All I wanted to do was set something on fire. A drink that is.
I had been wondering what would happen if I started incorporating actual smoke into a drink. Not where you used the smoking ingredient in the liquid itself but on the side, therefore the only part that was affecting the taste of the drink was smoke going through your nose. So much of taste is affected by smell.
I wanted to find a flavor profile that would completely complement the season and the warmth of being home during the holidays. I settled on bourbon because it is one of my families favorites with notes of earthy black pepper, citrusy orange, and the warm smoke of cinnamon to waft through your nose while you sipped your drink.
The cinnamon is just meant for the edge of your drink, don’t be like my dad and brother and go sticking it into your drink once it is presented to you. They were just so excited they couldn’t wait for a direction. Leaving me to share mine so they could experience the cocktail how I intended, sharing is caring.
Smoking Black Pepper Bourbon
For Black Pepper Simple Syrup
¼ C Sugar
¼ C Water
3 Tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Tbsp Black Pepper Syrup
1 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 Orange Rind, 3 Inch long
2 Oz Bourbon
1 Smoking Cinnamon Stick
In a small saucepan combine sugar, water, and peppercorns. Bring to simmer on medium heat and cook until all the sugar has dissolved about 4 minutes then lower the heat and allow the pepper to brew into the sugar about 5 more minutes. Cool while you prep the rest of your cocktail.
Run the rind of an orange over the edge of your glass to impart a bit of the flavor into the glass itself. Then in a shaker add bourbon, black pepper syrup, orange juice, and rind and muddle all together. Add ice over top and shake!
Place a large ice cube in your glass, I love these things since it takes longer to melt you can enjoy your drink without worrying you will water it down. It also gives you a little more time to work your garnish. Pour drink over the ice cube.
We are going to make a smoking cinnamon stick to complement our drink. Using tongs hold the end of a full cinnamon stick over an open flame until the heat licks up the sides and chars the stick (I love gas stoves). Blow out your flame and place along the edge of your glass, don’t dunk it in the liquid. We are looking for the smoke of the cinnamon to trail through your nostrils when you take a sip subtly changing the flavor with its vapors.
Cheers, and take a deep breath!