cozy bourbon old fashioneds (with sweet potato simple syrup!) + juke jams

helllooooo, hungry by nature loves!

i’m jess, the gal behind plays well with butter, a food blog full of everyday recipes for modern gals & guys. the guiding principle behind pwwb is that food tastes so much better when you’re enjoying, laughing, & sharing with your loved ones, that a “dinner party” can be as unfussy as calling up your besties on a random tuesday & inviting them over for a quick pasta & wine night, & that life is all about balance. for this reason, pwwb has a balance of healthy-ish recipes, celebratory recipes, & cocktail recipes.

so, when ellie asked me to share a cocktail recipe for a lyrics & libations while she’s on vacation (uh, btw…prague?! raise yo’ hand if you’re jealous!! 🙋🏻🙋🏻🙋🏻), i obviously said, “hells to the yes!”

& that’s exactly what we’re doin’ today. a little bit of booze & a little bit of tunes. can you get down with that?

say hello to your new fave fall cocktail: cozy bourbon old fashioneds (with homemade sweet potato simple syrup!).

aka…a glass full of boozy fall goodness!

i don’t know about you, but something about this time of year puts me into full-on hibernation mode. our days here in minnesota get shorter, the air here gets cooler & crisper, & there’s nothing more comforting at the end of the week than having a date night in, cozying up with my hubby on our big comfy sofa.

we’ll usually make something fancy-ish but easy together for dinner (ellie’s honey mustard pork tenderloin is totally next on our list of things to make!), & sit down together with an equally fancy-ish but easy cocktail.

&, not gonna lie, it’s pretty much the best.

old fashioneds are basically the ultimate fancy-ish but easy drink. cocktails don’t get fancier than a good spirit-forward bourbon old fashioned. & as a bonus, they are made entirely with bar staples: a good whiskey, bitters, sugar, oranges, & cherries. that’s it! no fancy liqueurs needed!

a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to cozy bourbon old fashioneds:

  • quality ingredients matter. because the ingredient list is so simple & straightforward, you want to use ingredients that really shine on their own. when it comes to bourbon, i can’t recommend basil hayden’s more highly! it’s very well-priced (about $30ish for a bottle) & is a really nice smooth, medium-bodied bourbon. i also highly suggest investing in luxardo cherries. produced in italy, they’re pretty much the o.g. maraschino cherry on the market. their flavor is unreal and a jar will last you forevvver.  
  • jazz them up! because old fashioneds are so straightforward, it’s fun to play with them & really make them your own. for this recipe? we’re adding sweet potato! & omg before you write me off as completely crazy, hear me out: sweet potato simple syrup is the best thing that will happen to you this fall. you replace half of the sugar in a simple syrup with roasted sweet potato, puree it, & strain it out. the result is the most mind-bogglingly amazing fall flavor – honestly it tastes exactly like fall!

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plus…since sweet potatoes are vegetables, these cozy bourbon old fashioneds are pretty much smoothies…right?! 😉😏

cozy bourbon old fashioneds in hand, the only thing missing is some good tunes.

juke jams has been my absolute obsession lately! not only do i adore chance the rapper (what’s not to adore, really), juke jams is totally on-theme with the cozy vibes we’re creating here. juke jams is slightly more mellow than chance the rapper’s more well-known tracks. it’s got the greatest beat & is, of course, full of soul.

(oh, & justin bieber may or may make an appearance, so there’s that. 😍 #notashamed #guiltypleasure)

So we gon’ have a juke jam, we gon’ have a juke jam.

We can have a party, just listenin’ to music.

Like we used to do…I’ll get close to you.

I remember you, you used to ‘I remember you’ cuz

We’ve got so much history baby, maybe…

Maybe you & I were meant to be baby…

Maybe I’m crazy…crazy ‘bout you.

bourbon. sweet potatoes. autumn coziness. sofa date night with boo thang. j. biebs. honestly, what more could you want?

thank you so much for hanging with me today! if you’re intersted in everyday recipes with a little bit of modern flare, i’d absolutely LOVE to see you on instagram, or on plays well with butter soon! xo

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say hello to your new fave fall cocktail: cozy bourbon old fashioneds (with homemade sweet potato simple syrup!). |

cozy bourbon old fashioneds (with sweet potato simple syrup!) + juke jams

  • Author: Ellie
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Drink



for the old fashioned:

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 2 teaspoons sweet potato simple syrup (ingredients below)
  • 4 dashes bitters
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • club soda, enough for a splash or two

for the sweet potato simple syrup

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Roast the sweet potato: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a fork. Place on a small baking sheet & into the oven. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the sweet potato is fork tender & juices bubble out of it. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Make the sweet potato simple syrup: Spoon the flesh of the sweet potato out of the skin & place into a small saucepan with the water and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture into a blender & blend until smooth. (Take care in mixing hot liquid!) Strain the syrup with a fine mesh sieve & transfer to a jar or airtight container. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Mix a cocktail! Place one slice of orange in a rocks glass with the maraschino cherry. Add in the simple syrup & bitters. Muddle the mixture to break up the cherry and orange. Add in an ice cube or two. Top off with the bourbon and a splash of club soda. Garnish with additional orange slices as desired. Cheers!


As written, this recipe is spirit-forward. If you like a sweeter old fashioned, add extra teaspoon of the simple syrup!

Keywords: cocktail, drink, old fashioned, bourbon, sweet potato



6 thoughts on “cozy bourbon old fashioneds (with sweet potato simple syrup!) + juke jams

    1. Ellie Post author

      I will pass along the praise! Jess makes PHENOMENAL cocktails (and pretty much all food) but her photos are equally as stunning!

  1. Allison // ALWAYS EAT DESSERT

    Yes, please! This sounds amazing! I’ve never tried sweet potato anything in a cocktail, but that sweet potato simple syrup sounds goooood!

    xx Allison


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