Article

In the Shaker: Smokin'

What is it about the flavour of smoke that’s so seductive, asks Marcis Dzelzainis


I don’t know what we find so fascinating about smoke as a flavour. Maybe it’s our promethean love affair with fire, or our hunter-gatherer instincts, but God knows, bartenders love a bit of smoke in their drinks.

It’s the perfect platform for some reassuring machismo, almost a rite of passage for the debutante bartender, who will wax lyrical about the complexities of said Islay whisky or mezcal.

They expound on the merest hint of smoke in a given spirit (be it cognac, rum etc…) in the hope of signifying a superior palate. I say this with a certain affection, though, as I too have of course been guilty of these very proclamations.

Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with a little smoke in one’s drink, but it’s a flavour that must be tackled with caution. Here are some recipes that I think more
than fit the brief.


TALISKER ROB ROY

Glass: Small coupette
Garnish: Marasca cherry
Method: Combine all ingredients
in mixing glass, stir over cubed ice, strain into coupette and garnish.

40ml Talisker 10yo
20ml Martini Rosso
2.5ml maraschino liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Origin: Tobias Blazquez-Garcia, Pinchito


SMOKY BEAR

Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Orange twist
Method: Stir, strain over

cubed ice and garnish.
50ml Havana 7
10ml Del Maguey Pechuga Mezcal
10ml maple syrup
3 dashes of Pernod Absinthe
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Origin: Marcis Dzelzainis


SMOKY MARTINI

Glass: Small coupette
Garnish: None
Method: Combine all ingredients in mixer, stir over cubed
 ice and strain.

50ml Old Raj Gin Export
Strength Dry Gin
5ml Noilly Prat Original Dry
5ml Caol Ila 12yo

Origin: Unknown


OAXACA SAZERAC

Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Lemon twist (discard)
Method: Rinse glass with absinthe, shake rest of the ingredients, give a quick hard shake, strain and garnish with lemon twist (discard).

15ml Pernod Absinthe (rinse)
60ml Del Maguey San Luis
Del Rio Mezcal
10ml agave syrup
4 dash Dr Adam Elmigerab’s Dandelion & Burdock Bitters

Origin: Adapted by Marcis Dzelzainis


PENICILLIN

Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Crystalised stem ginger
Method: Shake all ingredients
(except the Laphroaig) and strain
over cubed ice. Float the Laphroaig
on top and garnish with the ginger.

40ml Bailie Nicol Jarvie Old Scotch Whisky
25ml lemon juice
25ml honey syrup
10ml fresh ginger juice
10ml Laphroaig Quarter Cask (float)

Origin: Sam Ross, Milk & Honey NYC


VAMPIRO

Glass: Highball
Garnish: Lime wedge
Method: Muddle chopped shallots in base of the shaker, add the rest of the ingredients, add cubed ice and roll the shaker 5-6 times to mix. Strain over cubed ice and garnish.

50ml Eager Tomato Juice
50ml fresh orange juice
50ml passata
40ml Ocho Blanco
15ml lime juice
15ml Worcester sauce
10ml Del Maguey Pechuga Mezcal
5ml homemade grenadine
3 dash Tabasco Green
Jalapeño Sauce
2 dash Tabasco
Red Pepper Sauce
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch celery salt
¼ shallot, chopped

Origin: Unknown


 POLYSCIENCE, THE SMOKING GUN

So maybe you need even more smoke in your drinks, or maybe you want to double-smoke a really smoky Islay or something. Maybe you want to smoke things that aren’t usually smoked,
like gin, vodka or baked beans. And maybe you want to be able to use different types of wood chips like apple, cedar or cherry, or perhaps smoke something with all three wood chips at once. Well, help is at hand with the Polyscience (aptly named) Smoking Gun. Be warned: it does produce a lot of smoke.
£55.99, molecularmixology.co.uk


BREVILLE JE4 COMMERCIAL STYLE JUICER

With more and more bars emphasising the use of fresh juices in their drinks, a centrifugal juicer can be a very handy piece of kit. Fruits such as pineapple and apple are nigh-on-impossible to juice manually, and even the best shop-bought alternatives don’t match up to the freshly-squeezed product. Centrifugal juicers are also great for extracting juice from less conventional produce, such as ginger and lemongrass. A little bit pricey, but worth the investment.
£295, ukjuicers.com


Editorial feature from Imbibe Magazine – July/August 2012

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