Key Advantages Of Adding Smoke To Cocktails
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Besides adding an obvious smoky flavour to drinks, mastering how to smoke your cocktails can give you a reason to show off and take your mixology skills a notch higher. Perfect for when you are entertaining guests, smoking a cocktail uplift the drink by highlighting the subtle notes and maximize flavour. Besides the visuals, smoking a cocktail is a multi-sensory experience since it engages with multiple senses simultaneously – the aroma, the appearance and mouthfeel.

Choosing spirits that will do most of the work for you is key to starting off on the road to mastering the technique. While bourbon and rum work best as the base for a smoked cocktail, using aged rum, whiskey and tequila aged in wooden barrels can also do the trick. The inherent woodiness and charred flavour as well as natural sweetness complements the effect of smoking the cocktail. On the other hand, those who feel confident with their technique could also use spirits like scotch, mezcal and amaretto for nuanced flavours which are delicious.

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Use ingredients like wood chips or shavings, whole spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, dried fruits, cloves, nuts, tobacco and even woody herbs like rosemary, thyme or lavender in their unadulterated forms.

The Garnish

One of the simplest way to add a smoky depth to your cocktail can be done by preparing your cocktail and pouring it into a serving glass and lighting the garnish on fire until it starts to smoke slightly. Douse the fire and place the garnish on the rim of the glass. Your guests can choose to sip the drink with the garnish or leave it on the glass and let just the aroma of the smoked garnish do its work.


Using a smoking kit for this method will comprise of using a whiskey barrel smoking board, flavoured wood chips, a torch and mixing glass. Place your ingredients on the smoking board and light a fire. For the best results, heat the board until it turns yellow and starts to flame before placing a wide-mouthed container or a jar on it. Chill or prepare your cocktail glass meanwhile and set aside.

Smoking Gun 

A cocktail smoker kit will come with its set of smoking gun, flavoured wood chips, a dome lid, and lithium-ion battery. Pour your ready cocktail into a serving glass and keep it under the dome lid. Attach the smoke gun to the hole in the dome lid by filling the container on top of the gun with your smoking ingredients before burning them. Once the smoke enters the dome lid and serving glass, allow the smoke to sit with the cocktail for a minute or two – causing it to attach itself more to the outer side of the glass.

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Cocktail Smoker

Prep your cocktail glass by pouring the drink in and placing the smoker on top of the glass with ingredients to smoke filled inside the bowl. Set it on fire and wait for the smoke to start emanating before covering the smoker with its top and letting it rest for a minute or two. 

Cocktail Glass

Once your cocktail is set to serve, light up the ingredients you want to smoke; once they begin to emanate wisps, cover them with the cocktail glass. Allow the smoke to coat the inside of the glass and wait for it to cool and add fragrance to the glass. Turn over the glass and pour the cocktail in it. Alternately, if you don't want to use fire in your home kitchen for making cocktails, use ingredients that have smoky or charred flavours – such as peated whisky, mezcal, smoked bitters, smoked sugar or smoked salt.