Overpower me, please, I said to Kevin Mabry at jm Curley, who complied with two smoke bombs. The first was a blend of Laphroaig, Fidencio, Punt e Mes, torched lime, egg white, simple syrup, and ginger beer. "The Punt e Mes softened both the Scotch and mezcal while still complementing them with its vanilla-esque tones," he explains. "The egg white is what really brought it all together. Your palate picks up the texture first, and then the smoke hits you in waves rather than a punch in the face."
The second was much smokier, made with Fidencio, Thai-chili-infused Aperol, grapefruit, and actual wood smoke. For the last component, he smoked cherry wood with a torch, held the glass over it, and let it sit while he built the cocktail.
Why go to all the trouble? Couldn't you just step outside for a cigarette? "Without sounding too cliché, smoky cocktails are just flat-out fun," says Mabry. "They bring something different to the table. It's a flavor that, when harnessed, can yield a really memorable cocktail that will open someone's eyes to the craft of making a drink."
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