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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Cheers to DC Cocktail Week, November 17-23

DC Cocktail WeekDiners in our nation’s capital take their cocktails as seriously as their politics — so you can be sure D.C. Cocktail Week is going to be seriously delicious. From November 17-23, enjoy a specially crafted cocktail paired with a delightful amuse bouche for one price to whet your appetite before dinner! Participating restaurants include America Eats Tavern, FiolaFounding Farmers, Penn Commons, STK, Wildfire, and many more. Pairings include an autumn harvest Manhattan and a roasted pumpkin arancini with a savory apple compote (Bastille), a “La Volpe” with picoletto of stracciatella with heirloom beets, house made apple butter and roasted walnuts (Casa Luca), the “Smoke on the Water” with a serrano jack sushi plate (Farmers Fishers Bakers), and a Framboise Goose draft cocktail paired with coconut shrimp (Mama Rouge), among others.

Book a table to taste these one-of-a-kind creations and toast to Washington, D.C.’s booming cocktail culture. Make a reservation.


OpenTable Reviews Reveal the Top 100 Hottest Restaurant Bars — Cocktail Photos + Recipes!

In celebration of the nation’s growing cocktail culture, we are pleased to announce the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Hottest Restaurant Bars in the United States. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 15,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Winners, which include Bathtub Gin in New York City, and Searsucker in San Diego, and Untitled in Chicago, are located in 23 states and the nation’s capital. California restaurants make a strong showing with 27 honorees. Florida follows with 14 top restaurant bars, trailed by Massachusetts and New York, with 10 and nine winners, respectively. New Jersey and Texas restaurants each claim five spots on the list, and Pennsylvania restaurant bars have earned four spots. Maryland, Nevada, and South Carolina each boast three winners. Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin are also represented. Establishments serving American fare account for the majority of winners; Asian, Italian, and Mexican cuisines have a presence as well.

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EpiPens on Every Menu; Bartender vs. Mixologist; Restaurant Traffic Is Up; + More

EpiPenDining news from around the world and the web…

* Don’t mix up a bartender with a mixologist. One professional reveals why he prefers to be known as the former not the latter. [MarinIJ.com]

* An EpiPen in every restaurant. One city is taking measures to make dining out safe for food allergy sufferers. [The Spec]

* What’s in a name? A great deal because when it comes to restaurants, confusion can reign. [Philly.com]

* Five things restaurants should 86. According to the funny folks at Cracked, so, perhaps, take it with a grain of salt. [Cracked.com]

* Dining out is in. It’s always been in for us, but restaurants are now busier than ever. [USA Today]

* Celebrity chefs make great food. But maybe not all of them make the best spouses. [ExpressContinue Reading