Shaken, Stirred or Smoked? Savor New Smoked Cocktails at STICKS

The South has a stomach-rumbling reputation for smoking meats. But did you know you can also smoke cocktails?

smoked cocktail

The third addition of our monthly Sips at STICKS series (Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.) features three whiskey-laced Southern-style dishes dreamed up by Chef Anna Marie Bayonito, plus Maker’s Mark cocktails crafted by our imaginative mixologilst Meg Nielson.

So how does smoking cocktails work? Mixologist Meg explains:

Modern mixology adds layers to existing and familiar libations. It’s the game of taking something old and refashioning it to something new but recognizable.  Adding layers through the use of syrups, bitters, uncommon liquors and liqueurs, and fresh fruit help to keep our interests peaked.

The smoking box is a show-stopping way to add another kind of layer to cocktails. The smoke bath not only lends a smoky flavor that will linger on the glass, but also produces smoke aromatics that linger in the air to help encourage the consumer to taste the smoke element in their cocktail.

One of the cocktails we will be featuring Tuesday is our Baby Got Back. We immerse it in a hickory smoke bath, but there are many types of wood, spices and teas compatible with The Smoking Gun that can be used to add awesome layers to your cocktails at home.

smoked cocktail

Here’s how you can make this smoked cocktail yourself!

Baby Got Back

Contributed by Wendy Heilmann
Wine and Spirits Director, Pebble Beach Resorts


cocktail ingredients at STICKS

  • 1.5 ounces Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 0.5 ounces Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 piece Chocolate Dipped Bacon
  • 20 seconds exposure to Hickory Smoke


smoking a drink

  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Julep Strainer
  • The Smoking Box by Fortessa
  • Hickory wood chips (wood dust)
  • Rocks glass
  • Ice
  • Lighter


smoking box for cocktails

  1. Ready the smoking box. Add a small amount of hickory chips to the wood reservoir in the smoking gun. Do not overfill with wood chips. Make sure the hose from the smoking gun is attached correctly to the box and gun.
  2. Ready the cocktail. Add Maker’s and Kahlua to mixing glass and stir. Strain into new glass and add fresh ice. Tuck into the smoking box making sure that both doors are closed.
  3. Light the smoking gun. Turn the fan speed to high setting for lighting. Use a lighter to put flame to the well of wood chips. When the chips start to light, switch the fan speed to low and watch the box fill with hickory smoke. The more dense the smoke in the box, the more pronounced the smoke flavor will be.
  4. Infuse the cocktail. Let the smoke infuse the cocktail for roughly 20 seconds. The greater amount of time the cocktail is exposed to the smoke bath, the more robust the smoke taste will be.
  5. Garnish. We eat with our eyes first, why not drink the same way? Garnish with chocolate covered bacon strip to complement the smoky nature of the cocktail.

Want to try this drink in person, perfectly paired with a three-course meal?

maker's mark at pebble beach

You can also snag samples of the Maker’s Mark Pebble Beach Barrel, which includes your own wax-dipped glass to keep ($15 for glass and 1-ounce sample). We recommend calling (831) 647-7470 to RSVP so you don’t miss out on this special event!

Hope to see you next week!

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