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How To Smoke Your Drinks

Smoked Chardonnay
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:

Drink

Wood

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

9 comments on “How To Smoke Your Drinks”

I’ll do some tests, but as far as I can tell, the infusion will hold indefinitely. Since the smoke was being bubbled through the liquid, tiny smoke particles are actually captured forever – just like how Liquid Smoke is made.

As an example, I came back to my smoked Coca Cola about 3 hours later and it was just as smoky as when I first made it.

I’ve heard about using whipped cream chargers to make instant infusions through a process called Nitrogen Cavitation. But, that technique works best with things that usually take a while to release their flavors.

Scott-
You really need to try the iSi pressure infusion technique! Worth the price of at least a siphon, I bought a thermo whip so I could do foams too.

My favorites so far: lavender vodka – mixed with lemonade, and Jalepeno tequila margaritas with hickory smoked salt

I know you tried Coke, but smoke infused Root Beer is amazing! I’d love to see an adult version of a root beer float made with the smoking gun.

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Recently saw a recipe for barrel aged negroni using sous vide. Basically using toasted wood cubes available from a wine making supply store and the negroni ingredients in a sous vide for a couple hours..

I don’t have a smoking gun, but suspect this quick method would work beautifully (and so convenient). It makes a compelling case to actually go out and buy one (the gun, not the drink)

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