So, you just got back from that fancy hotel bar or steakhouse and had an amazing smoked cocktail! I assume you’re here wondering exactly how you can do this at home without spending $15 a drink. Well, you’re in luck because today we’re going to talk about how to make your very own Bar-Qaulity, DIY Smoked Cocktails right at home!
What is a smoked cocktail?
Cocktail smoking involves exposing a cocktail, its ingredients, or just the drinking glass to flavorful smoke to infuse it with smoky notes. Smoked cocktails have developed considerable popularity since the mid-2000s and have intrigued drink lovers for quite some time.
The art of infusing food with smoky notes dates back to the days of open fire cooking. Smoke from open flames can penetrate and stick onto moist surfaces like food or clothes, leaving them with aromatic smells. If you’ve ever sat by a bonfire in the summer, and spent the next few days smelling like smoke, that’s it. Over the years, mixologists have taken this effect and made it something special by using smoke from flavorful woods to bring out tasty notes in drinks.
New York barkeep Eben Freeman started the smokey cocktail revolution in 2007 (source), and since then, a smorgasbord of smoky cocktails has been appearing on menus everywhere. From smoked ice cubes to smoked syrups and smoked liquors, you can now order just about anything smoked from cocktail bars. Smoking cocktails enhance their flavor, aroma, and texture and now, thanks to various equipment and all-in-one kits, making smoke-infused cocktails at home is easier than ever.
What does cocktail smoking entail?
You will enjoy learning the art of cocktail smoking if you are already into grilling and love learning about mixology. There are various cocktail smokers devices on the market, but the concept remains the same. Burning wood smoke is funneled into a cold glass, where its flavorful molecules adhere to the moisture in the glass. When a drink is poured into the smoked glass, the smoke brings out unique notes and enhances the ultimate flavor of the drink. Obviously, the flavor depends on what kind of wood you burn.
Any drink can be smoked, including classic cocktails and whiskey beverages. Here is a look at how you can do this at home using readily available tools or the Smokeshow Starter Bundle if you want an all-in-one kit. This kit includes:
- The Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
- Smoke Dust in 4 Flavors: Hickory, Cherry, Apple, Bourbon Barrel Oak
- Jet high-performance kitchen torch
- 140ml Butane
How to create DIY smoked cocktails at home
You need the following ingredients to make a DIY smoked Cocktail:
Wood (we call it smoke dust)
When it comes to cocktail smoking wood, you just need to know which species it is and make sure it hasn’t been treated. You can use maple, cedar, hickory, oak, alder, cherry, apple, or other hardwood species. You can get these chips, chunks, or sawdust at the grocery store, home improvement center, or any store that sells charcoal or grilling equipment. You can even experiment with herbs, teas, and dried citrus peels! When you’re making DIY Smoked Cocktails at home, you have the freedom to experiment however you want!
The Smokeshow Starter Bundle contains enough pieces of wood to produce enough smoke for hundreds of DIY smoked cocktails. Alternatively, you can use aromatics such as loose-leaf tea, citrus peels, dried spices, or rosemary to give your cocktails some variety.
Once you have your wood chunks or herbs, it’s simply a matter of lighting them. This is where the butane torch comes in. The torch included with the Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker kit, generates direct heat and higher temperatures, which will enable you to burn the smoke dust and force the smoke down in your glass.
Some people wash their glass with mezcal or a peaty scotch to add smoke flavor to a cocktail. But you can do it without any of those things! It’s simple; you don’t begin with smoky ingredients or spirits for a smoky cocktail. Instead, you expose the entire cocktail or at least one of its elements to actual smoke. For example, you can smoke an individual spirit and then sip it alone or incorporate it into a cocktail for a more subtle effect. You can also smoke ice cubes and serve them with drinks to add subtle, gentle smokiness to the drinks. Alternatively, you could just prepare your cocktail and smoke the whole thing. Make whatever you feel like mixing!
A chilled glass or glass full of ice
This is the glass that you will smoke-rinse to capture that smoky flavor. Chilling the glass leaves its sides moist so that the molecules from the smoke can adhere better. Alternatively you can add ice into your glass, which will let the smoke oils stick to the moisture from the ice. The more moisture and surface area, the stronger smoke flavor your drink will have.
Step 1: Prepare your cocktail
Prepare your cocktail according to your proportions, but do not add ice at this stage. You can keep the ice on standby, though, for later use. Once the cocktail is prepared in a mixing or shaker glass, set it aside.
Step 2: Top your glass with the Smokeshow and some Smoke Dust
The next step is to prepare your wood for smoking. Top your cocktail glass with the Smokeshow and add some Smoke Dust to the basket. You don’t need like a whole bunch here. Just a pinch in your Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker will be more than enough!
Step 3: Light it up!
Light the wood with a kitchen torch on a non-flammable surface. Start with the torch a few inches away from the smoker and pointed away from it – this will keep the early blast of unburned butane from shooting into your drink. Once the torch is lit, aim it straight down the chimney of your smoker. The smoke will fill your glass in a matter of seconds!
Step 4: Let it rest
Once the glass is full of smoke, depress the trigger on your torch and let the smoke sit with the Smokeshow still on top for 30-60 seconds. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor!
Step 5: Pour your cocktail and enjoy!
While the smoke is resting in the glass, finish your cocktail. Whether that means adding ice and stirring, or shaking in a shaker, get it nice and cold and ready to pour. After 30-60 seconds of smoking, remove the Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker and pour in your drink. Your drink will infuse with all of those amazing smoke oils in the glass, creating a brand new exciting experience!
Wrap-up: Enjoy bar-quality cocktails in the comfort of your own home with the Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker Bundle
The Smokeshow Starter Bundle is an all-in-one kit for unlocking thousands of DIY smoked cocktail recipes at home. This kit has everything you need to start infusing your favorite drinks with flavorful smoke. Adding smoke to a beverage will give it unique flavor notes that you can enjoy on your own or use to entertain friends when they come over. The smoker instantly adds a distinctive smoky flavor to your drinks and is designed to fit all standard rocks, shakers, and mixing glasses.
It is also a beautiful design if you value elegant presentation. It’s made with durable materials to last for thousands of uses, and when not in use, it fits nicely in a tiny drawer in your kitchen. This cocktail smoker kit could also serve as a great holiday gift for your friends who enjoy a good smoked cocktail!