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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.