This Snow-Bourbon Cocktail is Pure Winter Genius

Spirits specialist Dan Searing shares an easy snow day recipe.

Chances are you have some whiskey on the home bar come winter, so here’s a handy cocktail recipe from The Punch Bowl author Dan Searing. The spirits specialist and Room 11 (now closed) partner gave us his formula for “the West Virginia Snow Cone,” which combines bourbon and a cup of (clean!) snow for an easy blizzard drink.

West Virginia Snow Cone: jigger of @SmoothAmbler #SingleBarrel in a snow packed glass, 2 tsp of simple syrup, stir

A photo posted by Dan Searing (@dansearing) on

Searing suggests chilling the glasses and/or bourbon before mixing the components to get a slushy-like texture. If you don’t have Old Scout bourbon from West Virginia on hand, other whiskeys work. Searing says you can make an equally delicious Kentucky Snow Cone—just use a bourbon that’s at least 100 proof, so the cold drink still warms your insides. Another riff: add a dash or two of bitters for aSnowld Fashioned.”

Dan Searing’s West Virginia Snow Cone 

Makes one

1.5 oz Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon

2 teaspoons simple syrup

Fresh snow


Make the simple syrup: boil water and stir in an equal amount of sugar until it’s dissolved. Let cool.

Pack an old fashioned glass or other small tumbler with fresh snow.

Pour bourbon over snow in glass.

Add 2 teaspoons of simple syrup (or to taste). Stir and enjoy!

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.