Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail That'll Ignite Your Senses

We're on fire for this smoked old fashioned recipe. Part party trick, part science experiment, this drink will ignite your senses in the best way.

Updated February 23, 2024
Smoked Old-Fashioned

While an old-fashioned is a straight-to-the-point cocktail, there are ways to give it an extra layer of sophisticated charm. We love our old-fashioneds just like we love our BBQ, filled with an earthy smoked flavor. You and your friends will be on fire for this smoked old-fashioned recipe. 

How to Make a Smoked Old Fashioned

While the traditional old-fashioned broke onto the scene in the 19th century, it wasn't until decades later that some crafty mixologists added smoke to the mix. After all, who looks at a Midwesterner obsessively attending to their smokers and thinks to adapt it for cocktail making? Part party trick, part culinary genius, this recipe makes an old-fashioned unlike anything you've ever tasted. 


  • Wood chips
  • Smoking torch or appropriate smoking appliance
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice and king cube
  • Orange peels and Luxardo cherry for garnish


  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 a rocks glass over fresh ice or a 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 running the outside of the peel along the rim. Discard when finished. 
  7. Garnish with a second orange peel and a Luxardo cherry.
Quick Tip

As every BBQ expert knows, the wood chips matter. Try experimenting with different types of wood like applewood, cherry, oak, or hickory to see what unique notes they impart to your drink. 

Related: A Maple Old-Fashioned Recipe That'll Leaf You Wanting Another

7 Simple Variations to Try 

With such a distinct cocktail and a smoke-forward profile, you can get creative with your ingredients without upsetting its balance too much. 

  • If you want a smoked old-fashioned with a bite, consider using a rye whiskey, or try scotch if you want to go big with smokey flavors.
  • 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 are all great options. 
  • Using equal parts of plain simple syrup infused with a flavor such as cinnamon or rosemary can create a uniquely subtle profile.

Garnishes to Dress Things Up 

Garnishes are also the backbone of an old-fashioned. Like a bouquet, they need to be meticulously arranged. But you've got just as many garnish options as you do flower choices. 

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

A Cocktail We're on Fire For 

While an old-fashioned classic is a staple, a smoked flavor can give you a totally unique sipping experience. This delicious spin on the original is packed with such a complex layer of flavors that you'll never go back to the basics. 

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Smoked Old-Fashioned Cocktail That'll Ignite Your Senses