Spurs & Saddles Cocktail

Spurs & Saddles Cocktail

I was recently at the brand new Chop Steakhouse that just opened up in Coal Harbour. Now, you might be asking, “Rebecca, what business do you have at a steakhouse? There can’t be anything for you to eat there?” You’d actually be surprised, they have quite a few plant-based vegan and vegetarian options. More about that later.

One of the things they were serving at this opening was a smoked old fashioned. The idea is, you make an old fashioned, which is a very classic and popular cocktail, and then you add the element of smoke to it.

A few years back, I was writing an article on cocktail culture in Victoria, and I went to Little Jumbo (as you do). Spurs & Saddles is one of their signature cocktails, and that was the first place I’d had it. It’s very masculine, bourbon and root beer, but what makes it really special is that Nate Caudle, who invented it,  burnt a barrel stave and then inverted the serving glass over it to smoke the glass. The cocktail is then served inside the smoked glass. It’s delicious and smoky.

You could make this cocktail that way (by smoking the glass first), or you can make the cocktail in the glass and then add smoke at the end, which is what you’ll see me doing in the video (and how they did it at Chop). You just need a chunk of wood (I literally rescued mine, check the dumpster of offcuts that you’re free to take behind the Arts Club Theatre shop on Granville Island) and a torch to burn it. Burn the wood till it gets a good scorch going, then invert the wood over the finished cocktail (you can also purchase a smoking kit from Spirits with Smoke). Remove for the big oooooooohhhh! moment and enjoy.

This twist on Spurs & Saddles comes from Reece Simms, who is the most awesome badass human I’ve met in a while. I recently took one of her bourbon tasting classes and I learned so much! And also drank some really good bourbon. Did you know, for example, that the word “bourbon” is like “champagne?” Lots of Canadian distillers are making it, but they’re not allowed to call it that. My current Canadian fave is the Bearface.

Instead of doing a root beer syrup, Reece’s suggestion was to do a beer syrup, using a dark beer like a stout or a porter. As it happened, I had a bottle of Steamworks Salted Chocolate Porter in my fridge, so I mixed it 1:1 with sugar in a small pan and heated until the sugar was completely dissolved. I then allowed it to cool and bottled it for use in this cocktail.

Spurs & Saddles

A smoked bourbon cocktail.
Prep Time15 minutes
Course: cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: cocktail
Yield: 1 drink
Author: Rebecca Coleman


For the beer syrup

  • 1/2 cup dark beer like a porter or a stout
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For the cocktail

  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • .5 oz beer syrup (above)
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • .75 oz triple sec orange liquor
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters


  • Make the beer syrup by mixing beer & sugar in a small saucepan and then heating gently until the sugar is dissolved into the beer. Allow to cool and bottle.
  • To make the cocktail, shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a glass that's already been smoked, or strain into a glass and then smoke.


@findbex Spurs & Saddles Smoked Cocktail (og Nate Caudle for Little Jumbo in YYC, beer syrup idea by Reece Simms). Full recipe on my blog, link in bio #cocktail #whiskey #bourbon #smoked #smoke #smoking #smokedcocktails #mixeddrink #yummy #smokey #delicious #bourbonlover #blowtorch ♬ original sound - Rebecca Coleman, Food Blogger


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