Put an autumn twist on the old-fashioned with this cocktail recipe that begins with a butternut squash infusion of bourbon. It's a fascinating mix, especially if you are looking for a truly interesting cocktail to serve on Thanksgiving Day or any autumn occasion.
This fun recipe was created by Nikki Sunseri of Little Dom's in Los Angeles, California and it is as simple as it is unique. You will need to plan about one week ahead for the infusion. It's worth the wait because Eagle Rare Bourbon has a high rye content that's wonderful against the roasted butternut squash that's flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Once you have the infusion, the cocktail is as simple as adding maple syrup and two bitters.
- For the Butternut-Infused Bourbon:
- 1 butternut squash
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of sugar
- 1 (750 mL) bottle whiskey (Eagle Rare Bourbon)
- For the Cocktail:
- 2 ounces butternut-infused bourbon
- 1/4 ounce maple syrup
- Splash maple bitters (Urban Moonshine)
- Splash bitters (Fee Brothers Barrel Aged)
- Garnish: orange peel
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cocktail is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and assembly.
Make the Butternut-Infused Bourbon
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven 400 F.
Cut the butternut squash into tiny pieces and lightly dust them with sugar and cinnamon.
Roast for about 20 minutes until they are a bit dry and golden.
Cool to room temperature, place it in an infusion jar, then top with the bourbon.
Let the infusion sit for at least 6 days. Test for flavor and let it infuse longer if needed.
Once the desired intensity is reached, strain out the squash and bottle the bourbon. It can be stored like any liquor but should be enjoyed within a couple of months.
Make the Butternut Old-Fashioned
In an old-fashioned glass filled with cracked ice, pour the butternut-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters.
Garnish with an orange peel.
Serve and enjoy!
- If you're going to use another whiskey, choose one with a higher concentration of rye as the spice pairs really well with the squash flavoring. Woodford Reserve is a good alternative bourbon and you can always go with a straight rye whiskey.
- Real maple syrup is highly recommended for this cocktail. Avoid the typical pancake syrup bottles and pick up a bottle of the really good sweet stuff.
- Sunseri also recommends using Peychaud's Bitters because "the strong anise notes play well with the maple and squash." Use it in place of either of the other bitters.
How Strong Is a Butternut Old-Fashioned?
Eagle Rare's 10 Year Old expression is the flagship of the bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery and it's bottled at 90 proof. That makes it a flavorful whiskey and contributes to this old-fashioned's high alcohol content. On average, it should mix up to about 32 percent ABV (64 proof).