Cocktail Hour: Smoked Old Fashioned by Finds

Credited with bringing so-called molecular cocktail to Hong Kong, Antonio Lai whips up a fantastic concoction that showcases the craftsmanship and creativity going into a signature cocktail

How Is it Made?

  • Smoked Old Fashioned is Antonio Lai at Finds’ spin on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail.
  • It begins with a marriage of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old whisky and a strip of leather from esteemed English shoemaker John Lobb.
  • The leather is boiled – to get rid of the inedible chemicals – and soaked in the blended whisky for one week.
  • A slice of orange, a maraschino cherry and sugar are gently muddled and stirred with two dashes of Bob’s Bitters and a splash of cherry syrup.
  • After straining, a waft of cherry wood smoke, infused by way of a Super Aladin Smoker, elevates the olfactory properties of the drink.
  • The concoction is transferred and presented in a narrow-mouthed vessel, to be poured into a lowball glass by the customer.
  • A perfectly-formed, crystallized ice ball thwarts watery dilution; a spear of maraschino cherry and orange peel provides the final aesthetic touch.

Cocktail Hour Smoked Old Fashioned By Finds 2

What Makes It Special?

  • A popular pre-Prohibition era drink that first appeared in the 1890s, the Old Fashioned recipe calls for a jigger of whisky, two dashes of Angostura bitters, a lump of sugar and ice.
  • The maraschino cherry and orange slice give Finds’ version a fragrant twist. 
  • The Smoked Old Fashioned was born out of Antonio Lai’s obsession with leather goods.
  • He summoned the aid of John Lobb’s workshop in London. When said shoemaker sent over eight strips of leather, a four-month test and trial period followed.
  • The strips of John Lobb came out tops among the array of leathers sourced.
  • A favorite drink of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, Chivas Regal 12 year old was chosen in this case for its smooth palate and light fruity taste. “Jack Daniel’s is too sweet while Johnnie Walker is over-powering,” says Lai.

When to Indulge?

Soothing and cloyingly sweet, this John Lobb leather-infused cocktail is best consumed as a hearty after-dinner diversion.

Finds, 1/F, The Luxe Manor,
39 Kimberley Road, Tsimshatshui,
Hong Kong
Tel: 852 2522 9318

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