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Essential Bar Tools for Smoking a Cocktail

by Owen Ingalls October 05, 2023 3 min read

Essential Bar Tools for Smoking a Cocktail

Smoking cocktails is not just a fad; it's an art form that can transform a good drink into an exceptional experience. By infusing your cocktails with smoke, you can add new dimensions of flavor, aroma, and visual appeal. 

However, to do it right, you need the right tools and equipment. Below, we outline some of the essential gear you'll need to bring the smoky allure of well-crafted cocktails to your own bar.

What Bartender Tools Do I Need to Smoke a Cocktail?

1. Culinary Torch or Lighter

The first thing you'll need is a reliable heat source to ignite the smoking material. A culinary torch is perfect for this, as it provides a concentrated flame that can quickly ignite wood chips, herbs, or spices. Alternatively, a long-stem lighter can also work in a pinch.

2. Smoking Materials

Wood chips are the most common material used for smoking cocktails, and they come in a variety of flavors like hickory, applewood, and cherry. However, you can also use herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even spices like cinnamon sticks. Choose your smoking material based on the flavor profile you wish to add to your cocktail.

3. Cocktail Smoker Top or Smoking Gun

For those serious about smoking cocktails, investing in a specialized cocktail smoker top or smoking gun is worth considering. These devices make the process easier and more efficient, as they capture and direct the smoke into the glass or container where your cocktail sits. They often come with a hose attachment to help you target the smoke precisely.

4. Heat-Resistant Surface or Tray

You'll need a heat-resistant surface on which to burn your chosen smoking material. This could be a small metal tray or even a heavy-duty cutting board, but it must be able to withstand high temperatures to ensure safety.

5. Cocktail Glass or Container

Choose an appropriate glass or container for your cocktail. The vessel should be large enough to hold both the liquid and the smoke. Some prefer to use a glass cloche or a glass container with a lid to capture and infuse the smoke more effectively.

6. Stirrer or Spoon

After the smoke has had time to infuse, you'll need a stirrer or spoon to mix the cocktail and ensure the smoky flavors are evenly distributed.

7. Garnish Tools

If you're smoking your garnishes, you'll also need a set of tongs to handle the garnish as it smokes, as well as a knife to prepare any fruits, peels, or herbs that you'll be adding to your cocktail.

8. Timer

Timing is crucial when smoking cocktails. Too little time and you won't capture the smoky essence; too much time and you risk overwhelming the other flavors in the drink. A simple kitchen timer or even your smartphone can help you keep track.

9. Safety Equipment

Safety should always be a priority when using fire and smoke. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby, and always smoke cocktails in a well-ventilated area to prevent the buildup of harmful fumes.


Smoking cocktails is an adventurous and rewarding endeavor that can elevate your mixology skills to new heights. With the right tools and equipment, you can transform your bar into a smoky wonderland of complex, multi-layered flavors. Cheers to your new smoky concoctions!

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