Spirits such as Scotch whiskies and small-batch mezcal are one way to add a subtly smoky element to drinks.
But now that bartenders have introduced the public to robust, full-flavored cocktails, some of the same bartenders are pushing the smoke trend forward by taking ingredients from grill to glass.
At Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami, puréed smoked pears are mixed with bourbon, lemon juice and maple bitters in a Smoked Pear Cocktail rimmed with crushed smoked almonds. In Denver, TAG favors citrus, grilling grapefruit that is muddled into a smoky mojito.
Imbibers in Portland, Oregon will be able to drink two grill-focused cocktails when Riffle NW opens this May. The Hotel Nacional cocktail will take sweetness from grilled-pineapple syrup, and the Brazilian Batida will star grilled rhubarb. Then, when peaches come into season in Portland, Nostrana will grill them to lend its seasonal fruit Bellini a round, earthy flavor.
New York City bartenders have also jumped on the trend: Charred, lightly caramelized pineapple adds a smoky-sweet backbone to Marshall Altier’s Grilled Pineapple Crush at Jbird Cocktails (click here for recipe).
This season, grilling and rum-drinking opportunities are a perfect fit.