Introduction: How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned

How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned, a classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century, has withstood the test of time, and mixologists continue to explore innovative ways to elevate its profile. One such variation that has gained popularity in recent years is the Smoked Old Fashioned.

This delightful twist adds a layer of complexity and depth to the traditional recipe, transforming the experience into a sensory journey. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Smoked Old Fashioned, exploring the techniques, ingredients, and nuances that make this cocktail a true masterpiece, How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned.

Understanding the Old Fashioned: 

Before we embark on the smoky adventure, it’s essential to grasp the foundation of an Old Fashioned. Traditionally, an Old Fashioned consists of whiskey, sugar, water, and bitters. The magic lies in the balance and simplicity of these elements, allowing the character of the chosen whiskey to shine through. 

Ingredients for a Classic Old Fashioned: How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned

  • Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye) 
  • Sugar (Demerara or simple syrup) 
  • Angostura bitters 
  • Orange peel for garnish 

The Smoked Twist: 

To add a smoky dimension to the Old Fashioned, we introduce the element of smoke during the preparation process. This can be achieved through various methods, such as using a smoking gun, a cedar plank, or even a cloche. Let’s explore the step-by-step process of crafting a Smoked Old Fashioned. 

How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients 

For a Smoked Old Fashioned, you’ll need: 

  • 2 oz of your preferred whiskey (Bourbon or Rye) 
  • 1 sugar cube or ½ oz of simple syrup 
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters 
  • Orange peel for garnish 
  • Ice cubes 
  • A smoking gun or alternative smoking apparatus 
  • Cedar plank or wood chips for smoking 

Step 2: Build the Base 

  • Place the sugar cube in a mixing glass (if using simple syrup, skip this step). 
  • Add 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters. 
  • Muddle the sugar cube to dissolve it in the bitters. 
  • If using simple syrup, add it to the mixing glass. 

Step 3: Introduce the Whiskey 

  • Pour 2 oz of your chosen whiskey into the mixing glass. 
  • Add ice cubes to the mixing glass. 

Step 4: Stir to Perfection 

  • Stir the mixture well to chill and dilute the ingredients. 
  • This process allows the flavors to meld and the cocktail to achieve the desired temperature. 

Step 5: Smoking the Cocktail 

  • Prepare your smoking apparatus. If using a smoking gun, fill it with cedar plank smoke or wood chips. 
  • Place the mixing glass over the smoke-filled chamber and cover with a cloche or lid. 
  • Allow the smoke to infuse the cocktail for 20-30 seconds. 

Step 6: Strain and Garnish 

  • Strain the smoked mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. 
  • Express the oil from an orange peel over the glass by holding it over the drink and giving it a twist. 
  • Drop the peel into the glass for an added aromatic touch. 

Savoring the Experience: 

The result is a Smoked Old Fashioned that marries the richness of the whiskey with the subtle smokiness, creating a symphony of flavors on your palate. The smoky essence enhances the depth of the cocktail without overpowering its classic charm. 

Choosing the Right Whiskey: 

The choice of whiskey is a crucial aspect of crafting a stellar Smoked Old Fashioned. Whether you opt for a robust Bourbon or a spicier Rye, ensure that the whiskey complements the smoky notes rather than competing with them. Experimenting with different whiskey brands and expressions allows you to find the perfect match for your taste preferences, How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned.

Exploring Cedar Plank vs. Wood Chips: 

When it comes to smoking your Old Fashioned, you have the option of using a cedar plank or wood chips. The choice between the two can influence the intensity and character of the smoke. Cedar planks tend to impart a smoother, more nuanced smoke, while wood chips may provide a bolder, more robust flavor. Consider experimenting with both to discover which suits your palate best. 

Pairing with the Right Glassware: 

Choosing the appropriate glassware is often overlooked but can significantly impact the drinking experience. A rocks glass, also known as an Old Fashioned glass, is the classic vessel for this cocktail. Its wide opening allows you to savor the aromas while the large ice cube helps maintain the drink’s ideal temperature without excessive dilution. 

Adding a Personal Touch: 

The beauty of the Smoked Old Fashioned lies in its versatility. While the classic recipe provides a solid foundation, don’t hesitate to add your personal touch. Consider experimenting with different types of wood for smoking, adjusting the sugar-to-bitters ratio, or incorporating flavored bitters for a unique twist, How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned.

Smoked Old Fashioned: A Social Experience 

Beyond its delightful taste, the Smoked Old Fashioned presents an opportunity for a shared experience. The process of smoking the cocktail becomes a captivating spectacle, making it an excellent choice for entertaining guests. Consider preparing this cocktail at home and sharing the art of smoke-infused mixology with friends and fellow cocktail enthusiasts. 


The Smoked Old Fashioned is a testament to the artistry of mixology, taking a beloved classic to new heights. The marriage of smokiness with the time-honored elements of an Old Fashioned creates a drink that transcends the ordinary, How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned.

Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or a curious novice, exploring the world of smoked cocktails is a rewarding journey that adds a touch of sophistication to your home bar. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

Q1: Can I use any type of wood for smoking a Smoked Old Fashioned? 

A1: While cedar is a popular choice, you can experiment with different types of wood, such as hickory, applewood, or cherry, to impart distinct flavors to your cocktail. 

Q2: Is there a specific whiskey recommended for a Smoked Old Fashioned? 

A2: Bourbon offers a sweeter profile, while Rye brings spicier notes. Experiment with different brands to find your preferred match. 

Q3: Can I prepare a Smoked Old Fashioned without a smoking gun? 

A3: Yes, you can use alternative methods like a cedar plank or wood chips. Place the prepared cocktail over the smoldering wood to infuse it with smoke. 

Q4: Are there variations to the sugar-to-bitters ratio in a Smoked Old Fashioned? 

A4: Absolutely. Adjust the sugar and bitters according to your taste. Some prefer a sweeter profile, while others enjoy a more pronounced bitterness. 

Q5: Can I smoke the Old Fashioned with other types of smoke, like tea leaves or herbs? 

A5: Certainly. Experimenting with different types of smoke, such as tea leaves, rosemary, or thyme, can introduce unique and aromatic elements to your cocktail. 

Q6: Can I pre-smoke a batch of Old Fashioned for a party? 

A6: While the Smoked Old Fashioned is best enjoyed fresh, you can pre-smoke a larger batch without ice and then stir individual servings over ice when serving.