Let’s answer your most googled questions about cocktail smokers! Are you in the market for a cocktail smoker? Have one and need advice? Keep on reading to find your most googled questions answered!
Why Smoke Cocktails?
This is a big question we get all the time! We see tons of comments on our ads about why on earth would you smoke a cocktail? I think a common misconception about smoked cocktails is the actual process. Some will hear “smoked cocktails” and think of smoking in the sense of a cigar or cigarette- immediately getting confused. So no, smoking cocktails is not turning alcohol into a powder and rolling it, then smoking it. Lol!
Incorporating smoke into cocktails can significantly boost their flavor, resulting in a distinct taste profile that’s both complex and unique. By utilizing smoke dusts and other techniques, the process of smoking cocktails is similar to smoking meat, where spices are used to infuse meat with a smoky flavor. With cocktails, the added smoke contributes an extra layer of taste to the drink, elevating the overall experience for those who indulge in it.
Smoking a cocktail is not only visually appealing, but you can truly taste the essence of smoke and the flavors of the smoke dust. Smoke dust is finely milled wood chips derived from different species of trees- apple, oak (bourbon barrel), cherry, and hickory. Our Bourbon Barrel smoke dust is taken from an oak tree, soaked in bourbon, and then dried. When Bourbon Barrel smoke dust is smoked, the bourbon flavor truly shines through the taste and the smell!
Now, it can often get confused that the cherry smoke dust will taste like cherry and disappointment comes when I explain how cherry smoke dust actually works. You won’t taste cherries, but you will taste a difference in the level of smokiness between cherry and let’s say hickory. If you’d like to learn more about smoke dust flavors, including smoking herbs and spices, read this blog: Smoke Dust Flavors Explained.
The smoke interacts with the cocktail, infusing it with smoky flavors, which can complement the existing ingredients and create a more complex and intriguing taste. The visual aspect of the process also adds a theatrical touch to the presentation of the cocktail, making it an exciting experience for the guests.
It’s important to note that smoking a cocktail is a technique used in mixology, and it does not involve the actual act of smoking or inhaling tobacco or any other substances. Additionally, it’s essential to handle the smoking gun and smoking process with care and in a well-ventilated area to avoid any safety risks. I hope this helps you understand a bit of the why behind a smoked cocktail!
What Cocktails can you Smoke?
You have come to the right place because, HONEY, we have soooooo many recipes for smoked cocktails. The question I think really should be answered is what cocktails can’t you smoke?? The answer is as simple as this: none! Okay okay, maybe I am biased. We have over 70 smoked cocktail recipes on our blog and we even have an e-book, too!
When I think about smoked cocktails, I first think about seasonality. I also think about the type of smoke dust that needs to be used. For example, if you were to make a light and fruity cocktail, you won’t want to pair it with a deeper smoke dust flavor like hickory. Think about the flavors that are in the cocktail and then look the the array of smoke dusts you have. For example, we have a wide array of smoke dusts in our herbs and spices line: Cinnamon, Grapefruit Peel, Lemon Peel, Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme. Fruity cocktails pair best with these types of smoke dusts! So, in general, think of your favorite cocktail and just give it a try!
In my personal opinion, I find that certain cocktails, such as an aperol spritz, are best enjoyed in their unadulterated form, sans any added smokiness. However, it truly comes down to your individual taste preferences. If you are feeling adventurous, experimenting with smoked cocktails can be a thrilling experience, and there really is no right or wrong approach to take. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.
How Long do you Smoke a Cocktail?
Another great question! So let’s say you just bought your cocktail smoker and you have no clue how long to smoke it- will it get too smoky if you smoke it too long? Will it not taste as smoky at all if you don’t smoke it long enough?
Let’s start at the top! The sweet spot for smoking a cocktail is 10-15 seconds! You can immediately remove the smoker, or you can let the smoker sit for about a minute to continue to infuse the flavors. This is all about experimentation, too. You can smoke rinse, which is to smoke the glass before adding the cocktail. This way you can let the smoke particles cling to the glass and leave the smoker on top of the glass until you have finished mixing our cocktail in a separate glass.
For all smoked cocktails, do some experimenting! Try smoking for just a few seconds, try smoking for more than 10 seconds, try smoking for just 10 seconds, etc. Do a flight and see what works best for you! If you’d like to read more, we have a detailed blog on the subject!
Are Smoked Cocktails Bad for you?
There is no definitive scientific evidence suggesting that smoked cocktails are inherently bad for you. However, it’s important to consider certain factors:
- Alcohol content: The primary concern with cocktails, including smoked ones, is the alcohol content. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can have various negative health effects, including liver damage, increased risk of addiction, and impaired judgment.
- Smoke exposure: The smoke used to flavor cocktails can come from various sources, such as wood chips, herbs, or tobacco. While the smoke itself is generally not harmful in small quantities, prolonged and excessive exposure to smoke, especially tobacco smoke, can have adverse health effects on the respiratory system.
- Caloric content: Some cocktails, especially those with added sugars or high-calorie mixers, can be high in calories. Regularly consuming high-calorie cocktails can contribute to weight gain and associated health issues.
- Individual sensitivities: Some individuals may be more sensitive to smoke or certain ingredients used in the smoking process, which could lead to allergic reactions or respiratory irritation.
If you enjoy smoked cocktails, it’s best to consume them in moderation and be mindful of the alcohol content. Additionally, if you have any health concerns or sensitivities, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming smoked cocktails or any other alcoholic beverages. As always, responsible and moderate alcohol consumption is key to maintaining overall well-being.
Which Cocktail Smoker should I get?
Well, of course I’d love for you to be excited about our smoker! There are many brands out there that either have a small opening which means the top of the smoker will get burned on the first use and continue to get burnt badly over time. When this happens, you are actually burning the smoker and not the smoke dust, so all of your cocktails will taste like the wood used on the smoker, not the wood chips inserted. With our smoker, the opening is wide enough so the torch will only shoot down and hit the smoke dust only so you can taste the flavors of the smoke dust.
Our smokers are made with 100% black walnut wood so it is more durable and will withstand many more uses than smokers made with cheap quality wood. We also sal our smokers with a food-safe sealant! Be cautious when purchasing cocktail smokers that do not mention this in the description or seal with polyurethane- you do NOT want to torch a smoker that has been sealed with a harmful chemical like polyurethane!
Next, we have SO many smoke dusts to pick from. All of the wood is derived from trees sourced in Texas, USA. Our Herbs and Spices also come from a spices supplier sourced in the USA. Each tin comes with 4 oz of dust which is enough to make over 100 drinks in each tin! We don’t add any fragrances to our smoke dusts, what you see is what you get!
I hope your questions have been answered and if you have any additional questions, reach out and we will get those answered for you!