4 Smoky Cocktails

The latest bar craze, smoky cocktails can be as dramatic as they are tasty. Here are four recipes, courtesy of Pawling’s McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods Cafe and Kingston’s Stockade Tavern

There are lots of cocktail trends on the horizon this year, as everything from aromatic bitters to wines on tap promise to pop up at your favorite local watering hole sometime soon. And while smoky cocktails first showed up on the scene several years ago, they continue to be a favorite with local mixologists. There are three ways to craft one of these cocktails: You can use a smoky ingredient, like mezcal or a Scotch whiskey; you can literally set your drink aflame; or you can use a handheld smoking gun.

Andrew Serubbi, the manager at McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods CafeÌ in Pawling, says that smoky cocktails are “really popular, especially the ones we make with mezcal.” A distilled alcohol made from the agave plant in Mexico, mezcal continues to generate more and more bar buzz. (For the record, tequila is a form of mezcal.) In January, Serubbi took a one-week trip to the Oaxaca region of Mexico, where he traveled from village to village to see how mezcal is made. “It is really fascinating,” he says. “There is a lot of community involvement that goes into making it. In the small villages they believe mezcal has many healing properties. For example, in San Luis Del Rey, one lady told me that mezcal from the tobala varietal is used for treating diabetes. My favorite quote that I was taught is ‘Por todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien tambien’ — which means ‘For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, the same.’ ”

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Below, Serubbi shares two of his favorite smoky cocktails with us. We also scouted out the other side of the Hudson to see what fiery fun the master mixologists at Kingston’s Stockade Tavern have devised.

josh rosenmeierJosh Rosenmeier, head bartender of Kingston’s Stockade Tavern, creates the Blue Blazer cocktail
Photographs by Michael Polito

toasted pear cocktail
Toasted Pear Cocktail

Courtesy of McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods Café, Pawling

blood and smoke cocktail
Blood & Smoke Cocktail

Courtesy of McKinney & Doyle Fine Foods Café, Pawling

blue blazer cocktail
Blue Blazer Cocktail

Courtesy of Stockade Tavern, Kingston

smoke signal cocktail
Smoke Signal Cocktail

Courtesy of Stockade Tavern, Kingston

Need to cool down after all this heat?

Beginning March 4 and lasting through April, Bonefish Grill (with locations in Poughkeepsie, Nanuet, Albany, and Yonkers) offers the Cold Snap Cosmo: it comes in a glass made completely of ice, and is served with a mitten. For the recipe, click here.

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