Hazy Hits: 13 Smoky Cocktails to Get You Fired Up for Fall

In the era of Mad Men, drinking and smoking went hand in hand. Now the tradition has returned – sort of – as mixologists incorporate smoky components into their creations. Whether they’re infusing spirits and syrups, making ice cubes and garnishes, or filling tumblers, they’re employing a flurry of flavorful fumes of which Don Draper would surely approve. Here are 13 smoky cocktails to get you fired up for fall.

El Cielo by Juan Manuel Barrientos, Miami, Florida
This is not your average Old Fashioned. Made with Ron Zacapa Rum, cherry and orange bitters, and vanilla sugar, it’s finished with a rehydrated slim cut orange wheel. To add a smoky finishing touch, maple wood is burned inside a glass covering the tumbler.

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Hakkasan, San Francisco, California
Have you ever sipped a Negroni and thought, “This is good, but it would be better if it was smoked.”? Now that’s a possibility. This version showcases gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari infused with a sweet smog created by Grand Marnier-soaked wood chips.

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Woodshed Smokehouse, Fort Worth, Texas
Smoked ice sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s a delicious reality. The cool cubes form the backbone of the Smokey Maria, a tequila-ized twist on a Bloody Mary. Made with a spicy tomato mix and Herradura Double Barrel Reposado, it’s an impeccable way to start the day.

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Café Artscience, Kendall Square, Massachusetts
Smoked orange peel and cinnamon add a finishing touch to this autumnal libation. Forged out of whiskey, brandy, orange-infused apple cider, and apple cider vinegar, its crisp flavors give way to a deep warmth — just what you’ll want at the end of a cool fall day.

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Del Campo, Washington, D.C.
Everyone goes crazy for Starbuck’s PSL in the fall. The smoked pumpkin Old Fashioned is a boozy alternative made with Bulleit Rye, pumpkin cordial, and Peychaud’s Bitters. Before its poured, a chilled glass is inverted over a small stack of flaming canela (Mexican cinnamon), adding a smoky, spicy sensibility to the cocktail. You can watch it all come together here. [Photo by Greg Powers]

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Trace, Austin, Texas
Now you don’t need a fork and knife to tackle brisket. The smoked meat is infused into George Dickel Rye, so you can sip it. It’s the spine of their take on a Bloody Mary pumped up with Pearl Snap Pils and garnished with a garlic pickle.

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Quality Meats, Miami Beach, Florida
Aged rum and sweet Pedro Ximenez Sherry amp up this svelte sipper inspired by a Cuban cigar. To evoke the flavors of a smoldering stogie, housemade “Smoking Jacket” bitters and a cloud of peach wood smoke are incorporated. Cohiba not included.

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Waste Not, Want Not: 6 Dishes + Drinks for Root to Shoot Dining #vegforward

Chefs dream of an ideal kitchen in which there is zero waste. Every part of every ingredient is utilized in some fashion. This lowers food costs, reduces environmental strain, and forces them to get creative with those remainders and byproducts. It’s a boon for diners, too, by exposing them to palate-expanding flavors and creative textural components that elevate dishes in unexpected new ways.

In the last decade, the tip-to-tail movement has seen a huge resurgence, as chefs have turned offal and offcuts into menu stars. Now they’re taking the same approach to vegetables. Call it root to shoot. No longer are pea shells, tomato skins, or potato peels merely going into the stockpot, on the compost pile, or, worse yet, the trash. Now they’re playing key roles in some of the chefs’ most memorable creations. Here are six dishes and drinks for root to shoot dining.

Garrison, Washington, D.C. 
Tomato skins are full of flavor and nutrient dense. But oftentimes they end up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Chef-owner Rob Weland is a longtime admirer of what our grandma used to call love apples. While heading up the kitchen at Poste years ago, he offered a 20-course, tomato-centric tasting menu. At his latest venture, he dries the skins of various heirloom varietals and uses them to garnish his colorful tomato salad.

