Cocktail Friday: Brown Butter Old Fashioned with Peach + Sage

Brown Butter Old Fashioned with Peach & Sage :: Set the Table

Brad and I were watching the news last night and there were so many terrible things in the headlines. Someone brought a gun into a school and open-fired. A mother and her toddler son were stabbed (fortunately they are both OK) while out walking this morning. After those stories came images of abused pets. All of that happened within approximately 5 minutes. Sorry, I know that was a lot of heavy stuff. I try not to do that, but occasionally I get a little overwhelmed and it all just feels like too much. This is why I watch a very limited amount of the news.

Brown Butter Old Fashioned with Crispy Sage & Peaches :: Set the Table

So where’s the joy, you ask? Where are the people who restore our hope in humanity? This week, I found them at my church helping a huge number of people in need. I found them at the grocery store with kind smiles on their faces and stickers for my son. They were the teachers at my husband’s school who are pouring their souls into their students before they’ve even met. Good things happen. It’s hard to see the good out there sometimes. But I’ve been thinking that sometimes we need to acknowledge the bad to truly appreciate the good.

Crispy Sage Leaves :: Set the Table

So there’s that. There’s all of that good vs. evil talk that I think inspired Friday evening happy hours where conversations around politics and people and travel and food launch us into the weekend. This cocktail is perfect for sipping between confident statements that could be wrong or offensive or right on the money. It’s also perfect for savoring during these last weeks of summer. However you chose to enjoy this nutty and fresh spin on the Old Fashioned, I think you’ll love it.

Brown Butter Old Fashioned Recipe with Peach & Sage :: Set the Table

My inspiration for this cocktail came from a recipe for Peach Shortbread from Smitten Kitchen. The shortbread is made with brown butter and topped with fresh peach slices. It’s amazing and so worth making. Even if it is a million degrees in your kitchen. Just suffer through the heat because it’s worth it. Anyway, I made the short bread and fell in love all over again with brown butter. Between that and the fact that I’m up to my ears in peaches, I felt the need to make a cocktail with the same flavor profile.

The brown butter-infused bourbon (or whiskey) is the warm and comforting. The sweet, fresh peach juice and sage compliment the cocktail perfectly. Serving crispy sage leaves alongside the cocktail add to its charm and elegance. So, if you’re as overwhelmed as I am with the world and life and all of that, maybe it’s time to slow down and sip on one of these sophisticated cocktails while watching clouds float by in the late summer sky.

Brown Butter Old Fashioned with Peach + Sage


  • 1 1/2 oz brown butter bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh peach juice (Allow fresh peach slices to sit in a bowl for 15 minutes and scoop out the juice from the bottom of the bowl. If the peaches are not juicy enough, add a little sugar to the peach slices.)
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Splash of club soda (optional)
  • For the Sage Leaves:
  • 4-5 sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. In the bottom of a high ball glass, combine the peach juice, sugar and bitters. Stir to combine.
  2. Place 1 or 2 large ice cubes in the glass (I used an ice ball mold. Ultimately you want something that will melt slowly.)
  3. Pour the whiskey over the ice and stir with a stir stick.
  4. Top with club soda if desired.
  5. Garnish with a peach slice and serve with crispy sage leaves on the side.
  6. For the Sage Leaves:
  7. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds, turning once. Watch carefully to make sure they don't burn.
  8. Transfer the leaves to a paper towel lined plate until ready to use.

Brown Butter Infused Bourbon


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cups bourbon or whiskey


  1. Place the cold butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt. It will foam a bit and then separate with the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Stir the butter often as it cooks. It will burn very quickly if not carefully watched and stirred.
  2. Once the butter turns a golden brown color and has a nutty scent, remove it from the heat and bring it to room temperature.
  3. Pour the room temperature brown butter and the whiskey into a freezer safe container. Place the container in the freezer for at least one hour and up to overnight. The butter will solidify at the top of the container, leaving the liquid bourbon at the bottom.
  4. Remove the solid layer and pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with a couple layers of cheese cloth to remove any last solid pieces.
  5. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator.

23. August 2013 by Rachael White
Categories: Cocktails & Appetizers | 4 comments

  • Ashley Bee

    Oof. This seems like a good drink to unwind with after such a day. As Mister Rogers said, “look for the helpers.” There are always the good people, the “helpers” out there among the scary and sad things. Glad you found them :)

  • Todd @ HonestlyYUM

    Rachael…first off, this is a beautiful post. I wish I could write like you. Secondly, I need this drink…NOW!! I can’t wait to see the look on my wife’s face when I’m adding bourbon to her brown butter 😉 Love this..thank you.

  • Rochelle

    I know how you feel about the bad being around and learning to appreciate the good. It’s around us more than we think, but we often forget to see it. Good on you for noticing the good in people and I hope it keeps happening all around you!

    PS. This looks like a great after work-ready-for-the-weekend drink that I would be more than happy to whip up.

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