Let’s be honest. Everyone loves a good fire show. Seeing someone play with fire makes something in the back of our minds just sit up and pay attention. There’s a danger element to it we just can’t ignore. It’s why we love fireworks. It’s an escape from regular life, a chance to experience something different.
This escapism is the also one of the reasons why more and more people are gravitating towards cocktails during a night out with friends. Cocktails are another, relatively easy way to try something new and inventive. Whether it be spicy and strong or fruity and sweet, a perfectly balanced cocktail can be a one of a kind experience.
So it makes sense, that by smoking a cocktail, you can combine these two great, sensory experiences in one event. Two birds with one stone.
However, adding smoke to a cocktail is more than just flashy cocktail theatre. Smoking can influence the flavour, aroma, and appearance of any cocktail, elevating a simple drink to something extraordinary.
But first, what do we mean when we talk about flavour?
Flavour is not merely your taste buds working in overdrive, but instead, it’s a team-up of aroma, texture and taste sensations, all working together to create something delicious. However, with smoke, the tricky part is that human beings actually don’t have the specific receptors to taste smoke. That’s where the power of aroma comes in.
Smoke transfers phenols, carbonyl compounds, and organic acids; all of which break down into what we detect as distinctive smells. By adding a smokey dimension, you are adding to the aroma of the drink, which in turn pumps up the flavour and adds depth and complexity to an otherwise ordinary cocktail.
Still not sure about how vital aroma is? Think about it this way. When you’re struck down with a bad cold, even the best bowl of chicken soup tastes bland. That’s because 80% of what we taste is based on smell; take that away, and you are only experiencing the bare minimum what food and drinks have to offer. Essentially we can break it down into four easy words: smell more, taste more. That’s why adding what bartenders call “a nose” on a cocktail is essential to creating a delicious drink.
Fresh smoke is one great way to do that!