Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rye Whiskey Cocktails

#4 With a Smile

#4 With a Smile cocktail / Tim Nusog

This drink, created by Alex Cuper, the general manager and beverage director at El Che Steakhouse & Bar in Chicago, riffs on both a Whiskey & Coke and the Fernandito, the national drink of Argentina, which is made with Fernet-Branca and Coca-Cola. 

“We decided to smash the two together into an awesome stirred brown cocktail,” says Cuper. “The smoked Fernet-Branca offers a toasty marshmallowlike flavor.” 

The instructions below call for smoking the liqueur in a regular smoker, but if you don’t have one of those, you can instead use a smoking gun or smoke it on a grill with a smoker box.


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce smoked Fernet-Branca*

  • 1/4 ounce Coca-Cola syrup**


  1. Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

*Smoked Fernet-Branca: Add 375 mL Fernet-Branca (half of a 750 mL bottle) into a 9 x 13 metal cake pan. Heat a smoker to 250 degrees and place the dish inside the smoker for 60 to 90 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half and has a smoky flavor. Allow to cool and add the rest of the bottle of (nonsmoked) Fernet-Branca in a 1:1 ratio. 

**Coca-Cola syrup: Add 6 ounces Coca-Cola into a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until it’s reduced by 1/4 to 1/2 of the original amount and has a syruplike consistency. Will keep, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, for up to 2 weeks.