Mixology at Home: Smoking Gun Old Fashioned

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:29 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Smoky cocktails have been around for some time. The current trend reportedly started in 2007 by Eben Freeman with a bourbon and coke at a New York bar.

Now, smoking guns are all the rage from dive joints to upscale bars, even in home bars.

This is my take on the first smoky cocktail I sipped, called the Smoking Gun, from RoCA in downtown Des Moines. When the smoke clears, you have one of the smoothest cocktails around.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • 4 dashes Angostura aromatic or orange bitters
  • Orange zest


  • In a mixing glass, add the bourbon, syrup, bitters and ice.
  • Stir for about 30 seconds to chill ingredients.
  • Strain into a rocks glass; add a large ice cube.
  • Light your smoking gun, and put the nozzle into the glass, keeping as much of a cover over the glass as possible.
  • Let the drink sit to absorb the flavor of the smoke. The longer the smoke is left in the glass, the stronger the smoky taste will be.

When it comes to covering the drink, you can use anything heavy enough to keep a seal on the glass. I’ve even used stone coasters. The disc I use now has an opening for your smoking gun nozzle that seals once you take it out of the disc; but honestly, you don’t need to buy these. A bowl or big jar with a wide opening works just as well. Of course, if you like to have a little presentation, you can use a decorative bottle or decanter. Smoke boxes are sophisticated, but they run pretty high on the cost when compared to decanters. An old, decorative whiskey bottle is a nice touch as are small decanters for individual drinks.

Our tip today: Getting your money’s worth out of a smoking gun.

If you buy one, they can range from about $50 to $150, kind of expensive for a device you won’t use every day. But that smoking gun can do double duty ... in the kitchen. It will come in handy when the weather stops you from heading to your outdoor grill.

Experiment with adding smoke to meats, fish, even fruits and vegetables.

The wood chips are inexpensive and offer a variety of tastes, oak, maple, hickory, pecan and mesquite come to mind. Some people also dabble with herbs and dried spices.

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