A seasonal twist on the classic whiskey cocktail, the Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned is a perfect cocktail for a chilly winter night. Toasted pecans soak in whiskey for days before the infused alcohol is poured atop a sugar and bitter mixture to make an Old Fashioned.
I love it in baked goods. I love it in drinks.
And I especially love it around this time of year because I can mix it with a favorite drink to make myself and those I love warm and cozy.
This Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned was inspired by my Candy Cane Vodka recipe. Totally random, but true.
The Candy Cane Vodka is one of the recipes that explodes this time of year, and since it’s gone over so well (and deliciously — I keep a little mason jar of it on our bar during the winter months to mix in with coffee, hot cocoa and more!), I wanted to make something similar that would be equally well-loved.
I was talking about this with my friend Susannah, who suggested making an infused whiskey. And since Winston and I had a killer infused whiskey drink on my birthday, I knew it was do-able.
So the question was… what would I infuse the whiskey with? And what kind of drink would I make with it when all was said and done?
The answer came in the form of holiday inspiration. Bourbon Pecan Pie is the item I bring to the Thanksgiving table every year, and I wondered how toasted pecans and whiskey would be together in drink form.
So I did what any normal person would do: I toasted pecans, let them cool and threw them in a jar of whiskey. I let ’em hang out for a few days, then opened the jar and made some Old Fashioneds.
As one does.
And the end result is delightful!
The cocktail is slightly smoky and sweet, the toasted pecan taste really taking shape as you swallow the whiskey. There’s a subtle vanilla taste, too, and while the Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned is strong, it goes down smoothly. (Maybe a little too smoothly, so you’ve been warned!)
Intrigued? You should be!
Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for these Toasted Pecan Old Fashioneds
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- 16 oz. mason jar: You need a place to let the vodka infuse… and I love mason jars for projects like these. The classic mason jar will work, though these personalized mason jars would be super cute if you’re into this and want your jars to be labeled.
- A jigger or an angled measuring cup: I use my Oxo Good Grips Mini Stainless Steel Angled Measuring Cup religiously when making cocktails because it shows both tablespoons and ounces.
- Get the look: I photographed these Old Fashioneds in Glimmer-Wrapped Old Fashioned Glasses. These tea towels are no longer available, but these Vintage Japanese Waves Cobalt Blue and White Towels are similar. Edie Parker’s Rectangular Striped Tray is a similar serving tray with the gold glitter. If you like the gold sans glitter, this Threshold Rectangle Metallic Plastic Serving Tray will do the job nicely! If you like a little bit of gold with another color, Small Contempo Noir Tray has beautiful gold accents on a gorgeous light blue/aqua tray.
Here’s how you can make it for yourself, your friends and family this winter:
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- 1½ cups whiskey or bourbon (a good drinking one!)
- 1 sugar cube (or ½ teaspoon granulated sugar)
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 oz. Toasted Pecan Whiskey
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the pecans on a baking sheet. Transfer to the preheated oven.
- Toast the pecans for 10-15 minutes (or until browned and fragrant.)
- Remove from the oven, and let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the cooled pecans to a mason jar, and pour the whiskey on top of them.
- Let the pecans and whiskey infuse for 3-4 days. (Or longer, if you so choose! It just depends on how much toasted pecan taste you'd like to have come through in your final drink.)
- In an Old Fashioned glass (or your favorite whiskey glass), measure the sugar cube/loose sugar and dash in the Angostura bitters.
- Using a muddler, break down the sugar cube and combine it with the bitters, coating the sides of the glass as the sugar and bitters mix.
- Place whiskey stones or a large ice cube, then pour the Toasted Pecan Whiskey over the cubes, swirling it to mix with the bitters and sugar mixture.
- Enjoy immediately!
The whiskey will produce 6 total cocktails. The Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned recipe is for one, though, so you can easily make more.
Have you ever infused whiskey before?
Would you try a Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned?