This Old Fashioned riff at popular restaurant TMACS, in the heart of Walla Walla in Washington state’s wine country, gets its smoky notes from a double dose of ice made with water that has been smoked with cherrywood chips. The cubes are stirred with the other ingredients to chill and dilute the drink, and the concoction is also served over a smoky cube for good measure.
“As the smoke flavor from the aromatic infusion dissipates, the cocktail slowly infuses with the water from the smoked ice and maintains the prominence of smoke throughout the entirety of the cocktail experience,” says owner Logan Thies. The orange flavor comes from Aperol, which replaces the orange zest in the classic recipe. “The brightening that the citrus oil introduces is beautiful, but I wanted to make the drink more defined and complex while staying true to its nature,” he says.
The concept of using ice to create an evolving cocktail is one that’s been used around the world in countless formats and flavor combinations. In fact, we’ve even seen cocktails entirely encased in ice, which is another level of drink mastery reserved for those who like to put on a show (and have the time and patience to do so). Even when it’s not playing a major role in a drink’s appearance or taste, ice is always critical to the cocktail experience and is an art form worth studying. So break out your finest ice tray and start prepping for the Bourbon Toscano, which will inevitably make these smoked cubes a staple in your freezer.
- 2 1/2 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon
- 1/2 ounce Aperol
- 2 dashes Addition rosemary cocktail spice bitters
- Smoked ice cubes*
- Garnish: dehydrated rosemary sprig
- Garnish: dehydrated orange wheel
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over the smoked ice cubes.
Garnish with a dehydrated rosemary sprig and dehydrated orange wheel.
*Smoked ice cubes: Fill a smoker with cherrywood chips (or add a smoker box filled with cherrywood chips to a grill). Fill metal containers with water, set inside the smoker or grill, and close the lid. Smoke for 30 minutes or until desired flavor is achieved. Freeze the smoked water in ice cube trays.