Deep In The Forest Old Fashioned

As my love of mixology grows, I've found myself increasingly drawn to cocktails with complex, earthy flavors. This riff on an Old Fashioned, inspired by the smells in the forest, is one of my new favorites and is perfect for any season.

This drink is reminiscent of all things woodsy. There's oaky bourbon, herbaceous thyme, earthy and fruity cherry liqueur, sweet maple, and even a kiss of spicy cinnamon smoke. You can see that I also went a little over the top with the garnishes: fresh thyme, a Luxardo cherry, a chioggia beet, and a fig.

In terms of its lineage, this drink is essentially an Old Fashioned in that there's bourbon and bitters. Cherry replaces the more traditional citrus and provides additional earthiness, while the other flavors add depth and complexity, but at its heart this drink is still an Old Fashioned. However, if you're looking for a slightly more classic take, check out this Vermont Old Fashioned.

I'm very excited to be partnering with Bespoke Post to bring you this recipe. Bespoke Post puts together really interesting, thoughtful, curated monthly boxes, and I was thrilled to be able to try out their "Alchemy" box. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I opened it!

This box is filled with all sorts of goodies for the home bar including a shaker, stirring glass, strainer, jigger, bar spoon, silicone tray for large ice cubes, and even bitters. Everything in the box (all shown in the photo above) is professional-quality. My personal favorite is the bar spoon, which has a muddler on the top end; genius! I'm also in love with the enormous ice cubes, which are bigger than the ones I've been making previously.

The thing I love most about mixing drinks at home is trying to find the perfect balance of flavors. The combination of sweet, earthy, strong, fruity, herbaceous, and smoky notes in this drink is so subtle and so interesting. There's no right or wrong answer for how to mix a drink, so taste as you go and adjust as you see fit.

Have fun with it; that's what cocktails are for, right?

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bespoke Post. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Looking for another cozy drink that brings in big earthy flavors? We've been sipping this Cherry Chai Old Fashioned all winter and loving it.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Fresh thyme (few sprigs per drink)
  • Bourbon (~2 oz per drink). If possible, choose one with more oaky, smokey, or leathery flavors.
  • Luxardo cherry liqueur (~0.5 oz per drink)
  • Tiny dash of maple syrup
  • Few dashes of bitters. Similar to the above, if you have the option, opt for bitters that incorporate some woodsy flavors. We have some pecan bitters that are perfect in this drink.
  • Forest-inspired garnishes of choice 
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Light the end of a cinnamon stick until it smolders, then invert a highball glass over it to catch the smoke. Let the glass sit upside down with the smoke in it while you prepare the drink.
  2. In a cocktail stirring glass, combine the fresh thyme, bourbon, Luxardo, maple syrup, and bitters. Give it a vigorous muddle to release the fragrant oil from the thyme leaves.
  3. Add ice, give it all a stir, and let it sit for a minute to chill the drink.
  4. Using a strainer, pour the drink into the smoked highball glass over a large ice cube.
  5. Garnish with anything that reminds you of the forest; I used fresh thyme, a Luxardo cocktail cherry, a small chioggia beet, and a fig.


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