Award-winning mixologist Ravin Buzzell unlocks the secrets of smoke and spirits in his unique Old-Fashioned cocktail.

Watch. Learn. Get Thirsty.

Frisky tendrils of cherrywood smoke swirl above the glass. The gray curls hint of rye and cardamom, conjuring up an enticing mystery.

He took a cocktail that originated in the 1800’s and improved it, switching it up with components that added palate and visual excitement.

Blanket Artist: He does amazing blanket art. He covers his bed with a fuzzy blanket, then smooths it out pushing all the fibers in one direction. Artwork is created atop the blanket with his finger, pushing the fibers in the opposite direction. A great way to start the day in his opinion. Check out the artwork on beddiaries, his Instagram page.

At-Home Choice: His cocktail at home? Whiskey, neat. But he seldom drinks at home. For at-home entertaining, he prepares his Old-Fashioned and says he prefers Rye to Bourbon for its spiciness.

Ravin’s Old-Fashioned
Yield: one cocktail
Rocks glass with large ice cube
Lemon swath (wide strip of lemon zest)
Small ice cubes for chilling
2 ounces Bulleit 95 Rye
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 to 3 dashes Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Portable smoking gun loaded with cherry wood chips

1. Express lemon swath over large ice cube in rocks glass (pressing opposite ends together); set aside.

2. In a mixing jar add small cubes of ice. Add rye, simple syrup and bitters. Stir well to chill. Strain into decanter. Fill decanter with smoke using a portable smoking gun. Cap decanter and roll it over (hold it upright and move it in the circular motion away from your body and back– see video). Slowly pour over large ice cube so that the smoke bellows out over the glass. Add lemon swath and serve.

Source: Ravin Buzzell, Bar Manager, Mixologist, CdM, Costa Mesa

CdM is located at 2325 East Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar.

Read my “Five Questions” story with Ravin in Orange Coast Magazine – or at