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How to Make Smoked Cocktails at Home

by Owen Ingalls October 01, 2021 4 min read

How to Make Smoked Cocktails at Home

So you want to take your craft to the next level and experiment with smoking cocktails?  You've come to the right place.  As the rebirth of whiskey and bourbon has occurred over the past 5 years, so has the creativity with which they are prepared.

Speakeasies, steak houses, and man caves are competing for the best cocktail in town.  One way mixologists are getting an edge, is by adding smoke to their cocktail concoctions.  If you want to know how to smoke a cocktail, here's a short list of solutions with pros and cons for each.

3 Methods for Making Smoked Cocktails

#3 Smoke the Cocktail Glass

This is the old fashioned way of smoking a cocktail.  If you have no other option, you could try smoking a cocktail glass by simply burning a small piece of oak, pecan, hickory, or fruit wood on a cutting board and then placing a cocktail glass over the burning ember.  The glass will fill with a small plume of smoke.  You can turn the glass over and pour in your cocktail. 

Pros

  • This method is possible at most homes with out needing to make any special purchases.
  • It looks cool
  • You get to burn something

Cons

  • It adds very little smoke flavor to the cocktail.¬† By the time you turn the glass over and pour in the drink, the smoke is gone.¬† You will get some smoke aroma which is nice, but smoke flavor, not so much.
  • It's messy. You need to burn the wood on something.¬† You have ash to clean up. It's not a quick and repeatable process.
  • The wood won't burn very well with a typical cigarette lighter.¬† You really need a small kitchen butane torch to add a high amount of flame to the wood quickly.

    #2 Electric Smoker  

    These are typically handheld devices which you drop wood chips in the heating element, pull the trigger and pump smoke through a tube with a lid on the end and into a cocktail glass. 

    Pros
    • It works. It adds smoke to a cocktail.
    • These are pretty simple intuitive devices.
    • These are available for sale in many locations
    Cons
    • The device takes up a lot of space.¬† Every inch of cabinet space matters to most of us.¬† These take up quite a bit of space when being stored between uses.
    • They are awkward to use.¬† Once the wood chips are added, you hold the heat gun with one hand and hold the tube on top of glass with the other while glass is filling with smoke.
    • You don't really get the satisfaction of burning something since it's all electric.
    • They lack character. These devices aren't going to add to the look and feel of your bar.

      #1 Smoke Lid

      The Smoke Lid was custom designed for smoking cocktails in a way which adds smoke flavor, is simple to use, full of character, and entertains guests and patrons.

      Pros

      • It's easy to use.¬† Add a pinch of the provided wood chips to smoke chamber.¬† Use the butane torch to burn chips and create smoke.¬† Place lid on top to keep smoke from escaping in the room.
      • Its not just for show, it actually¬† flavors the cocktail
      • It takes up very little space to store.
      • Everything you need is included with purchase of the kit.

      Cons

      • The price is a bit higher since butane, torch, and wood chips are included, but still a good value.

        We designed the  Smoke Top Lid from Aged & Charred to be the most effective and efficient way to smoke a cocktail.  It produces more smoke, takes up less space (so you can bring it places), and has more character than any other cocktail smoker on the market. 

        Smoke Lid by Aged & Charred 

        How to Use Cocktail Smoker?

        Using a cocktail smoker involves several steps designed to infuse your drink with a smoky flavor. Here's a general guideline:

        1. Prepare the Cocktail: First, prepare the cocktail you'd like to smoke. This can be any type of cocktail, although smoky flavors often complement whiskey, tequila, or rum-based drinks.

        2. Choose Your Smoking Material: Decide on the type of wood chips, herbs, or spices you want to use for smoking. Different materials will impart different flavors to the cocktail.

        3. Ignite the Smoking Material: Place your chosen smoking material on a heat-resistant surface or in the smoking chamber of a specialized cocktail smoking device. Use a culinary torch or lighter to ignite the material until it begins to smolder.

        4. Capture the Smoke: Place the prepared cocktail glass or container over the smoldering material to capture the smoke. Some professional cocktail smokers come with a hose to direct the smoke into the glass.

        5. Seal and Infuse: Once the glass or container is filled with smoke, cover it with a lid or coaster to seal the smoke in. Allow the smoke to infuse the drink for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on your preference for smoky intensity.

        6. Taste and Adjust: Carefully remove the lid and give the cocktail a stir. Taste the cocktail to see if it has the desired level of smokiness. If it needs more time, you can repeat the smoking process for a few more seconds.

        7. Garnish and Serve: Once you're satisfied with the level of smokiness, add any desired garnishes and serve the cocktail immediately.

        8. Optional: Smoke the Garnish: For an added touch, you can also smoke the garnish (like a lemon peel or sprig of rosemary) using the same method before adding it to the drink.

        9. Clean Up: Always ensure the smoking material is fully extinguished before disposing of it, and clean your smoking device according to the manufacturer's instructions.

        Remember to always exercise caution when using fire or hot surfaces, and ensure you're working in a well-ventilated area to allow for proper dispersion of smoke.



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