If you love a smoky drink, mezcal or whiskey might be your go-to beverage. But any drink can be a smoky one when you have a cocktail smoker.
Here’s everything to know about these tools, plus the best ones to buy.
What Is a Cocktail Smoker?
A cocktail smoker is a device that infuses drinks or food with smoke. You can smoke anything—from beverages like an Old Fashioned or a Negroni to meats and cheeses for a charcuterie board.
Many models employ something called a smoking gun. Wood chips or pellets are added to a chamber and lit; air is then pulled through the chamber and smoke is released. The smoke fills and infuses the drink, which is usually placed into a box or under a dome.
Here are some of the best to buy according to enthusiastic customer reviews.
The Best Cocktail Smokers
Best All-Purpose Cocktail Smoker
Breville Smoking Gun
“This product is very easy to use with endless possibilities,” one reviewer notes, adding that it “makes the kitchen smell like there’s a wood-burning stove, which is great in winter.”
This model also allows you to play around with different flavors and aromas as you can smoke wood chips, tea, herbs, spices or dried flowers.
Best-Budget Cocktail Smoker
TMKEFFC Smoking Gun
No need to gather firewood to this this gadget, at least the first time: It already comes with wood chips. “We’ve had a blast with it, tweaking cocktails to our taste and practicing for our guests,” a reviewer writes.
Another bonus? The smoker’s sleek silhouette would look classy on any bar cart.
Best Budget All-Purpose Cocktail Smoker
Mitbak Cocktail Smoker With Dome Lid
What’s nice about this model is it has three speeds, allowing you to smoke your drinks, fish, cheese or whatever else as fast or slow as you like. It also comes with a dome (which fits perfectly on a plate) or you can stick the hose directly in your glass (just be sure it stays out of the liquid). Along with the smoking gun and dome, this kit includes wood chips.
When it comes to cocktails, “it takes an Old Fashioned to the next level,” one reviewer says.
Best Smoking Cloche
The Gourmet's Smoking Cloche
Of all the models on this list, the gourmet’s smoking clouche might be the most beautiful. It has a walnut base and large glass dome, which, when filled with smoke, makes for all the more dramatic presentation that will definitely impress your friends.
Like the rest of these options, you aren’t limited to smoking just drinks, though. In fact, one user writes, “We’ve used this for beverages and look forward to using it for more things like cheese for charcuterie boards. It’s classy, smells good and looks great on a bar.”
Mixologist-Made Cocktail Smoker
This one is pro-mixologist approved. Charles Joly, a world-champion bartender and award-winning mixologist, helped delvelop this dramatic glass-cage like smoker. Along with the applewood chips, you can experiment with different wood chips, dried herbs and spices to create your own signature smoke.
One review writes, this was “my husband’s favorite gift this Christmas. It’s a big hit with everyone!”
Best Cocktail Smoker for Minimal Space
Glass Topper Cocktail Smoker
Look, all these smokers on the list are beautiful tools to add to a home bar. But if you are short on space, this smoker is perfect. Rather than a large big, glass dome, this kit comes with small toppers that fit directly on your glass.
“[I] Use this sweet little tool to smoke an Old Fashioned or anything that I make with mezcal,” writes one reviewer. “It’s compact so it’s easy to store and cleaning it is very simple. This is great to make memorable occasions when friends come over to have a drink and hang out.”
Best Cocktail Smoker for Making Bubbles
Smoking Gun Wood Smoke Infuser
Want to make smoke bubbles? Then you need this kit. Along with being a regular smoker, this kit comes with a nozzle to make bubbles (you do have to buy the bubble mixture separately, though). When you pop the bubble, the smoke will flow around your drink. Experiment with the set’s different aromas like cottonwood, hickory, cherry and pear.
“[It’s] Easy to use and fun for cocktails and cheese,” shares one reviewer. “Looking forward to smoking other items as well.”
Best Cocktail Smoking Box
Crafts Cocktail Smoker Kit
This one adds some handmade flair to your bar. Able to smoke at least two drinks at once (depending on the size of glass), this kit comes with apple and cherry wood chips.
“It is great,” reveals one reviewer. “[It] made wonderful smoked drinks.”
Best for Smoking Drinks On-the-Move
Smoking drinks on the go? Then this is the kit for you. The included torch, mixing glass, smoke board and three kinds of wood chips (cherry, apple and pecan), all fit perfectly into a to-go bag ideal for bringing to your friend’s apartment or on vacation.
“On top of being a cool addition to our home bar, it smells wonderful to toast some wood chips and smoke a good bourbon,” a reviewer wrote.
Best Cocktail Smoker for a Group
What better way to smoke up your whiskey or bourbon than in a mini barrel? Along with a clear door, this model also has LED lights, so you can really enjoy the inner “smoke show.” While it’s definitely a bit bulkier than the others on this list, you can smoke multiple drinks at a time, so it’s perfect if you have a small gathering.
“[I] made smoked jalapeño margaritas for a recent party that were a hit with friends,” wrote one reviewer. “[I have] also used the barrel to cold smoke some blocks of cheese. [It] would make a great gift!
Is a Cocktail Smoker Safe?
Smoke and alcohol may seem like an unsafe combination. But, at-home cocktail smokers are safe and easy to use. These tools typically add a smoky flavor without much heat with a technique known as cold smoking.
Still, there are some safety measures to know. Be careful when lighting the wood chips. If you’re using a butane torch, make sure you can adjust the flame size. Take care not to light the booze itself and make sure you’re smoking cocktails in a well-ventilated space on a fire-resistant surface. Pay attention to what’s surrounding your workspace to avoid any potential hazards.
Once your cocktail is done, be sure to extinguish any smoldering wood chips before throwing them away.
How Do You Use a Cocktail Smoker?
Each cocktail smoking kit works a little differently, so it’s crucial to read all of the instructions. Many models, however, come with a smoking gun that has a chamber for wood chips, a fan that moves air through the chamber and a hose that releases the smoke. You light the wood chips and release smoke into the booze-filled glass. Some kits come with a glass dome or cover to trap the smoke.
What Is the Benefit of Smoking a Cocktail?
The main benefit of smoking a cocktail is to infuse the drink with a unique smoky flavor, which can vary depending on the type of wood chips you use. A glass of spirits with smoke billowing out of it is also just a striking sight. So, using one of these tools also creates an exciting, memorable experience that will impress your friends.