Understanding Smoked Cocktails and Their Benefits

There's something about the smell of smoke that entices you to sit down and stay awhile. It has a way of making you feel cozy, and as long as it's light and flavorful, it's a good trick for pulling in guests, and keeping them there.

As trends come and go, you'll find it easy to pick out your favorites. In some cases and as it goes with smoke, the trends will come find you. Currently, smoked cocktails are making their way into being the next impressionable delight, and as you'll read below, there are more than one reason why your bar should consider adding smoked cocktails to the menu. 


Cocktails have a long history, and in many cases, that history comes along for the ride whenever you order one. They can be made with so many different ingredients and variations, and over the last decade, there's been a huge resurgence in how cocktails are perceived, consumed, and made.

Over the past few years, the process is ramping up even more. From crystal clear ice to house-made ingredients, more and more bars are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the pack. Infusing smoke into the mix is one way to achieve this. By simply infusing a spirit or a mixed drink with smoke by using one of many methods, as described in one of our recent posts, smoked cocktails become "one part beverage and equal part experience".


Smoked cocktails are a recent phenomenon en masse, though there have been instances of infusing beverages with smoke in the past. From smoking Coca-Cola to mix with bourbon to the latest, elegant smoked Manhattans, a smoked cocktail is something bartenders and guests can enjoy together. There are theatrics involved, and actors certainly require an audience.

When considering adding smoked cocktails to your menu, it's important to understand the benefits, of course, but there should also be a plan of attack. How will you add them? What types of smoked cocktails will resonate with your guests? And then, how will you introduce them? But therein lies the beauty of the smoked cocktail. They introduce themselves. When guests sit down, look across the bar, and see smoke being infused into a beaker of bourbon, everyone's senses are heightened.

Make it fun and use it as a seasonal mix to begin with, if it helps. That sense of timeframe will encourage engagement solely for the purpose of newness and seasonality. Once they arrive, you hook them with the experience. Smoke wafting from your rocks glass is truly an event.


The profit is, of course, always the leading factor when it comes to adding an item to the menu. If you could charge two or three more dollars for a smoked cocktail, wouldn't that be a clear sign it's a good addition? People will pay the extra amount solely for a chance to be the first in line to try something unique. It's about the adventure just as much as the taste.

In addition to bringing in more money, it creates a unique hooking point that drives customers your way. You stand out from the crowd solely because you have the newest enticing drink on your menu. That could easily influence new customers to drop in. Once they stop by, it's up to you to create the drinks that make them want to stay. 

People love a good show. As they watch their drinks come to life, technology will help boost your sales. Social media gurus won't leave until they've shared a video of the smokey delight and exclaimed how cool it is. That's free marketing in itself! 

For all of your smoked cocktail needs, reach out to us at High Sabatino. We service Maryland, Virginia, and the greater Washington D.C. area for all of your foodservice equipment needs. Let us help you make your cocktail menu dreams something extra special. 

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