Delicious to drink, cool to watch, and so easy to do, smoked cocktails are not only for the most advanced mixologist but for the at-home barista, too. Gaining major popularity in the mid-2000s, smoked cocktails have bewildered and bemused drink enthusiasts for years.
Smoke and liquor have been linked to early production days when the cooking process heavily relied on an open flame. Over the years, mixologists have tried to bring the smoky flavour of olden days back to their drinks, and in 2007 New York barkeep, Eben Freeman sparked a smokey revolution in a bar.
Since then, smoked cocktails have been popping up on menus left and right--everything from smoke infused syrups to ice cubes to actual smoking drinks. Now let's dive and see how to smoke a cocktail at home?
Equipment To Create Smoke
Depending on how much smoke you want, there are various methods in which you can create smoke. The most popular way is to smoke rinse your glass. It simply means you are bathing your glass with smoke from inside.
Just when you want to smoke the cocktail. You just flip over the chilled glass and fill in your drink. For such a way, all you need it a cocktail glass and some element to create smoke.
If you are not sure on how to smoke your cocktails then you can also but a smoking gun. To use it, just place the element that you wish to smoke(pine wood) into the chamber at the top and use the hose from the gun to control the smoke that comes out straight into your glass.
How to create the smoke?
For the at-home mixologist, a smoking cocktail is actually very easy to accomplish with very few items needed. The key to a great smoked cocktail is, well, the smoke. This can easily be acquired by burning apple wood, hickory, or oak sticks. If you are feeling creative, try using your favorite tea or an all natural tobacco.
How to keep the smoke contained?
Enter a sealable glass container. An old whiskey bottle works great for this and helps create an elegant presentation--because what’s a good cocktail without good presentation?
In fact, whiskey actually works really well with smoking. Check out Eagle Rare; it works really well with the smoked old fashioned recipe below.
Now let’s get to the exciting part.
Make sure your work area is clear of anything flammable. Light your stick of wood or tea on fire. Once lit, extinguish and immediately cover with your glass container to capture the smoke. It helps if you have the glass container unsealed and at the ready.
Once the glass has become opaque, remove and seal. Make sure to seal the container immediately upon removal.
Unique Ways to smoke a cocktail (Used by Bartenders) which you can use at home
Smoked Fruit: You can simply smoke a fruit and use it for your cocktail. What this will do is give you a fruity punch for your nostrils and will also enhance the taste of your drink.
Vaporisation: If you are throwing a party or have some allergy due to smoke then you can simply create an illusion of smoke that will add up to the presentation of your cocktail. You can use dry ice for creating such a smoke and use it with cocktail that don't have any fizz.
Smoked Herbs: How about smoking a herb to dazzle up your drink? You can use a herb and burn it with your cocktail glass upside down. Now be ready for some unique flavours that this will add in your drink.
Smoky Spirits: You may have come across a number of spirits that have a smoky effervescence and two of the popular classics that are used most of the times are peated scotch and mezcal. Though you may have to work a little on your visual presentation.
Smoky Garnish: If you use certain elements on your cocktail as a garnish then firing them up can give you some serious smoke. You can use herbs or pine needles which produce a good amount of smoke.
List of Ingredients you can use alongside smoking your cocktail
Ice: Apart from using ice, you can always use normal ice for your cocktail.
Salt: Depending on how you like your cocktails, you can use the optimum amount of salt for that punch or savoury taste.
Citrus Peels: Citrus can be used as a garnish for your drinks. Though it may not totally enhance the flavour of your drink but you can also fire up the peel for even more smoke.
Cinnamon: Use it for subtle sweetness and light smoke
Pecan Wood: A pecan wood has a very nutty texture to it and adding this to your cocktail can give you a unique experience.
Oak Wood: Who doesn't like a charred woody smell in their drink. oak wood does exactly that.
Next, prepare your drink of choice or try the one below.
Once your drink is prepared, make sure to stir it with some ice to help dilute and cool the beverage. Need a good stirring spoon? This one is great.
Next, unplug your smoke filled decanter, and slowly pour the liquid into the smoke. Shake a few times.
One key technique to smoking a cocktail is not shaking it too much or too long. The more shaking and the longer the cocktail is exposed to the smoke, the stronger the smoke flavour. It can get overwhelming quickly. Try a 4 or 5 gentle shakes.
Slowly pour the cocktail into your serving glass and let the smoke settle on top. A great cocktail should have a wonderful aroma, a great taste, and a beautiful presentation. This smoked cocktail definitely checks all three.
Smoked Old Fashioned Recipe
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 orange peel
- 1 maraschino cherry
- 1 Splash club soda
- 2 oz bourbon
- Muddle bitters, sugar cube and splash of soda in mixing glass
- Add ice and stir
- Pour into smoke-filled bottle and shake to incorporate the smoky flavor
- Pour into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube
- Garnish with maraschino cherry and orange peel
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