What’s not to love about smoke in your cocktail? You can get it from single malt scotch whiskies, mezcal, some bourbons, and more. These six New York City spots do it best. By Jonathan Pogash.

credit: Viktor and Spoils

‘Oaxacan Dream’

Viktor & Spoils specializes in agave-based cocktails, and we especially love the ones made with that smokey, silky, Mexican  that we call Mezcal. The Oaxacan Dream combines Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and a grilled pineapple garnish. It sure is a dream of a cocktail, that quickly becomes a reality after you’ve downed a couple.

credit: Apotheke

‘Smoked Negroni’

At Apotheke in Chinatown, the “Pain Killers” section of their cocktail list features one such drink, the Smoked Negroni. For the smoke aspect, Lapsang Souchong tea is infused into gin, and then stirred together with Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and Aperol. This is a very nice cocktail, a twist on the classic, and the perfect balance between sweet, strong, and smoke. You can also try the “Hecho de Mexico” cocktail – a tequila, tamarind, habanero, eye-opener. These are sure to kill any pains you may have endured that day.

credit: Blue Owl Cocktail Room

‘Sea Smoke Cocktail’

The Blue Owl cocktail room features their Sea Smoke Cocktail, of which they describe as being “The morning mist that blows from the Caribbean Gulf.” What we do know for sure is that it packs some smokey punch, yet relieves the palate with the smooth flavors of a rosemary-watermelon syrup. To this, fresh lime juice, Milagro silver tequila, and Ilegal Joven Mezcal are added to a shaker full of ice and shaken awake. You’ll get a slight tinge of smoke from the Mezcal, but never overpowering.

credit: Bobo/BeccaPR

‘Embers Only’

At Bobo in the West Village, there is a new food menu launched by Cedric Tovar, chef and partner. Along with the new food menu come some pretty interesting cocktails. One of the, the Embers Only, incorporates smoked bourbon, root liqueur, and walnut bitters. The ingredients sound interesting, and we recommend you have a go of it.

credit: Hotel Delmano

‘Smoke & Flowers’

What is the perfect balance to smoke in cocktails? At the Hotel Delmano in Brooklyn, flowers is the answer mixologist Sam Anderson would exclaim. The “Smoke & Flowers” is a creative expression of Ardbeg single malt scotch whisky, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, sherry, and dry vermouth. The combination works, and satisfies those who may not be so into smokey ingredients.

credit: Entwine

‘Secret Agent No. 3’

The Secret Agent No. 3 at Entwine gets it’s smoke from single malt scotch whisky and liquid smoke. Combine that with rum, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice, colonial bitters, liquid smoke and agave nectar, and you’ve got yourself a soothingly smokey and tantalizing libation. Peruse their menu for a full range of options geared towards all flavors and palates. Here’s to smoke!

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Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, is a beverage consultant, writer, and educator.