If you’ve been a follower of fancy restaurant cocktails that come out oozing cool smoke and you’re ready for your next at-home entertainment, the time is now. Cocktail smoking at home is simpler than ever, with one-stop appliances of varying price ranges broadly available. If you’re not well-known with the concept of smoking cocktails but enjoy learning and grilling about the home mixology, settle in because this will be enjoyable.
What is a cocktail smoker?
“It’s a technique that adds smoky flavors to beverages by way of exposing either the whole cocktail, simply the serving glass to cold smoke, or some of its components,” explains Sother Teague, beverage director at New York City’s Amor y Amargo. “Imagine how your shirt smells after standing close to the grill at a barbecue. It wasn’t exposed to heat from the grill, but it took on the fragrances of the smoke, and aroma is ninety percent of flavor.”
Erin Hayes, director of trade advocacy and sales at Westward Whiskey, is also an enthusiast of cold smoking, as the phenomenon is also called, because of how it “adds layers of flavor, texture to cocktails, and aroma.”
How to smoke your own cocktails?
- Prepare anything you want to smoke (a chilled glass, a garnish, prepped cocktail, etc.).
- Place wood chip shavings on the wafer sheet.
- Light wood chips.
- Quickly but carefully place the item to be smoked close to smoking wood chips.
- Place glass mixing bowl upside down over the top of the chips and the cocktail or item to be smoked.
- After two to three minutes of watching smoke penetrate the cocktail, lift the bowl, make sure wood chips are eradicated, and serve the cocktail instantly.
Hayes notes that rather than wood chip shavings, you can light a sprig of rosemary or stick of cinnamon (anything with a woody base, Hayes says) — both of which you apparently have on hand and which smoke quickly and give a lovely aroma to anything you’re smoking.