Wed 9 Jan 2019
Read other related stories: General Smoking Information , Handheld Smoking , Smoking Tips , Smoking with chips
An easy way to give your guests or yourself for that matter, a change from the old cocktail is to smoke the entire drink or a component of the cocktail. I’m going to provide you with some examples of how to take any cocktail recipe and advance its flavor to something spectacular. Once you see how simple it is to build a balanced cocktail with smoke infusion as one component, you’ll be ready to upgrade your cocktail recipes to include smoke as your hidden umami.
What to Smoke
The easiest method of smoking a cocktail is to smoke the finished drink. However, depending on what cocktail ingredients your using, this may result in a drink that is too strong. Generally, speaking, a sweeter drink can tolerate more smoke vapor.
Here are some options for you to consider when contemplating a smoked cocktail: you can smoke the entire drink, you can smoke one ingredient of the drink, or you can smoke the water to make the ice for the drink. One of my rules is the more ingredients in the cocktail, the more likely you can smoke the entire drink.
For ingredients, any one or a combination of ingredients can be smoked. Simple syrup, cream, citrus, etc. are all good options. Keep in mind that smoke is attracted the most to cold items so if you want an intense smoked cocktail, chill the ingredient first prior to smoking.
Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, when you cold smoke using a handheld food smoker, the intensity of the smoke can be high. Due to the immediate ignition of the micro chips, the smoke production is great. You can control the level of smoke by only trapping a small quantity of smoke for a lighter infusion versus allowing the container to fill completely with smoke vapor.
Balancing Smoke with Other Flavors
Whether the cocktail contains fruit, hard liquor, or cream, you can make a flavorful and desired cocktail. For a drink like the Jack Frost which contains lots of sweet juice and cream of coconut, smoking the entire drink provides great balance. For a drink like the Harvest Sparkle, smoking the simple syrup works well. Our Cranberry Bourbon cocktail goes hardy whether served hot or cold when we cold smoke the whiskey. And the Winter Wonderland enjoys a smoky layer to the cream of coconut for a luscious take on this four-ingredient cocktail. Never forget, when in a pinch, consider simply smoking the water to make the ice cubes for a no-fail option on the smoked cocktail, that will remain subtle for most any guest who is served.
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