As fall kicks into high gear, we thought it would be fun to share a few cocktails inspired by the season, so we present to you the Autumn Old Fashioned on the Traeger. In lieu of simple syrup, we used fresh pressed apple cider and gave the glass a sugared rim and a tart cranberry garnish. Give this recipe a try and toast to the changing seasons!
A CLASSIC COCKTAIL
An Old Fashioned is one of my all time favorite cocktails. In fact, we had Old Fashioneds on the menu of our wedding– featuring local seasonal peaches from Colorado’s western slope. As I’ve become more of a whiskey collector in recent years, I like my drinks neat or straight up most of the time. But on occasion, my wife can convince me to give my mixology skills a try, and we come up with some fun inspired drinks.
A traditional Old Fashioned has either simple syrup or a sugar cube in the drink to add a bit of sweetness. For this recipe, we subbed out that traditional ingredient and used fresh-pressed apple cider as the base for the drink. Made with apples grown in Western Colorado, this apple cider is about as fresh as it comes and the perfect blend of sweet and tart. We put a big glug of it into the drink, which was perfect.
In addition, a more traditional version of the cocktail has a cherry as garnish. We went with the addition of a cooked yet still tart cranberry as the garnish on top. It gives the same visual pop, but adds a bit of tart autumn tradition to the drink. We simply scooped an un-popped cranberry from the big batch of cranberry sauce we had made earlier in the day, and it did the trick.
Additionally, we added some citrus to this recipe to amp up the flavors. Orange was squeezed into the drink and used to wet the edge of the glass for the sugar rim. And we squeezed just a bit of lemon juice on the top of the drink to add a bit of tart.
Finally, we added a small sprinkle of cinnamon to the top of the finished drink. It doesn’t overpower the drink but does add a bit of an added autumn surprise. We also garnished with a thin slice of orange that was grilled on the Traeger after being sprinkled in sugar until golden and caramelized.
For this Autumn Old Fashioned, we started with an excellent Weller Special Reserve whiskey. I could definitely have taken it up another notch with a more-rare whiskey, but the Weller Special Reserve worked perfectly and gave it that sophisticated bent it needed. If you’re cocktailing for a crowd, you could definitely use a less-special whiskey which will go further in getting more people drinks without draining your bottle of Special Reserve.
- Freshly pressed apple cider
- Slice of orange for garnish
WHY USING THE TRAEGER FOR THIS AUTUMN OLD FASHIONED WORKS
There are several ways that you could amp up the flavor on this recipe by using your Traeger. Admittedly, we went Traeger-light on this rendition, only grilling the apple slice with some sugar until golden and caramelized.
However, for this Autumn Old Fashioned, you could do several things to add wood-fired flavor:
- Smoke the apple cider at 225*/Super Smoke for about 30 minutes to infuse flavor
- Smoke the whiskey at 225*/Super Smoke to give it more flavor
- Smoke the cranberries for garnish
- Smoke the water used in the ice cubes
- Assemble your ingredients
- Preheat your Traeger grill to 350*.
- Slice the orange thinly and sprinkle with white sugar.
- Place the sliced orange on the grill grates and grill until browned and golden- about 5 minutes.
- In a shaker, combine the apple cider, whiskey and bitters. Add ice if desired.
- Shake well to combine.
- Using a slice of orange, moisten the edge of your glass.
- Then dip the moist edge in white sugar.
- Add ice to the glass.
- Pour the shaken cocktail over the ice.
- Add a squeeze of orange and a squeeze of lemon to the drink.
- Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
- Spoon one or two cranberries to the top of the drink.
- Add the caramelized orange ring and serve your Autumn Old Fashioned.
RECIPES SIMILAR TO AN AUTUMN OLD FASHIONED
Some other drinks we recommend from the Traeger include:
Products used in this cook:
- Traeger Timberline XL
- Weller Special Reserve whiskey
- Stainless steel cocktail shaker
- Talbott’s Apple Cider
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Autumn Old Fashioned on the Traeger
- Traeger grill
- Cocktail shaker
- Shallow plate
- Cocktail glasses
- 1.5 oz whiskey
- ¼ cup freshly pressed apple cider
- 1 slice orange
- 1 slice lemon
- 2 dashes of bitters
- A few cranberries
- A ring of orange for garnish
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- Pull together your cocktail ingredients
- Preheat the Traeger grill to 350*
- Thinly slice the orange into a ring and sprinkle each slice with white sugar
- Put the sliced orange on the grill and cook until browned and golden- about 5 minutes
- Combine the apple cider, whiskey and bitters in a cocktail shaker
- Add ice if desired
- Shake well to combine
- Wet the rim of the glass with a slice of orange, then dip the moist edge in white sugar
- Add ice to the glass
- Strain the cocktail over the ice
- Add a squeeze of orange and a squeeze of lemon to the drink
- Then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
- Spoon a few cranberries to the top of the drink
- Add the caramelized orange ring and serve your Autumn Old Fashioned