Dashfire Bitters have become mainstays at cocktail bars all over the Twin Cities. Bartenders know them like second nature, but consumers can be a little more hesitant.
“People love my bitters but might have no idea what to do with them,” says Lee Egbert, owner of Dashfire Bitters. “We’re really good at balancing flavors, so my thought is, let’s do cocktails really well.”
Thus the first bottled cocktail from Dashfire, Bourbon Old Fashioned No. 001, debuts this week. Egbert has taken a deep dive into his botanical library to craft a cocktail you’d be hard-pressed to replicate on your own.
“It’s not a three-part old fashioned, it’s a nine-part,” he laughs. Those parts: bourbon, sugar cane juice, a blend of four Dashfire bitters (J. Thomas, Barrel-Aged Vintage Orange, Old Fashioned, and Star Anise), plus two special extracts (vanilla and chicory) and cherry juice.
This old fashioned hits all the classic notes—aromas of cherry and spice, a spirit-forward sip with a warming finish. Star anise is the deft ingredient, lending a clarion top note to a grown-up spice profile that separates it from other bottled cocktails that err on the sweet side of things. It’s 35% ABV and easy to sip neat, though we prefer a couple rocks to open up the aroma even more.
This old fashioned is destined to be the first in a series of Dashfire bottled cocktails. Egbert muses about perhaps changing up the spirit with the seasons—rum, brandy, and mezcal old fashioneds are all potential follow-ups in the series. He’s also intent on bottling other classic cocktails, so perhaps a Dashfire Negroni or Martinez is in our future.
Bourbon Old Fashioned No. 001 will be available in 750-milliliter bottles and should retail for around $30. Look for it at select retailers—including South Lyndale Liquors, France 44, Ale Jail, and Thomas Liquors—in the next few days. It should enjoy a wider release in November.