The Smoked Cherry – A Bourbon & Brandy Cocktail

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail
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This past Christmas, we got a new toy to add to our arsenal of kitchen tools, a smoking gun! We have been wanting to play with a smoking gun to make cocktails for a while after seeing one used at our favorite bar to make a smoked cocktail. This smoked cocktail is one that we and many of our friends always order, the cocktail full of a rich smokey flavor and an awesome presentation. When we got our own smoking gun at home, we couldn’t wait to smoke a cocktail of our own!

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

Smoking cocktails is a big trend in mixology these days, as it is a great way to add a ton of savory flavor to a cocktail. Like cured meats where smoking makes the end product better, smoking a cocktail can take a drink that is good and make it a star!

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

We started out on the Smoked Cherry by choosing a spirit that works really well with smoke like bourbon or a rye, which already has a hint of natural smoke from the charred barrels used to age the spirits. The warm spicy notes of the bourbon and its natural sweetness are enhanced by the smoke, plus it gives us a big boozy base for the cocktail!

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

Honey and smoke are two unlikely bed fellows, but when you think about how honey is gathered, smoke is big part of that process! We decided to add in a little honey brandy which brings some honey flavor while not adding to much sweetness. The brandy also adds a bit more strength to the drink and helps keep the drink in balance.

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

We wanted a little herbal aspect to the drink, so we mixed in some vermouth blanc, which is a sweeter vermouth made from a fortified French white wine (we recommend La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc which was great in cocktails or by itself. The addition of the vermouth adds a sweet floral hint which really works well with bourbon. The vermouth has just enough of a tartness like you get from a white wine, which brightens up the cocktail, especially when combined with a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

Tasting the cocktail at this point, we felt it was a little flat. It was a little spirit forward and needed some sweet to bring it into balance. We chose one of our favorite infused syrups, sage simple syrup, which has a nice hint of evergreen and herb, which really works well with the smoke flavors, the feeling reminiscent of a camp fire in an evergreen forest. A splash of Campari adds a complex bitter citrus note that added a crisp refreshing bite and tied the drink together.

The Smoked Cherry - a Bourbon and Brandy cocktail

But what about the cherry you ask? After all we called this the Smoked Cherry! Well the first thing we added was a couple of dashes of cherry bitters which brings a real tart cherry tang to the drink. But the main cherry flavor we added to this drink was in the smoke, where we used some cherry wood as the source of the smoke. If you are lucky enough to have a smoking gun, this is the point to bust it out and smoke that cocktail!  If you don’t have a smoking gun, if you check out our Bourbon Barrel cocktail where we have a different technique for smoking a glass! We finished up by adding in one of our brandied cherries as a garnish, and to totally make the cherry pop!

Cheers!

The Smoked Cherry – A Bourbon & Brandy Cocktail

The Smoked Cherry – A Bourbon & Brandy Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • .5 oz Honey Brandy
  • .5 oz Vermouth Blanco
  • .5 oz Sage Simple Syrup
  • .25 oz Lemon
  • 1 bar spoon or tablespoon Campari
  • 4 dashes Cherry Bitters
  • Cherry wood for smoking

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Stir until chilled.
  3. Place a large ice cube into rocks glass.
  4. Strain the liquids into the glass.
  5. Place the glass into a container.
  6. Smoke the cocktail with a smoking gun.
http://www.gastronomblog.com/2017/02/14/the-smoked-cherry-a-bourbon-brandy-cocktail/

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48 thoughts on “The Smoked Cherry – A Bourbon & Brandy Cocktail

  1. Whoa! This is so interesting! I’ve never heard of using a smoking gun on a cocktail, but I love the recommendations you have, especially starting with a bourbon or rye and how you balanced it with some sweet and tart flavors.

  2. Being a foodie, I have seen foods being smoked liked this. It makes a great presentation, and I bet it tastes fabulous! I think it’s time I started making more cocktails!

  3. I used to work for Williams-Sonoma, and people would always ask, “What on Earth would I use that for?” about the smoking gun. I’ve never thought of cocktails before, but this is making me want to go whip it out and make this right now! How brilliant! Not to mention, talk about having the ultimate cool-factor!

  4. Is the smoking gun just for cocktails? Because Im thinking I need to have one but Im hoping it can be used in foods too so I don’t buy another fancy toy that is only for one thing. But hey…. if it makes as fine cocktail as this one looks I know Id use it for a bunch of different drinks! Cheers!

  5. Yowza! This sounds incredible. I adore smoked cocktails, so that “smoking gun” is now in my wish list. I can’t wait to try your recipe. The combo is amazing!

  6. What a fun gift! I’ve never played around with a smoking gun but it looks like fun! I LOVE that you used honey brandy and cherry bitters! How delicious.

  7. Wow, this cocktail looks fantastic! I have never had or heard of a smoked cocktail but it sounds like a great cocktail with amazing flavors! Can you use the smoked gun for food & grilling in?

    1. Thank you! We have had smoked cocktails at a few places and couldn’t wait to try it for ourselves! Yes, the smoking gun is a cold smoker and can be used for anything you want to smoke!

  8. OK EVERYTHING about this is awesome. The lighting is perfect and the drink looks like it’s glowing! The smoke effect is beyond perfect! Seriously is there a word for that? Ice balls are the only way to go! AND the cocktail itself sounds effing delicious.

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