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From the Kitchen: Smoked N’ Spiced Old Fashioned

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a good old-fashioned bourbon. If you’re also like me, you don’t make your own cocktails at home and usually opt for a simple mixed drink or you order your bourbon on ice. I am excited to share this recipe with all of you because I am not a mixologist by any means. In addition, I didn’t even have to make an extra visit to the store for the ingredients. This is a recipe that is easily adaptable, and smooth to drink but takes your bourbon drinking to the next level. 

This Smoked N’ Spiced Old Fashioned has hints of cherry-smoked wood, warm spices, and citrus. The key to this drink is definitely the bourbon. Truthfully, I tried this recipe with a few different kinds to see what would give me the best result and I went with Basil Hayden but you can go with your bourbon of choice. The other key ingredient that makes this recipe what it is, is the brown sugar spiced simple syrup. I’ve included the recipe for that below as well, it’s extremely easy to make and worth the extra step. 

There is a little bit of preparation involved to get this drink just right, so let’s start with what you need to have on hand to pull this old fashioned recipe together. 

Equipment To Smoke Your Bourbon

  • Two jars or glasses. One with a larger opening that can fit over the smaller jar. You also want something that fits pretty well so there aren’t a ton of gaps between the jars. I used a regular-sized mason jar with a larger drinking glass. 
  • A fire-safe surface. Make sure this is something you can put direct heat on and you don’t mind if it gets damaged. I personally used an old cheese board and it was perfect. 
  • A lighter. Preferably a larger one so you can get a good light on your wood chips. 
  • Wood chips. I used cherry wood chips for this recipe, but you can use any kind of smoking wood chips. 

Now that you know what you need to have on hand, let’s jump into this recipe! 

Smoked N’ Spiced Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients for the Cocktail: 

  • 2 ounces smoked bourbon
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar spiced simple syrup
  • Garnish: Orange peel & cherry

Ingredients for the Brown Sugar Spiced Simple Syrup

  • ¼ cup of hot water
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon of each ground ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon (or add to your own taste)

Step 1: Smoke Your Bourbon

  1. Get all of your equipment from above in one place. Go ahead and pour some bourbon into the smaller of the two jars. The amount of bourbon is up to you, you can pour just what you’re using or pour more if you want to keep smoked bourbon on hand. 
  2. You will want to use a palm full of wood chips and place them in a small pile on your fire-safe surface. Make sure you can fit your larger glass over the top of it and have all the wood chips under it. 
  3. Use your lighter and start burning your wood chips. I found that leaving the flame on them for about 20 seconds is best. You’re looking for the chips to hold a small flame on their own. When you see that they’ve caught, put your glass or jar over the top of it. The flame should go out relatively quickly, but then the jar will start to fill up with smoke. 

Pro Tip: If you don’t feel like you are getting enough smoke, just pull your jar off and light your chips up again until you feel like you have enough smoke in the jar. 

  1. Once you can see that the chips aren’t smoking (should take about 30 seconds), carefully lift up your larger jar and place it over your smaller jar with the bourbon in it. I did this on a table, so I moved my wood chip set up to the edge of the table and had my bourbon just below the edge of the table so I could transfer the smoke with the least amount of smoke loss. 
  2. While you’re getting your other ingredients together, let the bourbon sit while the smoke settles down into the smaller jar. 

Step 2: Mix Up Your Simple Syrup

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients for the simple syrup until all of the brown sugar is dissolved. The end result will be a dark syrup with visible spices in it. 
Close up of brown sugar simple syrup with spices

Step 3: Craft Your Old Fashioned

  1. Grab your favorite bourbon glass and add in your simple syrup, then your two dashes of bitters, then your two ounces of smoked bourbon, and give it a quick stir. 
  2. Go ahead and get a little peel of an orange. I used a paring knife so you don’t need a fancy tool to do this. I twisted the peel into my drink for aromatics then topped it with ice. 
  3. Place your orange peel and a cherry of your choice on top, and enjoy! 

Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine

This article was created for the Spring Issue of the Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine which was released in early April. You can catch this article and many more by checking out the full issue. For more information on Cowboy Lifestyle Magazine, visit the website here.

CLN Community & Event Sponsor

Hi everyone! I'm Krysta Paffrath, I am a proud Arizona native who has a passion for everything business and rodeo. I am beyond thrilled to be the Editor in Chief for Cowboy Lifestyle Network. With my background in digital marketing and rodeo, this was a natural fit for me to join the team. My adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit has guided me to work in many places like the WYO Quarter Horse Ranch in Thermopolis, Wyoming, a working cattle ranch in Seligman, Arizona, and many places in between. I am passionate about preserving the western way of life and working with different brands and rodeos to make that happen. If you're looking for a write-up, please shoot me an email at Learn more about me at Looking forward to hearing from you!

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