Smoking Ice – The Best Way to Make Smoked Cocktails + 5 Top Tips

When it comes to smoking ice for cocktails, you have quite a few options. You can use a cocktail smoking gun, you can add liquid smoke, you can even light a wood pellet and cover it with the cocktail glass while you make the drink.

However the easiest and best way to smoke ice for cocktails is to put the cubes in the smoker at 225°F. It really gets a great smoky taste into your ice.

Can You Smoke Ice Cubes?

Yes you can. In fact it’s one of the simplest ways to get smoked cocktails. The ice will melt and become smoky water which you then refreeze.

How to Smoke Ice

To make smoked ice for cocktails all you need to do is place ice cubes (or just water) in a tray or pan, and put them in the BBQ smoker for about an hour at 225°F. Then you put the smoky water into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer.

What Wood Should I Smoke Ice With?

If you want a milder, fruitier smoke taste go with apple or cherry wood. If you would like a stronger, bacony smoke taste hickory wood is also a great option.

How Do You Get Smoke into Cocktails?

Smoking ice in the smoker and then refreezing the smoky water is a great way to get a smoky flavour in your cocktails. You can also smoke any herbs of fruit you will use in the cocktails in the BBQ smoker as well. Cherries are a great example for smoked cocktails. You can also make a sweet smoky sugar syrup from the smoked cherries and add that to your cocktails.

Why Smoke a Cocktail?

Cocktails are delicious and visually stunning as is, but adding a smoky flavour really improves the sensory experience. Smoke flavours pair well with alcohol, particularly bourbon or whiskey.

What are Some Good Smoked Cocktail Recipes?

Smoked Old Fashioned Recipe

1 Smoke 5-10 Ice Cubes and 5-10 Maraschino Cherries at 225°F for 1 Hour in a BBQ Smoker With the Lid Down

2 Refreeze Smoky Water in an Ice Cube Tray and put Smoked Cherries in the Fridge

3 When You are Ready to Prepare the Cocktail, Put Some of the Smoked Ice Cubes in a Glass

4 Add 2 Teaspoons of Sugar Syrup, 1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar, 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters, a Splash of Water, 60ml of Bourbon, and a little Soda Water to the Glass

5 Garnish With an Orange Slice and a Smoked Maraschino Cherry

For extra smokiness again use a smoky scotch such as Laphroig instead of bourbon.

Another approach you can take is to light a cinnamon stick and place your cocktail glass over the top. Watch the Youtube video below to see it being done on our BBQ Smoker Grill Channel.

Smoky Margarita Cocktail Recipe

1 Place 5-10 Ice Cubes in a Tray or Pan and Smoke them Over Indirect Heat for Around an Hour at 225°F

2 Put Your Smoky Water Back in an Ice Cube Tray and Place Back in the Freezer

3 Place a few Smoked Ice Cubes in a Cocktail Glass

4 Add 50ml Tequila, 1.5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 Tablespoon of Cointreu (Or Other Triple Sec Liqueur) to the Smoked Ice

5 Rub the Rim of the Glass With Lime Juice and Press Coarse Salt Onto It

For extra smokiness use Mezcal instead of Tequila – it already has a smoky flavour.

TOP TIP – For a Delicious Hint of Chilli add a sliced half of Fresh Jalapeno Pepper to the Tequila Bottle to Marinate Overnight

Top Tips for Smoking Cocktails

1 When putting your ice cubes or water in the smoker use a tray that is quite deep. This will help you avoid getting too much ash into the smoked ice.

2 If you don’t want to use the whole smoker simply place a wood pellet on a wooden board and ignite it. Place the cocktail glass you will use for the drink over the top of your smoking wood pellet. Leave it for a couple of minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

This is called smoke-rinsing the glass. Smoke sticks well to things that are cold so for best results chill the glass first.

This will get some lovely smoky flavours into the glass which will transfer to your cocktail.

3 Experiment with your favourite herbs as well by smoking them along with the wood pellets in your smoker (also inside the glass if using). Rosemary is a particular favourite of ours, but bay leaves, thyme, and sage all work well too.

4 Smoke a Chipotle or Habanero Chilli in the Smoker along with your ice for an hour or so. Blitz it up in the blender and add to the cocktail mix for extra flavour and smoky heat. This works very well with Mexican Tequila based cocktails. You might need to use it sparingly!

5 Add any fruit you plan to use in your cocktails to the smoker as well to get even more smoke-infused flavour. Limes and lemons are particularly good when left in the smoker grills.

Check out this article if you like to read about more unique and interesting things to smoke in your smoker.

For more on the topic of smoking cocktails try here:

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