In 2007, New York bartender Eben Freeman mixed Jim Beam Black with smoked Coca-Cola to create the iconic Waylon — and the world of mixology hasn’t been the same since.

If you are a fan of smoked cocktails, we have good news for you — they don’t just belong to the posh venues featured in the “Places” section of The New Yorker. In fact, you can make smoked drinks & cocktails yourself, as long as you have the right tools for the job.  

In this article, we will explain how to make smoked drinks and cocktails at home, cover the step-by-step process of infusing your cocktail with smoke, and provide some safety tips to assure you that — yes, you can make these smoked drinks on your own without burning your house down.

Smoke Infused Cocktails & Drinks — What’s the Deal?

First and foremost, allow us to answer the two questions you might be pondering right now: what on earth are smoked drinks and why should I care?

As the terminology suggests, smoked drinks are infused with wood chip smoke during the mixing process. This is done with two purposes:

  • To enrich the drink with the smell and flavor of smoke
  • To create a stunning visual experience for the customer; to delight the senses

And while the rationale behind the presentation part is rather self-explanatory (smoke pouring out of a fancy Old Fashioned glass looks undeniably cool), the smell and taste part is a little more complex with actual mixology science behind it.

The drinks and cocktails that usually get the smoke treatment are the ones that are based on dark spirits, such as añejo rum, cognac, and, of course, whiskey. That’s because these spirits are typically aged in wooden barrels, commonly made of oak.

In a lot of cases, these barrels are also charred from the inside before the raw spirit is poured into them for aging. In other words, most dark spirits already have a note of smokiness to their flavor and smell.

In some spirits, this smokiness is extremely subtle, while in others — such as Islay whisky — the smoke is an essential part of the spirit’s flavor profile.

As such, smoking a drink made with a dark spirit will somewhat extract the natural smoky notes that the spirit features, adding more depth and complexity to the drink’s overall flavor.

 

Shop Stündenglass Gravity Infusers

Visit the page

How to Make a Smoked Cocktail Using a Stündenglass Gravity Infuser

Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s get to the fun part — how to make smoked drinks using a Stündenglass Gravity Infuser!

First, let’s start with the necessary equipment. In addition to the usual cocktail equipment or tools paraphernalia, you will need three essential things to make smoked drinks at home:

  • A device that will administer the smoke to the drink (such as a Stündenglass Gravity Infuser)
  • A vessel that will contain the drink and the smoke as the two blend together (such as a Stündenglass Beverage Cloche)
  • A source of the smoke — typically, wood chips

The wood chipswoodchips play a very important role in smoking a cocktail, as they determine the resulting flavor of the smoked drink. That’s because different wood chipswoodchips themselves have different flavors.

For example:

Because of their diverse flavors, different wood chipswoodchips work well with different drinks. For instance, apple wood chipswoodchips perfectly complement rye whiskey, while hickory feels right at home in a glass of cognac.

The key to choosing the right wood chipswoodchips for your next smoked drink is, ultimately, trial and error. After all, taste is subjective, so we recommend trying out different combinations of wood and drink to find out what works best for you.

One you’ve settled on your wood chipswoodchips and drink of choice, all that’s left for you to do is to bring your smoked creation to life by following the simple steps below.

Instructions

  • Prepare your drink and place it in the Beverage Cloche. Put the lid down.
  • Connect one end of the silicone hose to the mouthpiece of your Stündenglass Gravity infuser. Connect the other end of the hose to the Cloche.
  • Place your wood chipswoodchips of choice into the Bowl of your Gravity Infuser.
  • Activate your Gravity Infuser and allow the smoke to pour into the Cloche with your drink inside.
  • Let the smoke infuse the beverage for 1-2 minutes with the Cloche lid on.
  • Voila! Your smoked drink is ready. Enjoy it responsibly.

