A lightly smoked salmon, or a flame grilled burger with that smoky flavor are just divine. This is why we love barbecues so much, it gives us that burnt smoky flavor that tastes so good. But what are we talking about when we say smoked cocktails? And is a cocktail smoker worth it?
Just like food, smoking a cocktail is about infusing a cocktail with a smoky flavor. Enhancing the flavors with different types of burnt wood chips. But not just wood, it is also possible to use herbs and even citrus fruit peelings like lemon.
Is A Cocktail Smoker Worth It?
Yes it is, but you don’t have to go mad with it. What I mean by that is, unless you are a mega enthusiastic cocktail maker at your home bar, then go easy. It is not worth spending a fortune on all the smoker kit if you are just trying it out. Dabbling in a few smoker cocktails doesn’t warrant the spend. However thankfully there are some simple and inexpensive kits that will have you smoking cocktails in no time.
Hey, but I want all the kit. That is fine, I will include the more complex kit too.
What Is A Cocktail Smoker?
A small set of kit allowing us to infuse smoke into drinks. Usually consisting of a base, a glass dome (Cloche) and a blow torch. These are sold in kit form and normally come with a selection of wood chips. Typical wood chips might be Hickory, Cherry, Maple or Oak, it is what ever you want to try.
The wood chips are small chips of wood, almost like shavings. You can buy the wood chips in little jars, tins or packets. So you don’t have to take a chainsaw to that tree in the garden. Add to the wood chips with some herbs or spices to give a more complex infusion. That is about all you need to smoke your drinks.
If you love your food then you may already have a blow torch for cooking, so you are half way there. You may also have a Cloche in which case you just need the wood chips. If not, they are widely available and just like the blow torch can be used for food too.
How To Use A Smoker?
It is fairly simple to use a smoker for your drinks. Just be careful because you are using a naked flame, so be aware of what you are doing. Place your drink on the Cloche base, or plate of some kind. Add a few wood chips next to the drink. Now light the blow torch, like I said be careful.
Direct the torch flame at the wood chips until they begin to smoke. Add the Cloche dome and let the smoke infuse with your drink. A minute or two is probably enough time to get a decent smoky flavor. However play around with the time. Just as you can play around with the wood chip and other ingredients.
Where Can I Get The Kit?
Like I said you may already have some of the kit needed. It is easy to buy online or from a local store, gather them separately or get them in kit form. When you buy them in kit form, they normally come with a small selection of wood chips to get you off to a good start.
Just don’t go spending a fortune on an expensive kit if you are only trying it out. Someone who loves to experiment with drink mixes, then maybe go for a higher end kit. You can have just as much fun with a simple kit, and it will be easier to use too.
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The Simplest Smoker KitCheck Latest Price
This really is the simplest smoker kit to buy, and so easy to use. Straight out the box you will be ready to smoke your first drinks, and impress with some great cocktails. An ideal starter kit for the home bar. The actual smoker part of this kit is just so simple.
A Smoke infusion lid is suitable for a wide range of glass types as well as small bowls. Load the center of the lid with your wood chips and place on your glass. Toast the wood chip with a blow torch and when smoking put on the top and let the infusion begin.
The kit includes the smoker infuser and lid, The stainless steel filter that the wood chips sit in and a cleaning brush. Also a small range of wood chips too. Oak, Pecan Cherry and Apple, which all come in 30g tins.
The only thing not included is the blow torch, so an ideal kit if you already have a kitchen blow torch.
The Simplest Smoker Kit With TorchCheck Latest Price
For those that have not got a torch, then this kit is similar, but with a torch included. Just like the last one everything is ready to go out of the box. Use it in the same way by placing chips in the center filter and light with the torch.
The torch is a handy size with a nifty flame guard and a gas flow regulator. It also has an ignition button and a lock for safety. The kit includes the smoker infuser, filter and lid, as well as four flavors of wood chip. These are the same as the previous one.
Ideal starter kit with everything you need to get started as a cocktail smoker, including the torch.
Smoke Infuser GunCheck Latest Price
This kit has a little more going on and includes a dome too. So you can smoke drinks or food under the dome, or directly into a drink. The smoker unit is electric powered by batteries. It has dual flow air speeds for the control of smoke.
The unit has a hose that attaches either to the dome, or to a drinks lid for direct smoke to glass. A burner chamber on the top of the unit can be detached for cleaning. To operate attached the hose to either the dome or the lid. Place either dome over drink/food or lid onto glass. Fill the burn chamber with your wood chips and switch the unit on. Now light with a match or long reach lighter and you are smoking.
This kit only comes with one type of wood chip which is Apple wood. A nice bit of kit and more versatile if you want to use it in the kitchen too.
Wood Smoked InfuserCheck Latest Price
Things are getting a little more serious now with this wood smoked infuser from Homia. Whether you want to smoke your favorite cocktail or favorite food, this smoker is up for the job. A 14 piece set that is packing a punch.
The smoker unit itself is very similar to the last one with a one button switch and two smoking speeds. It comes with a dome and smoking disc lid for direct glass smoking. However it also comes with a cocktail globe for smoking your favorite cocktails. A cleaning brush and extra mesh for the burner unit are also included.
The line up continues with not one, not four, but seven wood chip flavors. Oak, Beech, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear and Hickory are the flavors on the smoking menu. A complete smoker set to get started right out the box.
A serious bit of kit that will work for drinks as well as food. Use it in the home bar and the kitchen,
Smoking Cocktail KitCheck Latest Price
A different style cocktail kit, this one includes 7 pieces and is built around a Whiskey barrel smoking board. The other components are a blow torch, mason jar and 3 wood chip flavors. Consisting of Pecan, Cherry and Apple.
A smoking board works by putting a small pile of wood chips in the middle. Using the torch burn until they just catch. Put the mason jar upside down over the chips, which cuts the oxygen and creates smoke. Once the mason jar is full of smoke, turn it upright and put the lid on.
Take the lid off to add your drink, then replace the lid for a minute. At this stage you can also smoke the glass you are going to pour into using the same method. Remove the lid and pour your drink.
A nifty smoker kit using a slightly different method to achieve the same result.
Smoking a cocktail is a pretty easy thing to do, especially if you have got all the right kit. There are other kits that can be way more expensive than these. This is fine if you are a professional bartender who smokes drinks often. However for the home bartender a smaller kit will suffice.
As long as you have some smoking ingredients like wood chips, some means of lighting it, and a vessel to smoke into, then you are good to go. It is a whole lot easier if you have the right kit, but still doable without it. Give it a try and see what drinks you can make smoky.