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Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, California
Dehydrated beets create the “soil” in executive chef Jeremy Fox’s signature Beets and Berries dish. Not wanting to throw out the resulting juice, he infuses it with rose geranium and turns it over to bar manager Aaron Ranf. Ranf devised the Beet Royale, a play on the Kir Royale with beet juice, prosecco, gin, and lemon. Waste reduction has never tasted so good. [Photo by Aaron Ranf]

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Ribelle, Brookline, Massachusetts
Chefs Tim Maslow and Brandon Baltzley wouldn’t dream of tossing out a single scrap of tomato. The skin is dehydrated and ground into powder. The excess juice is transformed into smoked tomato vinegar. And the seeds are mixed with chia seeds to create mock caviar. The whole tomato is then compressed in the vinegar and speckled with the “caviar” and powder, as well as fresh cheese, burnt shishito oil, brined horseradish leaves, and fresh grated horseradish. [Photo by Brandon Baltzley]

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The 9 Happiest Happy Hours #friendsgettogether

At the end of a long day in the office, nothing makes us happier than, well, happy hour. Drink deals and economical eats help all the stress of the day fade away. But not all happy hours were created equal. Some spots go above and beyond to give their guests bigger bargains, better beverages or bites, or more time to take advantage of specials. Here are the 9 happiest happy hours around the nation.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar, Washington, D.C.
From 3-5PM, you can enjoy half-priced draft beers and wine by the glass at the bar, in the lounge, or on the patio. But that’s just the beginning. The ‘Family Meal’ bar bites menu – a collaborative effort from the entire kitchen team – is available all night long. Check the restaurant’s Instagram feed to find out the latest offerings, which might include chicken yakitori, cojita cheese empanadas, and blue cheese, pear, and arugula flatbread.

DBGB, Washington, DC

La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Miami, Florida
It’s five o’clock somewhere when this happy hour starts at 3 o’clock. It lasts for three hours, during which time guests have their choice of drink specials – including $6 pisco sours and gin gimlets – and plenty of piqueos (small bites), like cebiches, empanadas, and crispy yucca croquettes.

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URBN Coal Fired Pizza, San Diego, California
Running Mondays through Thursday from 4-6PM, this happy hour hooks ‘za lovers up with a small two-topping pizza with every pitcher of beer they buy. If you’re in the mood for something stronger, signature cocktails are only $8, including the High Tea made with Earl Grey-infused Martin Miller’s gin.



Lusca, Atlanta, Georgia
Sando fans want to sit at the bar or raw bar on a Friday or Saturday night from 5-7PM, because it’s only then and there that they can access the happy hour sandwich specials. There’s the lobster roll with tomalley mayo and drawn butter and a double patty burger topped with cheddar and American cheeses. But plan on getting there early because there’s only about 20 of each available — and they go quickly.

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Not Your Average Ice, Ice Baby: 7 Cocktails Starring Savory Ice Cubes

Flavorless, colorless cubes just don’t cut it anymore. Mixologists are now making a rainbow of ice infused with an unexpected array of savory ingredients. These inventive bar masters are using everything from meat consommé and squid ink to jalapeños and salt. Not only do these frozen components please the eye, they please the palate by adding new layers of taste to the cocktails they’re cooling down. Here are seven cocktails starring savory ice cubes that you should be drinking now.

Quality Meats, Miami Beach, Florida
Here’s a pirate-worthy pick me up. The Loose Cannon is made with tequila, house elixir, and fresh celery juice, and served over chartreuse green jalapeño ice. Smart aleck parrot and peg leg not included.

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Range, Washington, D.C.
Beverage director Dane Nakamura offers up the Vegan Sacrifice forged from scotch, ginger, and cayenne. The cocktail’s cool factor is a meat popsicle – yes, you read that correctly – made with raw beef, cured meats, and pig’s blood, among other ingredients. As the ice melts, the drink’s flavor becomes more and more savory.

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Clock Bar in the Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, California
This ice is like a cooling cannonball for your cocktail. Squid ink transforms an otherwise translucent sphere an ominous black. A mixture of dark aged rum, salted molasses, and orange and tiki bitters is added to the tumbler to create the Drunken Sailor.

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Burritt Room + Tavern, San Francisco, California
Salt isn’t just for margaritas anymore, and it’s moved beyond the rim of the glass. The Peachy Keen features cachaça, peach, honey, lemon, and a salted ice cube to keep it all chill. The briny block adds a slightly salty counterpoint to the drink’s sweet and sour components.

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