The Smoking Gun

Could this be the new way to make smoked cocktails? I learned about the Smoking Gun handheld smoker from a reader who commented yesterday. It’s compact, it takes AA batteries, and it blows cool smoke with a little fan and hose attachment. It’s $99.95 for the smoker and two half-ounce jars of applewood and hickory sawdust, and additional sawdust is sold in sets of four 1oz jars for around $25.

The advantage of the handheld smoker, the manufacturer says, is that it doesn’t cook the food like a traditional or stove-top smoker—it just exposes it to smoke. They claim it works well with liquids, and the product website includes a video demonstrating a smoked Bloody Mary. But I found a higher quality video demonstration from Williams Sonoma.

Three minutes in, chef Michael Voltaggio makes smoked Margaritas. He fills a cocktail shaker with the ingredients, and then uses the Smoking Gun to fill the rest of the shaker with smoke. We don’t see whether or not he shakes the cocktail, or if he’s added ice while the smoke is in the shaker. I’m curious about the strength of the smoke flavor with this. Can a minute of smoke make a Margarita taste smoky?

When I’ve used my stove-top smoker to infuse agave and maple syrup with smoke, I’ve done it for 12 minutes. I haven’t experimented with less time.

The reviews online at Williams Sonoma are mixed. Complaints are that smoke pours out of every opening, that the smoke chamber gets clogged, and that the smoke lasts a short time. Of 11 reviews, four were negative and the rest were rated four or five stars out of five.

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