Tips

  • Prefer the smoked flavor to be a bit less pronounced in your tipple? Instead of smoking the entire drink, try smoking the glass and/or the garnish separately. You can even smoke the ice that will go into your drink for a more subtle smokiness.
  • Prefer the smoked flavor to be a bit less pronounced in your tipple? Instead of smoking the entire drink, try smoking the glass and/or the garnish separately. You can even smoke the ice that will go into your drink for a more subtle smokiness.

The Sazerac is a classic cognac-based cocktail that pairs exceptionally well with smoke — especially if you use hickory or mesquite woodchips

Our Favorite Smoke-Infused Cocktails

As we’ve mentioned above, smoking a drink works best if the drink is a dark spirit or a cocktail based on a dark spirit. But that doesn’t mean that your options are limited if you want to delight yourself or your dinner guests with a stunning smoked cocktail.

Rather, your options are nearly unlimited, because there are so many smoked cocktail variations. Depending on the type of woodchips and liquor you use and whether you smoke the entire drink or just its ingredients, you can achieve a vast variety of unique, memorable flavors.

Not sure where to start? Here are our favorite smoke-infused cocktails you can easily prepare at home:

  • Smoked old fashioned: Dating back to early 19th century, the old fashioned is regarded by many as one of the first cocktails ever created — if not the first one. A bold combination of whiskey, bitters, sugar, and water, the old fashioned is a timeless recipe that is suitable for fancy receptions, as well as for casual Saturday night dinners at home. Smoking an old fashioned adds complexity to its otherwise straightforward whiskey-first taste — a charming twist that has helped the old fashioned remain relevant.
  • Smoked Manhattan: An official International Bartenders Association (IBA) cocktail, the Manhattan became famous in the 1940s as one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s beverages of choice. With its classy appeal and rich history, this combination of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters remains a frequent guest of formal black-tie events. Despite its beau monde reputation, you can easily prepare a Manhattan at home — with a touch of smoke, of course.
  • Smoked Sazerac: Considered by some to be the oldest American cocktail, the Sazerac simply begs to be smoked. Even though its flavor is bold and colorful enough (what else do you expect from a mixture of cognac, absinthe, sugar, and bitters?), infusing a Sazerac with some applewood or cherrywood smoke simply takes this iconic cocktail to a whole new level.  

 

Shop Stündenglass Beverage Infusion Accessories

Visit the page

How to Make a Smoky Drink Safely

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. When it comes to smoked drinks, this idiom becomes rather literal.

And where there’s literal, physical fire, there’s a fire hazard. Because of that, many smoked drink enthusiasts are reluctant to recreate their favorite drinks at home. If that sounds relatable, we don’t blame you — trying to make a smoked cocktail using a blowtorch or open fire can be rather dangerous.

The good news is that the Stündenglass Gravity Infuser makes the entire process much safer and easier. Instead of actual fire, you can use self-lighting hookah charcoal to generate the smoke, which means no open flame anywhere near your hair, clothes, or curtains.

Still, we recommend that you prepare your smoked drink with caution, following your Gravity Infuser instruction manual, and away from flammable objects or surfaces. Also, never leave your Gravity Infuser unattended while the charcoal is burning. Be sure to deactivate the charcoal and dispose of it safely once you’re done with your smoked drinks.

Finally, don’t forget to keep your Gravity Infuser out of reach of children and pets — after all, they won’t be able to appreciate a smoked drink nearly as much as you do.

A blowtorch might be great for crème brûlée — but using one to create a smoked cocktail poses a serious fire hazard

Wrapping Up on How to Make Smoked Drinks & Cocktails at Home

The smoked cocktail trend took the world of mixology by storm in the late 2000s, and smoked cocktails have remained popular ever since.

The good news is that you don’t have to go to the fanciest bar in your area to get a smoked old fashioned or Manhattan — you can easily prepare one at home all by yourself.

Now that we’ve covered how to make smoked drinks at home, all you need is the right equipment — such as the Stündenglass Gravity Infuser with a Beverage Infusion Cloche and woodchips of your choice.

So, start making plans for your next dinner party and stock up on all the necessary ingredients to wow your guests.

Cheers!

 

Purchase the Stündenglass Gravity Infuser

Visit the page