Smoked Date Old Fashioned

Hiver 2018
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food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail ripe for reinvention. It’s a simple drink that takes well to different sugars and even unconventional sweeteners in place of the usual white sugar. Case in point, a fascinating smoked date syrup.

1. In a rocks glass filled with ice, add 2 oz rye with ½ oz Smoked Date Syrup (recipe follows) and 2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters. Stir to chill. Garnish with a piece of orange peel and half a smoked date if you’ve made extra.

Serves 1

SMOKED DATE SYRUP
Make a few extra dates to eat if you like—but don’t add extra wood chips, if you do. The dates are terrific eaten out of hand, chopped up and thrown into wintery salads, or even used as a garnish for the cocktail.

2 tbsp (30 mL) fine maple or cherry smoking chips
4 Medjool dates
½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 piece orange peel, 4 inches (10 cm) long

1. Arrange smoking chips in bottom of smoker. Place rack over (there is no need for a drip tray) and place dates on rack. Cover with lid or foil and place over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce to low. Smoke for 10 minutes. With kitchen fan running, remove dates to a board. When cool enough to handle, remove pits.

2. Combine dates, sugar, water and orange peel in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.

3. Remove and discard peel. Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth into a glass jar; cover and refrigerate until chilled (syrup will last for 1 month in fridge).

Makes about 1¼ cups (310 mL)

What to Serve