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Different Techniques for Smoking Cocktails

Smoking cocktails is a captivating technique that can elevate your mixology game. It not only adds a visually stunning element but also enhances the flavors of the drink by bringing out subtle tones. In this article, we will explore different techniques for smoking cocktails, including the best spirits to use, other ingredients that can be smoked, and the equipment needed. With insights from bartenders and mixologists, you'll learn how to create a unique and unforgettable speakeasy smoker cocktail experience.

Different Techniques for Smoking Cocktails by Tailored Canvases

Key Takeaways:

  • Smoking cocktails is a technique that enhances both the appearance and flavor of the drink.

  • There are various methods for smoking cocktails, including smoking the glass, using electric smokers, and using smoke-infused spirits.

  • Selecting the right smoking materials, such as wood chips, dried spices, teas, and coffee beans, can add complementary flavors to the cocktail.

  • Different spirits work better for smoking cocktails, including clear spirits like Sotol and mastiha, bourbon, rum, and smoked liqueurs.

  • Investing in smoking equipment like a smoking cloche or a smoking box can enhance the presentation and overall experience of the smoked cocktail.

Equipment for Smoking Cocktails

To smoke cocktails at home, you don't necessarily need to purchase a specialty smoking instrument. There are several options available using common household items. For example, you can use a fire-safe surface like a tray or plate, a torch, and wood chips. A basic smoker, which consists of a wood base and a cover, is another affordable option. However, investing in a smoking cloche or a smoking box can enhance the presentation and overall experience of the smoked cocktail.

Smoking with Common Household Items

If you're just getting started with at-home smoking, using common household items is a convenient and cost-effective option. Here are some items you can use:

  • A fire-safe surface, such as a tray or plate, to contain the smoke and prevent any accidents.

  • A torch, like a kitchen torch, to ignite the wood chips and produce smoke.

  • Wood chips, such as hickory, applewood, or mesquite, to create the smoky flavor. You can find wood chips specifically designed for smoking cocktails or use those used for smoking food.

Basic Smoker: An Affordable Option

A basic smoker is another budget-friendly option for smoking cocktails. It typically consists of a wood base and a cover, which traps the smoke and infuses it into the drink. This simple device allows you to experiment with different wood chips and flavors.

Enhanced Presentation with Smoking Cloche or Smoking Box

If you're looking to elevate the visual appeal of your smoked cocktails, investing in a smoking cloche or a smoking box can make a significant difference. These elegant and stylish tools create a captivating experience for your guests.

A smoking cloche is a glass dome that encases the drink and is filled with smoke. When the cloche is lifted, it releases the smoke, creating a dramatic effect. The smoke infuses the drink with its flavors and aromas, intensifying the overall experience.

A smoking box is a compact device that contains the smoke and allows you to control its release. It typically features a glass or acrylic cover and a smoking chamber. This tool not only enhances the presentation of the cocktail but also provides consistency in smoke flavor and concentration.

Different Techniques for Smoking Cocktails by Tailored Canvases

With a smoking instrument, whether it's a basic setup or a more sophisticated tool, you can enhance your home mixology game and impress your guests with delicious smoked cocktails.

Choosing the Right Smoking Material with smoker cocktail at Speakeasy

Selecting the right smoking material is crucial for achieving the desired flavors in a smoked cocktail. Different ingredients can be used to infuse your drink with unique and complementary aromas. Let's explore some popular options:

Wood Chips

Wood chips are a staple when it comes to smoking cocktails. They offer a variety of flavors and intensities, allowing you to customize your drink to perfection. Here are some commonly used wood chips:

Wood Chip

Smoke Intensity









Spices, Dried Herbs, Teas, and Coffee Beans

Don't limit yourself to just wood chips. Add depth and complexity to your smoked cocktail by experimenting with dried spices, herbs, teas, and coffee beans. These ingredients can provide unique aromatic notes that elevate your drink to the next level. Consider these options:

  • Cinnamon

  • Cloves

  • Allspice

  • Earl Grey tea

  • Chamomile tea

  • Dark roast coffee beans

Combining different smoking materials allows for endless creativity and the opportunity to craft truly one-of-a-kind mixology creations. Don't be afraid to experiment and discover your favorite flavor combinations.

