How to Smoke Whiskey [6 Easy Steps]

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Written By Logan Adler
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A smoked whiskey cocktail is quite a sight and smell. There is something about the smoky aroma that makes an already appetizing drink that much more appealing. My first exposure to a smoked Old Fashioned happened in 2021, when I tried one at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

When the drink came out, I was more than impressed, I was mesmerized. The aroma was enchanting, and the flavor was just as impressive.

Coincidentally, a few months later, a friend of mine casually mentioned he had recently purchased a cocktail smoking kit and was making his own smoked bourbon drinks. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cocktail smoking kit.

He invited me over, and we made a few smoked whiskeys. Not only did I discover that smoking your own drinks is very simple, it’s also very fun.

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a smoking kit nestled in my bourbon cabinet alongside my Ragproper flask.

Why do people like smoked whiskey?

Personally, I think it boils down to two reasons:

Flavor and aesthetic.

  1. Unique flavor profile: Adding a smoky flavor to a whiskey drink can create a unique and interesting flavor profile that sets it apart from other cocktails. The smoky notes can enhance the natural flavors of the whiskey and add depth and complexity to the drink.
  2. Aesthetic appeal: Smoking a whiskey drink can create an impressive visual effect, with the smoke swirling around the glass and adding to the ambiance of the drinking experience. This can make the drink more memorable and enjoyable for some people.

Why smoke whiskey?

Smoking your whiskey or bourbon will add a nice flavor that you otherwise wouldn’t experience. Don’t go too hard on the smoking, as it can be overwhelming if done in excess. Some of the common flavor notes that fuse into the whiskey are:

  1. Smoky: This is the most obvious flavor note that comes from smoking whiskey, and it can range from subtle to intense depending on the method used.
  2. Woody: If the smoke is created by burning wood chips, the whiskey can take on a woody flavor that can be reminiscent of oak or other types of wood.
  3. Spicy: If the smoke is created by burning herbs or spices, the whiskey can take on a spicy flavor that can be reminiscent of cinnamon, clove, or other spices.
  4. Earthy: If the smoke is created by burning peat, the whiskey can take on an earthy flavor that can be reminiscent of moss or damp soil.

The type of wood used to smoke the whiskey will obviously impact its taste. For instance, oak wood adds a subtle vanilla flavor, while cherry wood can add a fruity taste.

Alright, I want to share with you exactly how I go about smoking whiskey or bourbon. As mentioned above, it’s a very easy process and quite fun. You will need to add a few tools to your bourbon or whiskey collection, but the good news is that none of them are expensive.

What you will need:

  • Your favorite whiskey or bourbon
  • Whiskey / Bourbon sipping glass (check this one out)
  • Cocktail smoking kit (we recommend the Foghat Cocktail Smoker) shown in the video below.
  • Wood shavings (we recommend mesquite, oak, whiskey, maple, or cherry).
  • Torch lighter

Alright, now that the needed tools are known, let’s jump into the actual process.

How to smoke whiskey in 6 easy steps

  1. Pour a glass of your favorite whiskey or bourbon.
  2. Set your smoker on top of the glass.
  3. Take a small handful of your favorite wood filings and put them into the compartment in the smoker.
  4. Place the screen on top of the wood filings.
  5. Ignite the wood filings with a culinary or torch lighter. Do this for about 5 to 7 seconds.
  6. Place the smoker cap on the whiskey glass and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Take the smoker off and enjoy your smoky whiskey or bourbon drink.

Foghat Cocktail Smoker Demonstration Video

Smoking Whiskey FAQs:

How long should you smoke a whiskey drink?

This is dependent on how smoky you want your beverage to be. If you desire a little smoky flavor, 45 to 60 seconds is ideal. If you desire a heavier, smoky flavor, opt for 3 to 5 minutes.

What whiskey is good to smoke?

Any whiskey with a robust flavor profile can be smoked, including bourbons, scotches, and ryes. Peated and smoky whiskies are particularly good candidates for smoking.

Can you smoke whiskey on the rocks?

You can absolutely smoke whiskey on the rocks, but keep in mind that the torch lighter could cause your ice to slightly melt, which might minimize the smoky flavor. I recommend using a set of whiskey stones or simply smoking your whiskey and then pouring it over ice.

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Logan Adler
I enjoy good bourbon, cool gear, and well-made clothing. When I'm not writing for The Bullfighter, you can catch me playing chess or practicing jiu-jitsu. Happy to connect on Instagram or drop me an email at hello@thebullfighter.com.

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