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Thread: Smoked Sazerac

  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Smoked Sazerac

    Just found this blog today (as listed in the (ri)1 thread) and there are some interesting things there including a bottle of smoked Sazerac!

    "Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry. If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die" - Tex Ritter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Spring Arbor, MI

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    Wow, that guy is a serious enthusiast!

  3. #3
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Houston, TX

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    I had posted his blog site here a few months back (not this specific blog).

    Robert, the blogger, is very nice. He is in process of setting up his own bar in Houston - Anvil. He recently guest bar tended at another bar, Poison Girl. A few of us Houston SBers went that night and had a great time.

    He makes all his own bitters and knows his liquor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northwest of Peoria

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    My first thought was: That poor bottle of Baby Saz. Then I got to thinking, I wonder what kinds of flavors would be imparted by different woods. How different would a light application, if done with sugar maple, to fresh distillate, would this be from the Lincoln County process. Obviously, it would only add flavors instead of stripping out some and adding others. But what would the end result be like.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Long Island, NY

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    I think this guy is crazy. And I mean that as a compliment.
    We set out as men of reason, armed with Navy Colts.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    I had posted his blog site here a few months back (not this specific blog).

    Robert, the blogger, is very nice. He is in process of setting up his own bar in Houston - Anvil. He recently guest bar tended at another bar, Poison Girl. A few of us Houston SBers went that night and had a great time.

    He makes all his own bitters and knows his liquor.
    With an owner like that, I could see myself being intrigued enough to step behind the bar again...
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    Smoking spirits is definitely a fun experiment, but I think trying to improve a spirit through smoking is a difficult task to say the least. While I have found some interesting exceptions, the spirit generally becomes so drastically altered that it really can't be compared to its previous state. Moreover with so many wonderful spirits with outstanding smoke characteristics available, it is pretty hard to take my smoked baby saz seriously on the same shelf with Del Maguey Chichicapa (I hope it is ok to mention one hell of a mezcal on a bourbon forum).

    Instead, my goal, at this point, with my smoking experiments spirits was to create an unbalanced infused rye that becomes more cocktail friendly in certain applications. Your classic manhattan is going to want the unmodified stuff, but say we want to create a cocktail with a more aggressive profile that might pair well with food? In this situation, the smoked rye works well with say Averna Amaro, a touch of curacao and some of my barrel aged bitters. This is a variation of one of my favorite after dinner drinks, and it goes pretty well with some cheeses and chocolates.

    I do think that ILL is hitting a good point however when he talks about a more subtle approach to smoking with different types of wood. I have tried this approach as well, and I think there is a lot of potential. A lightly mesquite smoked applejack is extremely intriguing. Another cool approach, which anybody could do pretty easily at home is cold smoking spirits. This process also takes a bit longer, so monitoring the infusion in an effort to really nail a specific profile and intensity level is possible.

    Sometimes, cocktails are simple, classic spirit combinations, and other times a bit of creativity with uncommon fresh ingredients can work better for different situations. As a bartender, I really try to do both the best I can and let the guest decide what they feel like having that day. Often, people want to enjoy the nostalgia of a carefully stirred and measured manhattan, and other times people are intrigued by a unique combination of great spirits and other ingredients. Then there's the steady bourbon drinker, who finds enough beauty in the spirit to satisfy him without modification. I enjoy each of the approaches, but it is kind of satisfying to find this thread talking about modifying rye on such an awesome forum.

    Ok, well I finally stopped lurking and made a post on this forum. This site is awesome. I will be getting on here as much as possible while building the bar, but after we open, I hope to chime in more often.

    Wade, thanks for the kind words. I am glad you guys had a good time at Poison Girl that night. Things kind of got out of hand; we had no idea that many people were on the way. It was pretty tough to keep up, so I hope the cocktails were ok.
    Last edited by anvil_houston; 01-09-2009 at 01:11.
    MY BAR -
    Anvil Bar & Refuge
    1424 Westheimer Rd. Ste. B
    Houston, TX 77006

    MY BLOG -

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Smoked Sazerac

    It's really cool to see this experiment!!

    "Careful with that axe Eugene" - There was a saying in the sixties "nasty as bong water". Pay attention when he says smoking liquid is tricky. Probably can get a result that is perfect for some cocktails but be prepared to go through a learning period.

    Having spent my youth experiencing the 60's I was reminded of an experiment (that I heard about understand - I wasn't there) where Jack Daniels was substituted for bong water and smoked with some sort of exotic imported weed.
    The result was some truly awful whiskey (I heard) that was responsible for delaying some peoples interest in Bourbon and American Whiskey by nearly a decade.

    Anvil - have you tried charring some slim pieces of Red Oak and putting them in the bottle? You can add a smokey flavor pretty quickly and easily that way. The char can be filtered out by pouring through a paper coffee filter if you choose.



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