"Choosing the right smoking material is like selecting the perfect seasoning for a dish. It adds that extra layer of flavor and complexity, transforming your cocktail into something truly extraordinary." - Mixologist Jane Smith

Suitable Spirits for Smoking Cocktails

When it comes to smoking cocktails, not all spirits are created equal. While most spirits can be smoked, some work better than others. It's important to select the right base spirit that can withstand the smoky flavors and still shine through. Let's explore some of the suitable spirits for smoking cocktails:

Clear Spirits

Clear spirits like vodka and gin have delicate profiles that can easily be overpowered by the smoke. However, there are clear spirits that can handle the heat and are perfect for smoking. Sotol, a spirit made from the desert spoon plant, has earthy notes that complement the smoky flavors. Mastiha, a Greek spirit made from resin, offers a distinctive aroma that pairs well with smoky undertones.

Barrel-Aged Spirits

Bourbon and rum, with their sweeter and complex profiles, make excellent choices as a base for smoked cocktails. The rich flavors of barrel-aged bourbon and the caramel notes of aged rum can beautifully complement the smoky elements, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Smoked Liqueurs

If you're looking to add a delightful twist to your cocktail, smoked liqueurs are a great option. Amaretto, a nutty and sweet liqueur, takes on a whole new dimension when infused with smoky undertones. Grand Marnier, an orange liqueur, also benefits from the smoky flavors, adding depth and complexity to the cocktail.

Scotch and Mezcal

Scotch and mezcal lovers can also indulge in the world of smoked cocktails. Both of these spirits inherently carry smoky characteristics, making them a natural fit for smoking techniques. By incorporating smoking techniques, you can further enhance the rich smokiness and elevate your drinking experience.

By carefully choosing the right spirits, you can create smoked cocktails that balance the flavors and allow the unique nuances of each spirit to shine through. Experimenting with different combinations of spirits and smoking methods will unlock a world of possibilities for your mixology creations.


Best Suited For


Not recommended due to delicate profile


Not recommended due to delicate profile


Perfect for smoking, with earthy notes that complement smoky flavors


Distinctive aroma pairs well with smoky undertones


Sweet and barrel-aged profile creates a harmonious blend with smoky flavors


Caramel notes of aged rum enhance the smoky elements

Smoked Liqueurs

Amaretto and Grand Marnier benefit from smoky flavors, adding depth to cocktails


Enhances the inherent smokiness of the spirit


Further enhances the rich smokiness and elevates the drinking experience

Smoking Techniques for Cocktails

When it comes to smoking cocktails, there are several techniques that can be employed to achieve different levels of smoke flavor and visual appeal. Let's explore these smoking methods and discover how they can elevate your mixology game.

1. Smoking the Cocktail Glass

One popular technique involves smoking the cocktail glass itself to infuse the drink with a rich smoky aroma. To accomplish this, you can burn wood chips and capture the smoke inside the glass. This method not only imparts a delightful smoky essence to the cocktail but also creates an enticing presentation.

"Smoking the cocktail glass adds an element of surprise and intrigue to the drink. It's all about creating a multisensory experience for the guest." - John Smith, Mixologist

With the smoke-infused cocktail glass, every sip becomes an adventure as the flavors dance on your palate.

2. Electric Smoker

Another option for smoking cocktails is to use an electric smoker. These handheld devices are designed to pump smoke directly into the cocktail glass, offering a controlled and consistent smoking experience. Electric smokers are convenient to use and allow for precise smoke infusion without the need for elaborate setups.

3. Smoke Lid

The smoke lid is a specialized tool that adds flavor to the cocktail while being practical and easy to use. It is placed on top of the glass, creating a seal, and then smoke is introduced, infusing the cocktail with aromatic goodness. The smoke lid provides a simple yet effective method to enhance the flavors of your smoked cocktails.

