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Cocktails

Infuse Your Cocktails with Easy Smoked Ice 

No fancy equipment needed.
By Published Dec. 21, 2022

Infusing a cocktail with smoky flavor usually involves a pricey specialty tool, such as a smoking gun

The gun burns wood chips, captures the smoke, and blows it into a box or cloche in which resides a cocktail.  As the flavor particles in the smoke condense on the drink, they impart their smoky essence. 

But there’s a far easier—and cheaper—way to get the same effect: Make liquid smoke ice cubes. 

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What Is Liquid Smoke?

A popular ingredient in barbecue sauces, liquid smoke is made by burning wood chips and condensing the hot smoke to form a liquid. 

Bottles of the liquid can be stored in the pantry for over a year, so it’s a great ingredient to keep on hand.

How to Make Liquid Smoke Ice Cubes

To add liquid smoke to cocktails, we mixed ¼ teaspoon of liquid smoke per 1 cup of water and froze the water in ice cube trays. 

We then tested using a 1¾-inch-wide smoked ice cube in various cocktails (3 regular 1¼-inch-wide cubes would work as well). We tested the cubes in both rocks and shaken-and-strained drinks.  

We found that a rocks drink’s flavor evolved as the smoke-flavored ice slowly melted. In shaken drinks, a 30-second shake infuses a sufficient amount of smoke into the drink.

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The Best Cocktails for Liquid Smoke Ice Cubes 

Generally speaking, we found the smoke best suited to whiskey-based cocktails (it felt out of place with clear spirits like gin and vodka). 

We recommend trying a Boulevardier (bourbon, Campari, sweet vermouth) over a smoked ice cube, or shaking up a Paper Airplane (bourbon, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, lemon juice) with a few of the flavored cubes. 

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.