherries. For the orange, use a paring knife or a vegetable peeler to cut a section about 1 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long. Place the peel upside down and carefully run the knife flat along the peel to remove most of the remaining pith. Then, fold the orange peel in an “S” shape around two cherries. Secure with a toothpick or cocktail pick inserted through the center. 
  • Adapt the level of smoky taste to your liking. For a lightly smoky cocktail, shake it for about 60 seconds. For a smokier cocktail, shake for 2 minutes or more. The longer you shake it, the smokier it will taste.
Two glasses of smoked old fashioned cocktails on the rocks with ice cubes, garnished with orange peel and two dark cherries each, sit on a weathered wooden surface with a hint of smoke visible above them.

Smoked Old Fashioned

This smoked whiskey cocktail is the perfect way to get excited for warm summer nights hanging out around the campfire.
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
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Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
1 drink

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bourbon Whiskey
  • 4 shakes Angostura Orange bitters
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Cherries / Orange peel, for garnish
  • Cherry wood chips
  • Ice

Instructions

  • In a rocks glass (or camp mug), place 1 sugar cube and add 4 shakes of bitters. Muddle the sugar into a rough paste. Then add 2 oz (1 ½ shot) of bourbon.
  • Place a few cherry wood chips in a small pile on a non-flammable surface (we used the back of a cast iron skillet). Use the torch to light them on fire, being sure to get a strong flame going.
  • Place an upside down Mason jar over the chips. The lack of oxygen will extinguish the flame and the chips will begin to fill the jar with smoke.
  • After a few seconds, the Mason jar will be filled with smoke. In one fluid motion, lift up the jar, pour the bourbon mix in, seal the top and shake.
  • The longer you shake, the smokier the drink will become. 60 seconds is a good place to start.
  • Put ice and garnish in the rocks glass or camp mugs. Open mason jar and pour the bourbon over the ice. Stir and enjoy!

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

Drinks
American
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