Where to Drink Smoked Cocktails
Cure, New Orleans
This drink, from the Big Easy’s smoldering craft cocktail den, sets the tone of the experience with the name "The Vixen’s Heart." The rich Glenlivet 12 year Scotch is mixed with Cynar and Luxardo Amaretto, given a slight bite with the addition of a salt tincture, and then treated with smoked grapefruit oil to create something citrusy, complex, and wholly unforgettable.
The Aviary, Chicago
At Grant Achatz’s forward-thinking gastro-bar, The Aviary, it is pretty much expected that whatever cocktail you order is going to be unlike anything you’ve had before. Once they got their hands on a spent bourbon barrel charred on the inside and soaked in whiskey, though, it was guaranteed things were going to get fiery. The drink they came up with is called The Amaro, and is flavored by rinsing the glass with bourbon from the charred barrel, then adding flat house-made root beer, Cocchi (an Italian aperitif), and tequila. "Smoked" to perfection. (photo courtesy Arthur Bovino)
The Wayland, New York City
When you are served the Apple Pie Corn Likker and homemade spiced-apple bitters concoction called "The Old Back Woods" at the Wayland, you may only get a hint of smoke. Five minutes later, however, the drink grows into a smoky marriage of apple and spice. Wondering where all that smoke came from? Well, the last place you’d expect: the ice. Yes, this warm-and-cold collaboration is made with water infused with applewood smoke, which is then frozen to make the ice cubes used in the drink. The overall feel is a growing sensation of smokiness that adds a deep homey layer to this backwoods cocktail. (photo courtesy Yelp/Robert C.)
Bar 1886 at The Raymond, Pasadena, Calif.
At Bar 1886, the smokiness is front and center in their latest invention, The Smoking Jacket. This drink, aiming to capture the classiness of a glass of whiskey and a fine stogie, features Irish whiskey, their house tobacco bitters, maplewood smoke, and orange vanilla ash. This drink is so smoke-laden that it comes with its own Surgeon General’s warning, so you know it must be good.