Flavorful Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

Published October 18, 2021
Smoked Old-Fashioned



  1. Prepare the smoking gun or appliance according to individual instructions.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, orange bitters, and aromatic bitters.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice or king cube.
  5. Smoke the old-fashioned for approximately 10-15 seconds.
  6. Express one orange peel over the drink by twisting the peel between your fingers, then run outside of peel along rim. Discard.
  7. Garnish with second orange peel and Luxardo cherry.

Variations and Substitutions

With such a distinct cocktail and the smoke-forward profile, you can swap or modify ingredients without upsetting the balance too much.

  • Consider using a rye whiskey if you wanted a smoked old-fashioned with a bite, or try scotch if you want to go big with smokey flavors.
  • Use different flavors and types of woodchips to alter the flavor of smoke.
  • Instead of simple syrup, muddle a sugar cube with a few dashes of bitters.
  • Change the bitters that you use: cherry, peach, chocolate, cranberry, and honey alone or in combination with each other as well as orange and aromatic bitters.
  • Equal parts plain simple syrup infused with a flavor such as cinnamon or rosemary creates a subtle new profile.


Garnishes are the backbone of an old-fashioned. They add a visual experience as well as a bouquet and additional flavor that would otherwise be missing. Simply, they're an extension of the smoked old-fashioned experience.

  • Smoke the orange peel, or the cherry as well, for a deeper smoke flavor.
  • Use a dehydrated citrus wheel, such as orange, lemon, or lime.
  • Consider a spice or herb, such as a cinnamon stick, rosemary, or thyme sprig.

About the Old-Fashioned

The old-fashioned has changed bit by bit over time. This classic whiskey cocktail first appeared on the scene in the 1800s. It was a simple cocktail, nothing more than a (bourbon or brandy) with bitters, water, and sugar. As its popularity increased, and no set recipe was yet to exist, bartenders began to change the recipe as they saw fit, some adding orange liqueur or absinthe, with varying proportions of ingredients from drink to drink. The addition of smoke in recent years has taken the cocktail to the next level.

It wasn't until early in the 20th century that garnishes began to appear more consistently, typically an orange slice and cherry, or both in combination. But like the recipe, there was a different approach between every bar in how to garnish the old-fashioned. Some would muddle the fruit or orange peel, sometimes with the sugar cube. Today, a host of new elements and flavors are used when crafting this cocktail, including smoke.

Smoke It Up

The smoked old-fashioned isn't a totally new concept. Smoking food has been around for quite some time, but a smoked cocktail isn't very common-- yet. Learn the intricacies making of this smoked cocktail, and the reward will be unparalleled.

Flavorful Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail Recipe