Bourbon cocktails weren’t always my favorite. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it was that my taste buds decided to prefer gin, port, home-brewed beer (I’m a Portlander, go figure) and bourbon, but I’m eternally grateful for this prudent maturation of my palate.
Whipping up fun cocktails has become a hobby of mine, and I love having friends over to try out my latest creations. As we head into the end of summer (gasp), I’ve been thinking about flavors that remind me of autumn.
One of my favorite flavor combinations is bourbon, orange, and cinnamon. The flavors are reminiscent of spiced cider, mulled wine, and cozy fall evenings. I loved being able to use all three in this Marmalade Bourbon Old Fashioned!
It’s truly a very simple recipe, but one that you’ll find yourself coming back to time and time again. It’s sure to turn even the most brown-liquor-adverse friends into bonafide bourbon lovers.
You don’t need a ton of ingredients or equipment, but make sure you use a quality, sturdy saucepan that won’t scoot around on the stove while you’re stirring. You don’t want to scorch the marmalade!
That’s why I love to use the 1.5-Quart Saucepan from my KitchenAid® Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set for this job. It is designed with a stainless steel base that keeps it flat when placed on all cooktop surfaces, including electric, gas, and induction.
Start by placing your favorite orange marmalade, a cinnamon stick, and water into your 1.5-Quart Saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer until the cinnamon is fragrant and the mixture has the consistency of syrup (about 5 minutes). Then, transfer the mixture to a cocktail shaker and allow to cool.
While the syrup is cooling, place two rocks glasses in the freezer to let them chill.
Once the cocktail shaker feels cool to the touch, add the bourbon, bitters, and ice to it. Place the cap on the cocktail shaker and vigorously shake for 7-9 seconds. Normally I would stir, rather than shake, an Old Fashioned; however, this version needs a good shake in order to bind together the marmalade syrup with the bourbon and bitters.
Once you’ve finished shaking, give the bottom of the cocktail shaker a few solid taps against the counter to loosen any orange peel that has worked its way into the strainer holes in the lid.
Retrieve the two rocks glasses from the freezer and add some ice to each chilled glass. Strain the cocktail shaker into the rock glasses, dividing evenly. Garnish with an orange wheel and a fresh cinnamon stick. The orange peel pieces will be strained out of the final drink, thanks to the cocktail shaker’s straining lid.
If you’re making these for a crowd, double or triple the recipe and store the marmalade syrup in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Shake up two drinks at a time, and before you know it, everyone you know will be a bourbon fan. Enjoy!
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Marmalade Bourbon Old Fashioned
Makes 2 servings
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
3 cinnamon sticks, divided
1/2 cup of water
4 ounces bourbon
3 to 5 dashes aromatic bitters
1 cup of ice, more for serving
Orange wheels, for serving
Place the marmalade, one cinnamon stick, and 1/2 cup of water into the 1.5-Quart Saucepan from your KitchenAid® Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is fragrant and the consistency of syrup (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a cocktail shaker and allow to cool.
Once cool, add the bourbon and bitters to the shaker along with one cup of ice. Cap the container and shake vigorously. Strain the shaken mixture into two chilled rocks glasses filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange wheel and a cinnamon stick. Serve at once.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*