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Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

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Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

The best guide to creating smoked gin cocktails!

The best guide to creating smoked gin cocktails!

Nov 8, 2021
Nuts For Smoked Paprika Nut Mix is available on the Craft Gin Club online shop here!
Nuts For Smoked Paprika Nut Mix is available on the Craft Gin Club online shop here!

The utterly delectable Nuts For Smoked Paprika Nut Mix in Craft Gin Club’s November 2021 Gin of the Month box has us drooling - their amazing mix of smoky tones is simply divine. They have us thinking about how we can get those same rich, complex smoke flavours in our gin drinks. It’s easier than you might expect.

Yes, we have all seen those fancy cocktails delivered under a dome filled with smoke pipped in by a master mixologist at the bar and some people may even be lucky enough to have tried one yourself. But that’s not the only way to make your favourite gin drinks a little smoky.

In this feature, we are going to show you some easy ways of making smoked gin cocktails at home!

3 easy ways to make smoked gin cocktails at home:

Use smoked garnishes

Smoked garnishes can be absolutely magical – not only are they impressive to look at, but they’re also incredibly evocative, capturing the flavours and scents of a cosy evening by a roaring fire and imbuing the whole experience with delicious smoky aromas and flavours. Here are our favourite smoked garnish ideas:

Flamed Citrus Peel
This garnish is lovely with a Negroni, with the smoky yet caramelised flavours of the citrus oils. With a knife or peeler, cut a coin-sized piece of citrus zest from the fruit – try to avoid the bitter white pith. Light a match and hold it above your cocktail and express the oils from the citrus peel above it by squeezing it between your thumb and forefinger. Once the match goes out, drop the citrus peel into your cocktail.

Torched Thyme or Rosemary
Take a fresh sprig of thyme or rosemary and light it on fire. Blow it out, then dunk it into your drink. It’s as simple as that, and will introduce a whole new complexity into your tipple. Torched thyme works particularly well with cider-based cocktails like our Autumn Apple Ginarita.

Torched herb garnishes.jpg

Smoky Cinnamon
Take a cinnamon stick and hold one end in a flame until it begins to smoulder. Place the cinnamon on a fire-proof plate and cover it with your cocktail glass. Leave it to smoke while you make your cocktail. Once the cocktail is ready, flip over your cocktail glass and quickly pour in your cocktail to give it extra smoky, cinnamon flavours.  Discard your cinnamon stick.

Smoky cinnamon cocktail garnish.jpg

2. Smoke your glass:

Coating the inside of the glass with smoke is a fantastic way to get smoky flavoured into your cocktail and it’s very simple to do. Just before mixing your cocktail, place your glass upside and allow the interior to fill with smoke.

If you have a smoke gun, as the professionals use, tilt the glass slightly and shoot in the smoke from the bottom. If you don’t have that fancy little bit of kit, the garnishes above can be used - simply light them and put the glass down over the smoking ingredient like a dome (as described for the cinnamon garnish). You can also use wood pellets designed for smokers (available online) in the same way.

Don’t know which wood to smoke which cocktail with? Not to worry, we can help you there! We like to work by a simple rule when smoking cocktails like this - although it is all down to personal taste, of course.

If the cocktail is deep and rich and dark, like an Espresso Martini or a Negroni, then we recommend going for harder woods like oak or hickory. If you are using the smoked garnish method, the woody herbs and spices and the fragrant orange citrus work fantastic too.

If the cocktail is lighter, with more citrusy tones like a Gimlet or a French 75 or sweeter fruit tones like a ginny Daiquairi then we recommend matching like for like with the wood. Try lighter, fruitier, sweeter woods like cherry or maple, and softwoods like juniper (which works particularly well with gin!).

As we have already said, however, this is all down to personal taste. Try mixing up woods and cocktails and seeing what new flavour sensations you can create!

WARNING! Please make sure you always smoke materials on a heat-proof surface and wait for the flame to die down before covering your ingredients with the glass.

3. Use smoky ingredients:

Possibly the easiest and safest way to introduce smoke flavours into your gin cocktails is by using ingredients that are already smoky to begin with.

Smoked Gin
While whiskeys like Lagavulin (famously the whiskey of choice for Ron Swanson in the hit American sit-com TV show Parks & Recreation) are famous for their smoky qualities, smoky gins are not so common. There is one smoky gin that we are particularly fond of, however, and that’s Beaufort VS Smoked Overproof Gin - which is available to buy on the Craft Gin Club online shop at this link.

Beaufort VS Smoked Overproof Gin.jpg

Distilled with smoked oak being used as a botanical, it’s wonderfully complex, with fruit and spice tones that complement the delectable smokiness. It’s fantastic for adding smoky tones to a Martinez or a Gin Mule.

Smoked Ice

That’s right, ice can be smoked! You may need a smoker to do it, but it is possible. All that you have to do is expose water to wood smoke in a smoker for a couple of hours and then freeze it in your ice trays. For subtle effects, use the ice to shake or stir cocktails like a Martini or a Gin Sour. For stronger effects, place the smoked ice directly in the cocktail, it works especially well if you use one big smoked ice cube in a short cocktail like a Gin Old Fashioned.

Smoked Ice Cubes.jpg

Liquid smoke

Liquid smoke is available online in many different flavours. Made by collecting wood smoke in water and condensing the liquid into an essence, liquid smoke is incredibly strong and should only be used very lightly but a tiny drop here or there can really take your cocktails to new levels of smoky deliciousness. Try adding a drop in this Red Snapper recipe and you will not be disappointed - yum!

Smoked red snapper cocktail recipe

Now try adding a touch of smoke to these fantastic classic gin cocktails!