National Bourbon Heritage Month is 100 percent legitimate holiday, and it’s been celebrated every September since 2007 when the U.S. Senate unanimously declared it the law of the land. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky), who certainly had good reason to promote his state’s most popular export. Since then, Americans have drunk more bourbon whisky than ever before. Over the past five years, bourbon’s popularity has grown by nearly 36 percent in case volume and 50 percent in revenue, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. In 2016, the bourbon industry sold 21,753,000 cases and reaped more than $3.1 billion.
Bourbon is often a warming campfire spirit, so it's fitting that this recipe incorporates smoke. Sarah Mengoni, lead bartender at Double Take in Los Angeles, created this cocktail and explains how her bar gets that smoky reveal: We use a literal ‘smoking gun’ to make this cocktail. It has a bowl that we load with cedar chips. We flip a switch on the gun that sucks air through the bowl then pushes it out of a tube. Once the switch is on, we use a lighter to start the cedar burning, and as soon as it starts coming out of the tube, we turn off the gun and remove the hose from glass while simultaneously covering the glass to keep the smoke in. The cover we use is a coaster that looks like a New York City manhole cover, a reference to the movie ‘Escape from NY’ that inspired the cocktail’s name. The short amount of time that it takes to carry the drink to the guest is enough time for the flavor of the smoke to really become integrated with the spirits, providing a smoky flavor with every sip.”
Call Me Snake
- 2 Ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1/2 Ounce Cynar
- 1/2 Ounce Velvet Falernum
- Smoke garnish
Call Me Snake
Combine, stir, and strain on rocks over a clear cube.