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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cocktail of the week: sesame-smoked old fashioned | Cocktails

This is a gloriously grown-up concoction in which the sesame oil imparts a gently smoky backnote to the whiskey that’s accentuated by the aromas from the wood smoke that’s introduced later. The infusion makes enough for five servings and keeps well.

Sesame-smoked old fashioned

Serves 1

For the whiskey infusion
250ml whiskey – I use cask-strength bourbon, but any will do
60ml sesame oil

For the drink
1 tsp wood chips, or loose tea leaves
3 dashes Angostura bitters
15ml sugar syrup
(we make ours with sugar cane)
50ml sesame-infused whiskey
(see above and method)
1 twist orange peel, to garnish

First, infuse the whiskey: pour the whiskey into a large glass jar. In a small pan, gently heat the sesame oil until it’s just above blood temperature, then pour into the whiskey jar and stir. Leave to infuse for six hours, stirring gently every hour, then seal and put in the freezer overnight – the oil will rise to the top and solidify during this time.

Scoop out and discard the frozen oil, then pass the infused whiskey through two layers of coffee paper or a muslin cloth, to filter out any remaining oil residue (and repeat if need be). Pour the whiskey into a clean jar or bottle, seal and store at room temperature; it will keep for a good two weeks.

To make the drink, fill a teaspoon with wood chips (or loose-leaf tea), place on a heatproof plate, then set light to it. Cover the spoon with an upturned old fashioned glass, so the smoke fills the glass.

Meanwhile, fill a boston glass or jug with ice, add the bitters, syrup and infused whiskey and stir until the glass is cold to touch. Put a large ice cube in the old fashioned glass, strain over the mix from the boston glass and serve garnished with a twist of orange.

Santo Borzi, Bar 190 at The Gore, London SW7

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