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I love smoked cocktails, but getting a perfect balance is always a challenge. Add to much smoke flavor and it seems like you are drinking bong water...er I mean it tastes like an ash tray. Not sure if that is any better but pretty sure my mom doesn't read my blog anyway.
After a lot of experimentation, we have found a couple great techniques for making smoked cocktails and for making the best smoked Manhattans. The first technique involves making smoked ice which has resulted in the most consistent, and some of the best smoked cocktails we have made. This provides a subtle smoke flavor to the cocktails and has the added benefit of always being able to add some smoke flavor to your drink quickly. The second method involves adding the smoke to a carafe or decanter and then pouring the mixed drink into the container, mixing with the smoke and pouring. This will give you a little bit more smoke flavor than the smoked ice method.
Making the Smoked Manhattan
Smoked ice method for making smoked drinks
I never thought I would be posting a recipe for ice, but here I am. As we mentioned our Smoked Manhattan uses smoked ice to infuse the smoked flavor. To make the smoked ice you will need a cocktail ice tray and a handheld smoker like the PolyScience Smoking Gun.
The Smoking Gun is a great tool to add subtle smoke flavors to meats and cheeses, and is also a useful tool for smoked cocktails.
When choosing what to smoke with the options are endless. You can let your creativity out and really experiment with some interesting flavor combinations. In the past we traditionally made our Smoked Manhattan with cherry or apple wood. Recently, however, we have been experimenting with flavored pipe tobacco and have turned out some really great cocktails.
To make the smoked ice, measure enough water to fill your ice cube trays. Turn on your handheld smoker and do your best Deep Purple impersonation and put the smoke on the water. You will want to keep the end of the smoke tube about ⅔ of the way submerged so it still gets enough air to get the fuel lit. We typically use about 2 bowls of wood or flavored tobacco for 4 cups of water, but you can adjust to make it stronger or a more subtle smoke flavor.
After smoking the water, pour the water into the ice cube molds and place in the freezer overnight. The next day your smoked ice is ready for your Smoked Manhattans.
When you are ready to make your Smoked Manhattans, remove the smoked ice from the freezer.
In a whiskey glass, stir together 1-ounce rye whiskey, 1-ounce bourbon, 1-ounce sweet vermouth, and 3 dashes of bitters. Our favorite version uses orange bitters, but feel free to use your favorite.
Making Smoked Manhattans using a decanter
To make smoked cocktails using a decanter you will still need a handheld or cocktail smoker.
In this method tip the decanter upside down and fill the decanter with your desired smoke flavor. Cherry Pipe Tobacco Smoked Manhattans are one of our current favorite versions. We find that a wide bottomed decanter with a narrow top works best for smoked cocktails as it keeps the smoke in.
This method also works best for making multiple Smoked Manhattans at once and works best if making at least 2 drinks at once. In a large glass combine equal parts bourbon, rye, and vermouth and about 3 dashes of bitters per Smoked Manhattan. Pour the Manhattan into the decanter and swirl for about 15 seconds. Pour into a whiskey glass with ice if desired.
Finishing the Smoked Manhattan
After stirring the cocktail garnish with cherries, orange peel or slices, or your favorite garnish. Enjoy with a cigar or kick back and relax.
This smoked beverage is a match made in heaven for smoked meats like our Eastern North Carolina Pulled Pork, Maple Bourbon Hot Smoked Salmon, or Beef Short Rib Burnt Ends. If you are in the mood for more great bourbon drinks that be sure to check out our Fall Bourbon Blitz or Campari Old Fashioned. If you have a sweet tooth try it along side our Bourbon Maple Pecan Pie.
- Hand Held Smoker
- Ice Cube Tray
- 4 Cups Water
- 1 Ounce Rye Whiskey
- 1 Ounce Bourbon
- 1 Ounce Sweet Vermouth
- 3 dashes Bitters
- Cocktail Cherries for garnish
- 1 pinch fruit wood chips or flavored tobacco for smoking
- 1 Orange peeled orange rind strips
- Using a hand held smoker, smoke about 4 cups of water using about 2 pinches of fruit wood chips or flavored tobacco.
- Place the smoked water into ice cube trays or cocktail ice trays and freeze overnight.
- To make the Manhattans, stir together 1 ounce rye, whiskey 1 ounce bourbon, 1 ounce sweet vermouth, and 3 dashes of bitters. Add smoked ice to preference and garnish with cocktail cherries and orange peel.
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