Bonfire Cocktail Recipe

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Bonfire Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Bonfire cocktail is a warm and inviting drink that was first created in the early 20th century. It is said to have been inspired by the cozy atmosphere of a bonfire gathering, where friends and family come together to share stories and laughter. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy the smoky flavors of a campfire and the warmth of good company.

  • Originated in the early 20th century
  • Inspired by bonfire gatherings
  • Perfect for those who enjoy smoky flavors and warmth

How Bonfire Tastes?

The Bonfire cocktail has a smoky, sweet, and slightly spicy taste. It is a well-balanced drink with a hint of warmth and a smooth finish.

Interesting facts about Bonfire

  • The Bonfire cocktail is often enjoyed during the colder months, as its warmth and smoky flavors are reminiscent of a cozy bonfire.
  • The smoky flavor in this cocktail comes from the use of a smoked whiskey, such as a peaty Scotch.
  • The addition of cinnamon and orange peel adds a touch of sweetness and spice to the drink.


Smoked Whiskey

We use 2oz because it's the boozy backbone of our Bonfire cocktail. It delivers a deep smoky flavor that's akin to a campfire's embrace. Too much, and you'll feel like you're swallowing the fireplace; too little, you're just camping in the backyard.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

1oz adds a sweet and citrusy kick – the life of the party in our smoky gathering. Skipping this would be like forgetting the marshmallows for your s'mores – not a disaster, but a missed opportunity for fun.

Emma Rose

Fresh Lemon Juice

At 0.5oz, it's there to bring the zest to balance the sweet. It's the unsung hero that cleanses the palate. Forget it, and the cocktail becomes a one-note tune, which might still be catchy, but not as harmonious.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

Just 0.5oz because sweetness should whisper not shout. It's a subtle touch to take the edge off. Omitting it could leave your guests puckering more than a fish out of water.

Alex Green

Angostura Bitters

With 2 dashes, it's like the spice in your pie – indispensable for that hint of complexity. No bitters, no depth. The Bonfire's flame would surely be dimmer.

Emma Rose

Orange Peel

A single piece does the trick; it's the zestful twist that brightens the smokiness. Without it, you might feel something is missing, like a song without a chorus.

Mary Mitkina

Cinnamon Stick

1 piece for garnish because it's not only a treat for the eyes but also adds a subtle aromatic experience with each sip. Without it, the Bonfire would just be missing a certain 'spark'.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Bonfire Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the smoked whiskey, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.
  2. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Express the orange peel over the drink and discard.
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Pro Tips

  • Smoked Whiskey: For a more intense smoky flavor, try using a heavily peated Scotch.
  • Orange Liqueur: A high-quality orange liqueur will add depth to the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Always use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Chilling: Make sure to chill your glass before serving for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings

Meat Dishes

  • BBQ Ribs: The smokiness of the whiskey complements the charred, savory flavors.
  • Grilled Sausages: The citrus notes can cut through the richness of the sausages.

Cheese & Snacks

  • Aged Cheddar: The bold flavors of the cheese match the intensity of the cocktail.
  • Salted Nuts: The saltiness of the nuts will enhance the sweetness of the simple syrup and orange liqueur.


  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness pairs nicely with the sweet and smoky notes of the cocktail.
  • Apple Pie: The spiciness of cinnamon and the fruitiness of the drink align perfectly with the pie.

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What you could change in Bonfire

  • Smoked Whiskey: Can be substituted with regular whiskey and a drop of liquid smoke.
  • Orange Liqueur: Can be substituted with Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Can be substituted with bottled lemon juice, but fresh is always best.
  • Simple Syrup: Can be substituted with agave syrup or honey.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoked Maple Bonfire

Replace simple syrup with maple syrup for a rustic twist. It’ll feel like autumn in a glass, with the maple’s earthy sweetness dancing with the smoky whiskey.

Spicy Bonfire

Add a slice of fresh jalapeño to the mixing glass before stirring. The spice will kick the heat up a notch, providing a fiery contrast to the cocktail’s inherent sweetness.

Citrus Bonfire Fizz

Top off the strained cocktail with a splash of club soda. This effervescent twist adds a lively sparkle that tickles the palate, adding a breeze of refreshment to the smoky bonfire.

In case you forgot basics how to make Bonfire

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bonfire

What type of glass is best for serving the Bonfire cocktail?

While the Bonfire cocktail is typically served in a rocks glass, it can also be beautifully presented in a snifter or an old-fashioned glass to accentuate its aromatic characteristics.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Bonfire cocktail?

Yes, you can substitute the smoked whiskey and orange liqueur with non-alcoholic alternatives, such as non-alcoholic spirits or flavoured syrups. Keep in mind that this will change the taste, but it can still make a delicious mocktail.

Is it necessary to use smoked whiskey for the Bonfire cocktail?

Smoked whiskey provides a unique, smoky flavour that is integral to the Bonfire cocktail. However, if smoked whiskey is not available, regular whiskey can be used with a few drops of liquid smoke.

How do I properly express an orange peel over a cocktail?

To express an orange peel, hold a piece of the peel about the size of a large coin with the outside facing towards the drink. Pinch or twist the peel to release its oils, then rub the peel around the rim of the glass before dropping it into the drink.

Can the Bonfire cocktail be batched for parties?

Yes, the Bonfire cocktail can be pre-mixed in large quantities and served from a punch bowl or drink dispenser. Remember to keep the mixture chilled, and only add the ice just before serving to prevent dilution.

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