Smoke Rinsing a Glass
One of the best options when it comes to imparting a smoky flavor in a cocktail is to cloak your serving glass in actual smoke. This method will give your drink the lightest flavor and is unlikely to overpower your guests.
First, you’ll want to chill your glass ahead of time so the smoke will cling to the sides of the glass, and have your cocktail prepared and ready to pour. Next, select your tinder. This can be a wood chip or stick like oak, maple, or hickory, or you can play with herbs and fruits such as citrus peel, rosemary, or a cinnamon stick.
Now that you’ve set the stage, it’s time to make the magic happen. Set your ingredient on fire, extinguish it, and turn your chilled glass upside down on top of the burning tinder. After the smoke dissipates, pour your cocktail into the glass and voilà.
Smoke Rinsing a Cocktail
Similar to rinsing a glass in smoke, you can also rinse your entire drink in a smoke-filled container. For this, you’ll want to use a larger vessel such as a cocktail shaker, pitcher, or decanter, and don’t forget to chill it!
Once again, you need to light your tinder on fire, but this time, you may want to place the mouth of your container over the burning object instead of extinguishing it ahead of time. Allowing the fire to burn a little longer or adding a little extra oxygen will ensure that you have enough smoke to fill the container.
Wait until the smoke dissipates, and pour your drink into the container. Swirl or shake it for about 30 seconds before pouring it into a serving glass. It may not sound like long, but half a minute should be enough to impart a strong smokiness. This will provide a stronger flavor than rinsing a glass and is a great alternative for those looking for a rich drink.