One warm summer evening, I was suddenly surrounded by a flurry of pink. It was everywhere – feather boas, hats, tutus, bags, cocktails. There was a charitable event going on and ladies were swarming the town.
I ducked out from all that activity into an alley where I found a cozy bar with large industrial machine parts as theme decor.
As I looked through the drink menu, this stood out almost immediately:
SMOKEE MUSKOGEE • ROCKS • 12
jack daniels honey whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, cedar plank smoke
Cedar plank smoke?? You saw that right, the bartender said with a smile. I ordered it right away, dying with curiosity as I waited for the show. The bartender came out of the backroom with his ensemble, including a blowtorch and a wood plank.
It was SO butch!
Other customers turned to watch, as he held up the piece of wood and torched it to a fiery glow. It was so close that I could smell the burning cedar.
While the flames were still dying down, he placed the burned wood plank down in front of me, then inverted a rocks glass over the char.
I stared fascinated at the roiling smoke captured in the glass, but also wondered nervously if the glass would suddenly explode and shatter from the air pressure and heat.
I was suddenly distracted by the bartender shaking up a cocktail – one of my most favorite sounds in the world (am I right, Nick Charles?). He poured about an ounce of the cocktail into a small glass and set it aside, but kept the rest in the shaker.
In a few seconds, he turned the rocks glass upright. With the smoke still inside the glass, he poured in the cocktail, infusing it as the smoke slowly drifted up and around the rim.
I was given the small glass with the ounce of cocktail, to first try the cocktail without the smoke. It was delicious and fresh.
And then I tasted the smoked cocktail.
Mind blown! It was AMAZING! The smoke infusion gave the cocktail depth and dimension that no other ingredient on a bartender’s shelves ever could. Now I’m wondering what other cocktails can be smoked and taken up several notches.
This definitely made it on my shortlist of greatest cocktail experiences and cocktails that are simply beyond!