Care for a drink and a smoke? How about a smoked drink? After a friend inquired about a “smoked beer” she saw on a bar menu, I decided to grab my Smoking Gun* and take a shot at smoking a handful of beverages.
I smoked each of the beverages below by submerging the Smoking Gun’s rubber tube in the liquid. In the case of the wines, it served to both smoke and aerate the drinks (BTW, I never understood why it should be impolite to blow bubbles into your wine – if someone complains, tell them you’re “helping the wine open up.”) I ran the smoker for about 30 seconds for each beverage, then blew away any lingering surface smoke before tasting.
The results were surprising…
In order from most awful to best, here are my tasting notes:
|Fat Tire Amber Ale||Mesquite||Tasted like a cigarette dipped in barbeque sauce. Horrifically sharp, with notes of crematorium.|
|Nero d’Avola||Cherry||Although this is one of my favorite everyday (read: cheap) wines, when infused with cherry smoke, it tasted like a forest fire.|
|(Mexican, glass bottled) Coca Cola||Hickory||Hickory added a nice dimension of smoke, like drinking Coke downwind from a campfire.|
|Dos Equis Lager||Cherry||Adds a slight sharpness and bite, but overall it tasted balanced. Cherry smoke adds a wine-like complexity to the beer.|
|Avery Lane Chardonnay||Hickory||Subtle, but adds a welcome dimension of smoke. Plus, the presentation is pretty sweet.|
As you can see from the tasting notes, sometimes this was just way too much smoke. However, I think there’s potential for this technique. I’ve heard of restaurants using hand-held smokers to create dramatic tableside presentations, and I’m sure that somewhere out there, a slick bartender is serving whisky with smoked barrels. But, as far as I know, this is pretty open territory.
Next up on the smoked beverages list: coffee, tequila, scotch, milk, Muscat, hot chocolate… if you’ve got ideas, leave ‘em in the comments below.
*Disclosure: The Smoking Gun I am using is on loan from Polyscience