The Bourbon Toscano
A Smoky Elevation of the Classic Old Fashioned
In the heart of Walla Walla, Washington’s wine country, TMACS restaurant has crafted a cocktail that redefines the classic Old Fashioned. The Bourbon Toscano is a testament to the creativity and innovation in modern mixology, offering a smoky twist to this timeless drink.
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Ingredients - What's in it?
- 2 1/2 ounces Bourbon - Kentucky
- 1/2 ounce Aperol
- 2 dashes Rosemary Bitters
- Smoked ice cubes*
- Dehydrated rosemary sprig
- Dehydrated orange wheel
Instructions - How to make it:
- 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:
- Smoke water with cherrywood chips for 30 minutes, then freeze.
The Essence of the Bourbon Toscano
The key to the Bourbon Toscano’s distinct flavor lies in its use of cherrywood-smoked ice cubes. These cubes are not just a gimmick; they are the heart and soul of the cocktail. As Logan Thies, the owner of TMACS, explains, the smoked ice cubes gradually infuse the drink with a smoky flavor, maintaining its prominence throughout the cocktail experience. This gradual infusion creates a dynamic drinking experience, where each sip offers a slightly different taste as the smoky notes evolve.
Crafting the Smoked Ice Cubes
The process of making smoked ice cubes is an art in itself. Water is smoked with cherrywood chips in a smoker or grill, imparting a deep, rich smoky flavor to the water. This smoked water is then frozen into ice cubes, ready to be used in the Bourbon Toscano. The smoked ice cubes are both stirred with the other ingredients to chill and dilute the drink and used as the serving ice, ensuring that the smoky flavor is present from the first sip to the last.
A Twist on Traditional Ingredients
The Bourbon Toscano also features a unique twist on the traditional Old Fashioned ingredients. Instead of the usual orange zest, Aperol is used to introduce a bright citrus flavor. This choice adds complexity and depth to the drink while staying true to the essence of an Old Fashioned. The Kentucky straight bourbon provides the robust foundation, while the Addition rosemary cocktail spice bitters add an aromatic layer, complementing the smokiness of the ice.
The Art of Ice in Cocktails
This cocktail highlights the often-overlooked importance of ice in mixology. Ice is not just a tool for chilling; it can be a key ingredient that contributes to the flavor and evolution of a drink. The concept of using ice to create an evolving cocktail experience is a trend seen in bars worldwide, showcasing the versatility and impact of this simple component.