Sunday, July 5, 2015

Canadian Wildfire Cocktail

Today, we got more smoke than we bargained for. It was the Fourth of July, of course, so we were expecting fireworks smoke, barbecues, and the like, but the high altitude smoke from raging Canadian wildfires had drifted south. An hour before sunset, the sun was beet red and hazy. It gave us inspiration to create a drink.

We have never smoked a cocktail before. We, instead, often use ingredients that are smoky prior to the construction of the actual drink like a Laphroaig wash or the addition of smoked salt or sugar. To smoke a cocktail efficiently, most bartenders now use a cold smoke gun. They get the job done for about $100. Now, I know most of the Lounge Lizards aren’t going to drop a Benjamin on a smoker, even if you can use it for food too. So we used wood chips (toothpicks) to light a mound of tea to gather our smoke and it worked pretty well; what you have to remember is that gas from a lighter and sulphur from a match don’t taste very good so do not use these as your smoke source.

If you would like to use a smoke gun, you can see mixologist Jamie Boudreau apply one using tea leaves here:

Canadian Wildfire Cocktail
Holly’s Original

1 1/2 ounce Canadian whisky (We used Canadian Club 100)
1/2 ounce Cointreau (or premium triple sec)
Dash Angostura bitters
Contents of a bag of Chai tea

Combine whisky, Cointreau and bitters in a service vessel.

Open the tea bag and pour out its contents in a flame retardant container (we used an aluminum pan). Alight the tea with a wood chip. Invert a glass over smoke for a short time. Extinguish fire.

Add a large ice cube to smoked glass. Pour the cocktail over the large ice cube. Enjoy.

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