As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m on a smoke-flavor kick in cocktails. The smokey mezcal and aquavit Eleventh Hour cocktail at Clover Club and the Smoked Maple Collins at Applewood are new favorites, and I’ll be seeking out the famous Waylon cocktail, bartender Eben Freeman’s smoke-infused Coca-Cola and bourbon creation.
Just as Applewood’s Justin Briggs used a smoker to infuse maple syrup for the Smoked Maple Collins, the Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, blogging at Drink Dogma, managed to put some rye in a smoker a couple years ago. They explain:
The problem with most other methods for incorporating smoke into a cocktail is that the smoke must piggy-back on some other medium, like a syrup, fruit, herb, etc. This introduces an additional flavor to a drink, that while tasty at times, limits the element of smoke to cocktails that use these types of ingredients. Unleashing the full potential of smoke in cocktails requires the introduction of smoke into a spirit without altering the spirit in any other way.
The solution, they write, was a fish tank aerator.
This is near impossible for the average home bartender, of course, but it is inspiring. I’m awaiting delivery of a stove-top smoker that, with any luck, will help me to infuse all sorts of liquids and foods with smokey flavor.
In the meantime, I tried liquid hickory smoke in a cocktail, but I didn’t like the flavor much. The more I think about it, the more a good smokey mezcal or scotch would work in place of drastic measures like infusing and aerating.
There seems to be a bitters renaissance going on now; why doesn’t someone create a smoked bitters concoction? Anyone?