Thursday, December 26, 2019


We did a smoky whiskey cocktail with a sparkling twist!
We did a smoky whiskey cocktail with a sparkling twist!

I’m bringing you another smoked cocktail that is deep in flavor and suited for those who like hearty cocktails.  For this cocktail, I’ll be adding even a deeper flavor to the whiskey by cold smoking it with a handheld food smoker.  A rich syrup is made first and then added to our cocktail that can be served hot or cold.  Perfect, either way, to warm you up on cold winter days!


The Syrup

ingredients in the pot warming up To get our Harvest Smoke & Sparkle cocktail started, we need to make the sweet syrup to balance the boldness of the smoked whiskey.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together ½ cup of honey, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground clove and 1 cup of orange juice until it starts to bubble.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

If making individual cocktails, it is important to still make the full batch of cider-honey syrup and take the 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of cider-honey syrup from the batch per cocktail.

Tasting Notes: This is referred to as a harvest sparkle due to the traditional spices associated with the Fall.  Feel free to experiment and adjust these flavors as cardamom and allspice also work well.


The Construction

With the cider-honey syrup made and cooling, it’s time to take your favorite brand of whiskey and cold smoke flavor into it.  I’m using The Smoking Gun® by Breville which is self-standing to make the actual smoking process easy.
smoking the whiskey with the handheld smoker

After placing the whiskey in a measuring cup, I place the measuring cup in a plastic bag and insert the hose of the smoking appliance into the bag.  I then add a pinch of Piccolo® wood chips to the bowl and turn on the unit while lighting the chips.  Once the smoke fills the bag, I shut off the unit, remove the hose, and cinch the bag closed to allow the smoke to penetrate the whiskey.  It helps to move the whiskey around in the cup to help the smoke molecules to cling to the alcohol.  That’s it!

What is so great about this whiskey cocktail is that is can be served hot or cold.  Today, I’m making the cold version in a large batch to serve many guests.  I start by adding my smoked whiskey and cider-honey syrup to a large pitcher with lots of ice.  Next, I whisk these two ingredients together well.  If making a single cocktail, add an ounce of the smoked whiskey and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the cider-honey syrup to a shaker filled with ice.  I strain into a serving glass and add Prosecco and a garnish of rosemary.  I prefer a bit of ice in the glass for the cold version.
Our whiskey and herbs together heating up on the stoveNow, for those that like it hot, simply whisk together the smoked whiskey and cider honey syrup in a saucepan or heat in the microwave for 45 seconds in a mug.  This is one smoked cocktail that will take away any chill in the air!

Do you have a favorite smoked cocktail?  Leave us a comment to let us know and subscribe to our channel to get all the tips, techniques, and recipes we bring your way.  Always eager to share our expertise on all things wood fired, that’s SmokinLicious®!

Thursday, December 19, 2019


Discover a great taste with wood chips by cooking Swordfish Al A Plancha
Discover a great taste with wood chips by cooking Swordfish Al A Plancha!
Colder weather can often end your outdoor cooking but it doesn’t have to take away your desire for wood fired foods.  I’m going to show you an easy method of keeping wood fired flavors going even in the coldest, snowiest weather by taking the indoor plancha to my stove top.  I’ll prepare a tasty swordfish using wood chips for flavoring to the fish and finishing with a ginger-garlic butter sauce.  Purchase some fresh swordfish and let’s bring authentic wood flavoring to this great cut of fish.


Preparing the Plancha

Adding wood chips to the plancha I love my stove top plancha pan but you can easily use a standard griddle with a heat safe pot lid.

To start, get a supply of Minuto® wood chips and prepare your plancha or griddle by first placing a ¼ cup of chips in the center of the griddle, then placing the grilling racks on the surface.  Turn a medium-high heat on and place the cover on the unit to allow it to reach temperature.  We want a high temperature of about 375-400°F.   Once the plancha is hot, you will smell the wood chips combusting and releasing aromatic flavor.  That tells you it’s time to add the fish.


Cooking & Sauce Making

Place the fish fillets on the grill racks of your plancha griddle.  Cover and allow to cook and infuse with wood flavor for 4-5 minutes on one side.

With the fish on the plancha, you can start to prepare the butter sauce that will go on the finished fish.  You’ll need:
    making the sauce in the pan
  • 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¾ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • lemon peel- ¾ teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon citrus balsamic vinegar
Place all these ingredients in a small saucepan and bring together over low heat.

After 4-5 minutes of cooking, turn the swordfish fillets and cooked for another 4 minutes. Then remove the fillets to a plate and clean out the combusted chips to a heat safe container.  Place the hot plancha back on the heat but reduce it the heat to low and leave the grill racks off.

Put the fillets back on the hot surface of the plancha to sear the outside.  It will only take a minute per each side.  Once seared, remove to a serving plate and pour the hot butter sauce over the top.  That’s it!  Great wood-fired flavor done on the stove top with a hot plancha or griddle.

What’s your favorite fish to add wood flavoring to?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


We love this Winter cocktail, because of its smoky twist!
We love this Winter cocktail, because of its smoky twist! Simple ingredients and easy to mix.

As we wait for warmer days, I have a perfect winter cocktail that will make you content as you bear the cold.  Featuring just 4 ingredients, I’m taking a single ingredient and cold smoking it to give a smoky flavor.  We’ll use a handheld food smoker for a quick, easy means of infusing the smoke flavor.


Ingredients and Smoke

Our Smoked Winter cocktail has just 4 ingredients:
    an image of our ingredients
  • cream of coconut
  • vanilla vodka
  • crème de cocoa
  • ice
By using a handheld food smoker, you can make quick time of smoking the cream of coconut needed for our Winter Wonderland cocktail.  I’m making a full batch of drinks to serve about 6 so I’ve placed 6 ounces of cream of coconut, (I like the CocoLopez brand), into a container.  That container is placed inside a plastic bag.  I’m using The Smoking Gun® by Breville which is a stand-alone, easy to control cold smoke appliance.  I simply place the smoking hose into my container, cinch the bag around the hose, lite my Piccolo® wood chips while the food smoker is turned on, and allow the smoke to fill the container.  I then turn off the unit, remove the hose, cinch the bag tight, and allow the smoke to sit for a few minutes to infuse the coconut cream.  That’s it!  Now time to assemble our Winter Wonderland cocktail.

Tasting Notes: Although I elected to smoke the cream of coconut, you can smoke one of the alcohols or even the water to make the ice cubes.  For those looking for a bolder smokiness, feel free to smoke the entire cocktail mixture before serving over ice.


Quick Shake to Yum

After smoking the cream of coconut, it’s time to mix the cocktail.  This is best done in a shaker.  For a single cocktail, fill the shaker with ice, add 1 ounce of the smoked cream of coconut, 1-1/2 ounces of vanilla vodka, and 1-1/2 ounces of crème de Cocoa.  Shake until well chilled and the flavors marry.  Strain into an ice filled glass and serve.
This is one winter cocktail you’ll enjoy sipping as you wait on those warmer days.

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …
… that the hand-held smoker can do “smoky wonders” to just about any of your favorite cocktails or drinks.  Just make sure that you have the right size of smoking wood chips in the unit and don’t overpack the vessel!  Remember, if you choose to enjoy any alcoholic beverage, drink responsibly!

Do you have a favorite smoked cocktail?  Leave us a comment to let us know and subscribe to our channel to get all the tips, techniques, and recipes we bring your way.  Always eager to share our expertise on all things wood fired, that’s SmokinLicious®!