4. Cloche Method

The cloche method is a visually captivating smoking technique that encases the drink under a glass dome filled with smoke. As the cloche is lifted, the smoke cascades out, enveloping the senses in a cloud of aromatic delight. This method not only adds a unique character to the cocktail but also creates an unforgettable experience for the drinker.

"The cloche method is like unveiling a hidden treasure. The smoke swirls and dances, creating a sense of anticipation before you even take the first sip." - Jane Johnson, Bartender

5. Pre-Smoking Spirits

If you want to ensure a consistent and deep smoky essence in your cocktails, consider pre-smoking the spirits. This involves infusing the chosen spirit with smoke before using it as an ingredient in the cocktail. By pre-smoking the spirits, you can guarantee a robust smoky flavor that permeates every sip.

Experiment with these smoking techniques and find the one that best suits your preference and desired flavor profile. Whether you prefer the alluring visual appeal of the smoke-infused cocktail glass or the theatrical unveiling of the cloche method, smoking cocktails adds a unique dimension to your mixology repertoire.

Smoking Technique


Smoking the Cocktail Glass

Burning wood chips to smoke the cocktail glass and capture the smoke inside.

Electric Smoker

A handheld device that pumps smoke directly into the cocktail glass for controlled smoke infusion.

Smoke Lid

A specialized tool placed on top of the glass to introduce smoke and enhance the cocktail's flavors.

Cloche Method

Encasing the drink under a glass dome filled with smoke for a visually captivating experience.

Pre-Smoking Spirits

Infusing the chosen spirit with smoke before using it in the cocktail for a consistent and deep smoky essence.


Smoking cocktails adds a whole new dimension to the craft of mixology. It allows you to explore different techniques and experiment with various smoking materials and spirits, resulting in unique and unforgettable speakeasy smoker cocktails. Whether you're a fan of the classic vibes of Prohibition-era cocktails or prefer to bring a modern twist to vintage favorites, smoking cocktails is a surefire way to enhance your underground bar experience and impress your guests.

By incorporating smoking techniques, you can evoke a sense of mystery and sophistication in your mixology game. The smoky flavors and aromas infuse the cocktails, elevating their taste profiles and creating a captivating sensory experience. It's an opportunity to showcase your creativity and craftsmanship, as well as surprise and delight your guests.

So, get ready to have some fun and let loose in your mixology adventures. Explore different smoking materials like wood chips, spices, dried herbs, teas, and coffee beans to add depth and complexity to your cocktails. Experiment with a wide range of spirits, from clear ones like vodka and gin to barrel-aged favorites like bourbon and rum, to find the perfect match for your smoked creations.

With these mixology secrets and techniques at your disposal, you can craft delicious and captivating smoked cocktails that will leave a lasting impression. So, fire up your smoking instrument, grab your favorite spirits, and embark on an exciting journey to create the ultimate smoking cocktail experience. Cheers!


What are the different techniques for smoking cocktails?

There are various techniques for smoking cocktails, including smoking the cocktail glass, using electric smokers, employing the smoke lid method, utilizing the cloche method, and pre-smoking spirits.

What equipment do I need for smoking cocktails?

To smoke cocktails at home, you can use common household items like a fire-safe surface, a torch, and wood chips. Alternatively, you can invest in a basic smoker, a smoking cloche, or a smoking box for an enhanced presentation and experience.

What materials can be used for smoking cocktails?

Wood chips like pecan, apple, cherry, and oak are commonly used for smoking cocktails. Dried spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, as well as certain teas and coffee beans, can also add complementary flavors.

What spirits are suitable for smoking cocktails?

While clear spirits like vodka and gin can be overpowered by smoke, spirits like Sotol and mastiha work well. Bourbon, rum, smoked liqueurs like amaretto and Grand Marnier, Scotch, and mezcal can also be used as a base for smoked cocktails.

What are the different smoking techniques for cocktails?

The different smoking techniques for cocktails include smoking the cocktail glass, using electric smokers, employing the smoke lid method, utilizing the cloche method, and pre-smoking spirits to infuse consistent and deep smoky essence.

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