Old Flame

Jelani Johnson | New York City

Old Flame Reserve Bar

The immortal Old-Fashioned serves as the spark for the Old Flame, whose modern touch comes in the form of a smoky-sweet grilled pineapple syrup with an accent of herbal absinthe to complement the classic bitters. “The rye spice of Du Nord Mixed Blood Whiskey is accentuated by the blend of absinthe and bitters, creating a bracing backbone,” says Johnson. “The bourbon’s top notes of light smoke, stone fruit and vanilla are rounded out by charred pineapple and brown sugar, making a complex and delicious sipping cocktail.” If you don’t have bar-quality ice molds at home, Johnson recommends filling a deli container with filtered water and then, once frozen, smacking it with a sturdy metal spoon to create uniquely shaped cubes for your favorite cocktail.


Yield: 1

  • 2 ounces Du Nord Mixed Blood Whiskey
  • 2 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon grilled pineapple rich Demerara sugar syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 teaspoon grilled pineapple rich Demerara sugar syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • 1 dash absinthe

Garnish: lemon twist

  1. Combine ingredients in a mixing glass over ice.
  2. Stir until chilled and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Editor's Note

Grilled Pineapple Rich Demerara Sugar Syrup
Weigh out 16 ounces Demerara sugar and mix with 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Cut a pineapple into rings, about 1/2-inch thick, with the skin on. Grill 2 slices until they are golden brown and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cut the slices into quarters, then put them into the syrup. Let cool and store together for future use. The pineapple flavor will become more robust as time passes.