My best Smoked Cocktails
I still remember the first time with a mixture of pleasure and nostalgia: 2012, Peraga Garden Center. We were four friends at the bar, who had just been given the opportunity to organize the first (real) barbecue competition in Italy, albeit in the form amateur and without the support of any sanctioning body. It was a pioneering era made of “first times”: the first classes, the first public events, the first catering. An avalanche of inexperience offset by at least as enthusiastically. For the occasion, we set up an aperitif with fingergrills for promotional purposes and I had the brilliant idea to propose themed cocktails, made from smoked fruit.
Of course I had never done one before, nor I knew what I wanted to get exactly but you know, in these cases the desire to make runs faster than legs. I also remember the crazy amount of fruit that I threw in the tests of the previous days on my Bradley. There was nothing to do, a tremendously watery element such as fruit made it difficult to gauge the amount of smoke: or not felt any added value compared to an ordinary cocktail or seemed to drink an ashtray dissolved in the glass. Also I realized quickly how there was not a fruit that would react the same way and on each one I had to learn on mistakes. I managed to find a square only the day before. blissful unconsciousness.
Five years but it seems a century has passed. Since then, things have definitely evolved over time: I continued my experiments on different types of recipes, consolidating them and proposing them in various classes and events, in a couple of occasions even at weddings where they moreover also received critical acclaim. For what has been my experience, the smoke extension of the mixed world can be made in three directions, each with its own level of difficulty
Non-Alcoholic – Are the simplest because if you mess up something in the smoke of flavoring fruit, you just have to moderate the amount in the recipe and you’ll be able to balance it easily
Sparkling – For the uninitiated these are the cocktails made with sparkling wine. They are the ones that I believe better enhance the smoking process: are elegant and fine and allow you to better appreciate the nuances, even the most gentle.
Short Drink – Or with a preponderant alcohol. These are the most difficult because alcohol tends to prevaricate, to put out the smoky notes and not all the recipes are suitable because the proportions in them are very important. It is necessary to guess the amount of smoke and locate a recipe suitable.
Among the various recipes I can get, the three that I propose below are those that I propose more often. The reason is simple: all the fruits that characterize them reach the ideal smoke note in times quite fast and at the same temperature, they are also more readily available. It is in all three cases of red berries (will be a case? who knows …), that at about 80°C in 1 hour will have reached the perfect smoking process. What I’m going to introduce into the smoker will be two cups of blueberries, two Blackberries and 2 of Raspberries. To these I add a bowl of strawberries used as a garnish in the winter instead of cherries I use in summer time and which are now a bit ‘my trademark: become small, delicious smoked bon-bon that complete the picture. The wood question is anything but trivial. On the fruit the smoky effect is very pronounced and the tannic woods are almost unsustainable. Required then use the fruit, such as a blend of 50 and 50 Melo and Cherry is my favorite. One important thing you need to consider is that after the smoking process the fruit should be blended, then passed through a strainer fine mesh and finally made it rest in the refrigerator at least a couple of hours (it would be better if you do it the day before) otherwise will give the cocktail unpleasant bitter notes.
The three recipes that I propose, one for each of the types described above, as said are those that propose more often. The inspiration is clearly taken from cocktails that you surely already know. I only changed the fruity component using more fruits available in fresh form, so to be smoked and which work well in the mix. Measure now the ingredients, blend it and add to the decorative strawberry.
It’s a no-alcoholic soda based, orange, pineapple and blueberry cocktail, where the Smoky part is given by this last
2/6 orange Juice
1/6 moked blueberry juice
1/6 pineapple juice
Pour ingredients except soda in a blender, mix, add soda and pour into a tumbler or (as in this case) in another glass suitable: easy.
It is a very refined Sparkling. The original Kyr uses creme de cassis, and on occasion I also made smoking the fresh blackcurrant but the availability is very prohibitive. I thus found in Blackberry a viable alternative. In the container with the blackberry juice add a few cl of Prosecco and mix well before adding, to prevent the formation of clots in the glass
1 Flute ofProsecco
1 tea spoon of smoked blackberry juice
Pour Prosecco in a flute adding some drops of blackberry juice. drink without blending
Who does not know the Cosmopolitan, the cocktail of Sex and the City? The original recipe is with juice Cranberry (American cranberry), but if you do not find fresh blackcurrant, imagine the Cranberry … The solution I found was to mix 2 parts raspberry in 1 blueberry, always smoked naturally. As mentioned, alcohol “off” a bit. So the smoked side it’s a third of the total. To this we add another interesting note: the juice of grilled lime, so as to make the sugars caramelize
4/10 Lemon Vodka
2/10 Triple Sec
1/10 grilled lime juice
2/10 smoked raspberry juice
1/10 smoked blueberry juice
Add the ingredients in a shaker with ice, then pour in a cocktail cup with tall stems.
To each his own. We just have to make a toast. obviously smoked.
What are your favorite Cocktails and what would you try in a “smoky” version?