Libations: Texas Old Fashioned with smoked honey

It’s pretty traditional to celebrate happy occasions in life with a toast. Or at least a couple of drinks.

It seems fitting then to create a cocktail to celebrate my new appointment as Australian brand ambassador for Buffalo Trace bourbon and Tito’s Vodka (!!!). I really couldn’t be more excited to get to work with and endorse these brands. I’ve long been a huge Tito’s fan (it’s made in Austin and is pretty much the house pour all over Texas), plus bourbon and BBQ have always had a natural synergy, and Buffalo Trace is certainly one of the finer examples of this uniquely American spirit.

A few days after this merry announcement, a sample of Blend smoked honey arrived in my letterbox. Blend is small-batch raw honey from Queensland which is then cold smoked with hickory and laced with selected artisan ingredients like paprika. It has an incredible sweet spiced aroma and the flavor profile is reminiscent of pork ribs!

There are a ton of dishes that could benefit from this sticky, smokey goodness, but I immediately knew I wanted to use it to create a twist on a traditional Old Fashioned. I substituted the sugar with the Blend honey and changed up the Pechyaud’s to grapefruit bitters. The bourbon of choice is (naturally) Buffalo Trace and the whole elegant concoction is finished with a twist of grapefruit peel. The smoke and spices really cut through the sweetness of the honey to keep the drink balanced.

I named this baby the Texas Old Fashioned for the grapefruit and smoke elements, plus Texas does have some beautiful wildflower honey (maybe we need to get Blend onto that!?). Although be careful, you may never be able to revert back to the classic Old Fashioned after getting this version up in ya!

You’ll use:

  • 2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • half teaspoon Blend smoked honey
  • 2-3 dashes Bittermens grapefruit bitters
  • grapefruit peel twist to garnish
 The honey will seize slightly when added to cool liquid, just keep stirring until it has dissolved. Strain final mix through a fine sieve into a glass filled generously with ice cubes.
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