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Here’s a way to put this classic cocktail over the top: a Smoked Old Fashioned! This over-the-top spin infuses smoke into every sip.

Smoked Old Fashioned

Here’s a way to take one of the oldest classic cocktails up a notch…or two or three: a Smoked Old Fashioned! This drink is for the adventurous home bartender who’s after over-the-top flavors. It requires some special equipment (a smoking gun) and a little time. But it’s absolutely worth it! The Smoked Old Fashioned is a cocktail that’s cold-smoked, infusing a smoky depth into the classic whiskey drink. It makes a drink experience you’ll never forget.

Want a smoky flavor without special equipment? Try the Oaxaca Old Fashioned (with Mezcal).

Start with a smoking gun!

Wait, a smoking gun? Yes, you need a special tool for the smoked Old Fashioned: a smoking gun. It’s a tool used to cold smoke the food: that is, it injects a smoky flavor without applying heat. You can use it indoors and it’s powered by wood chips. We’ve had ours for a few years, and in that time we’ve used it to smoke just about everything! Outside of cocktails, we’ve used it to smoke:

Before you can make this drink, make sure to find a smoking gun! We’ve used the Breville smoking gun for years and it works like a charm. Follow the instructions that come with the smoking gun for the mechanics behind how to use it.

Smoking gun

How to make a smoked Old Fashioned

Making a smoked Old Fashioned requires 3 separate applications of smoke. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Smoke the sugar, cocktail cherry and orange peel for 2 minutes. It’s easier to infuse smoke into the garnishes vs the liquid. So here the garnishes are the important part! Use the smoking gun to add smoke to the glass, then cover with a larger glass or glass pitcher.
  2. Smoke again for 2 minutes. To really infuse the smoky flavor, you’ll do a second “booster” smoke by filling the glass with smoke again and covering it.
  3. Make the drink. Muddle the sugar with water, then add the bourbon and ice. Add back the smoked garnishes.
  4. Smoke a third time. Smoke the glass for a third time for 2 minutes to infuse the final smoky flavor and make for a showy presentation.
How to make a smoked old fashioned
Remove the glass pitcher to release the smoke!

To make it even more showy, use clear ice!

The ice you use matters! We’ll assume you’re a seasoned home bartender if you’re trying a smoked Old Fashioned. Since it’s all about presentation, we highly recommend using clear ice. What is it?

  • Clear ice is crystal clear ice: instead of cloudy ice that forms when you use an ice tray. You can cut clear ice into larger, organic shapes that look just like a drink from a fancy bar.
  • Make it at home! It’s the best way to step up your homemade cocktail game, and it takes only 24 hours. Here’s How to Make Clear Ice.
Smoked old fashioned

More about the Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned gets its name because it started as literally the cocktail. The first cocktail in existence! It was first documented in the early 1800’s by a New York paper. Once more cocktails started coming along in the 1806’s, they needed a name for that original whiskey cocktail. The “Old Fashioned” was born.

The Old Fashioned is a classic alcoholic drink on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails. This means that there’s an “official” definition of the drink, which is:

  • Bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Sugar cube
  • Water
  • Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel and cocktail cherry garnish

The smoked Old Fashioned came along because bartenders started cold smoking drinks to infuse a smoky flavor. It’s a modern spin on the classic that’s absolutely worth a try.

Want another spin on the Old Fashioned? Try the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, made with brandy and topped off with lemon lime soda. Or try a Maple Old Fashioned with maple syrup.

Smoked old fashioned

When to serve a smoked Old Fashioned cocktail

The smoked Old Fashioned cocktail is an over the top cocktail for impressing guests! Use it as a:

  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Smoked Old Fashioned

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Here’s a way to put this classic cocktail over the top: a Smoked Old Fashioned! This over-the-top spin infuses smoke into every sip.


  • 1 sugar cube (1 teaspoon sugar)
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • ½ teaspoon water
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) bourbon whiskey
  • Orange peel for garnish
  • Cocktail cherry for garnish
  • Large ice cube (use clear ice!)
  • Smoking gun


  1. Place the sugar cube in a lowball glass and add the bitters. Place the cocktail cherry and orange peel in the glass. Fill the glass with smoke from the smoking gun and cover the glass with larger glass or pitcher. Wait 2 minutes, then release the smoke. Then fill the glass with smoke again for another 2 minutes, then release.
  2. Remove the orange peel and cherry. Add the water to the sugar cube and mash and swirl it with a muddler or wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
  3. Add the bourbon whiskey and swirl to combine. Add a large ice cube.
  4. Squeeze the orange peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry. Fill the glass again with smoke and cover with the larger glass. Wait 2 minutes, then release the smoke and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Smoked
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Smoked Old Fashioned

More whiskey cocktails

We’ve got lots of great whiskey cocktails and bourbon cocktails for you to choose from! Here are our favorites:

  • Favorite Whiskey Sour Perfectly balanced and so easy to make! Or add a foam topping to make it a Boston Sour.
  • Brown Derby This retro drink features grapefruit and honey syrup: sweet and refreshing!
  • Paper Plane A perfectly balanced modern classic.
  • Kentucky Mule A bubbly, gingery way to enjoy bourbon.
  • Sazerac The official cocktail of New Orleans! Cognac, whiskey and absinthe make up this famous drink. Or try La Louisiane, an even better spin on this classic.
  • Whiskey Smash A tangy and refreshing whiskey drink with lemon juice and mint — like a citrus spin on the Mint Julep.
  • Manhattan Cocktail Add style to your evening with this easy classic whiskey cocktail made with just three ingredients.
  • Penicillin This tasty modern classic stars Scotch, honey, lemon and ginger.
  • Vieux Carre Strong and sippable, it features whiskey, Cognac and vermouth.
  • Alabama Slammer A retro highball cocktail full of fruity flavor.
  • Boulevardier Cocktail A stunning classic cocktail! This easy three ingredient drink an the improvement on the Negroni, swapping gin for warm whiskey.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. loved this cocktail – i’m a big bourbon fan and really enjoy an old fashioned – and a smoked old fashioned??? – awesome!!! i also can highly endorse the breville smoker — i have had mine for a few years now and it’s really the best for the home bartender.

  2. Hi, quick question: what kind of wood chips do you use for the smoke? I’m guessing hickory, but maybe oak? Doesn’t say anywhere in your recipe or article.

      1. i have some bourbon soaked oak chips that are fabulous for any whiskey based cocktails. They are perfect for the breville smoker.