Smoked Blood Orange Boulevardier
'Tis the season to set things on fire...and inevitably set off the smoke alarm. Well for me anyway! Halloween...Autumn, heck all of the holiday season is the perfect time to add a little drama to your entertaining. And a smoking cocktail is definitely one of the easiest ways to get your guests attention (not to mention a yes on your RSVP list).
This year I'm doing a spin on The Boulevardier, a Smoked Blood Orange Boulevardier to be exact! This classic pre-prohibition cocktail has become a favorite of mine over the last couple of years. And if you're a fan of bourbon...and the Negroni for that matter, this will soon be a fave of yours too! Basically swap the gin for bourbon and -Ta Da! The Boulevardier: A more vanilla, or caramel noted take on your go-to Negroni. Not to mention we're going to set it on fire at the end...not literally, but make sure you open the windows.
The second time I had a Boulevardier, the mixologist had infused his whiskey with strawberries. The subtle fruit was a delightful addition to the drink. So with the arrival of blood oranges at the farmers market, I thought why not make a seasonal simple syrup with this gem colored citrus and see what happens.
Spoiler Alert: It's gosh darn delicious. Not to mention gorgeous.
Let's mix one up...
- Smoked Blood Orange Boulevardier -
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Smoked Blood Orange Syrup
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Few dashes of Aromatic Bitters
Large sphere ice cube
Dehydrated citrus wheels for garnish
Fill a mixing glass 2/3 full of ice and stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Add all ingredients and stir together. Strain into cocktail glass with one ice cube, add a few dashes of Aromatic Bitters to the top.
For dramatic effects, serve in a smoke-filled cloche using a culinary smoking gun and wood chips of your choice. For a little extra wow, try adding a dehydrated orange slice in the middle of your ice cube before freezing for a little extra strip of color in your glass.
SMOKED BLOOD ORANGE SYRUP
Makes Appox. 1 1/4 cup syrup
1 cup fresh blood orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
Add juice and sugar into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally until all sugar is dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool before pouring into a glass.
Before preparing a cocktail, place as many oz. as you need into glass and set under a cloche (or any sort of container with lid). Operate your culinary smoking gun to its brand specifications. Allow smoke to penetrate for 30-60 seconds. Test and if more flavor is desired, smoke for a second round. Smoked syrup should be used immediately so it doesn't lose flavor. Un-smoked syrup can be stored in a sterile, sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
NOTE: This cocktail is perfectly delicious without any of the smoking elements...but it sure is fun!
A very simple cocktail to pull together that is complex in flavor. The key is to keep all the ingredients balanced in equal proportions - the blood orange syrup is tart and sweet and a really playful addition to the drink. Feel free to add a little bit more for a tarter citrus sip - it's your cocktail, do what you wanna!
Now...here's where I'm going to tell you to add a culinary smoking gunto your wish-list (or online shopping cart). They are so easy to use and are amazingly powerful at adding a touch of smoke to a number of dishes...and cocktails!
For this cocktail I not only smoked the syrup, but the final drink. Where this isn't necessary, it definitely is fun.
And seriously, do it by an open window. Trust me.
Delicate and decadent. That is this Smoked Blood Orange Boulevardier is to me. Just a hint of smoke (I used apple wood chips for a less overpowering smoke), filled with flavor and one pretty little cocktail to look at.
So dont' forget the little garnish details like dehydrated citrus wheels and a large sphere ice cube (I like to put a dehydrated citrus in my ice too for a little extra color pop) which make this a truly beautiful masterpiece. Definitely a winner for any upcoming Autumn...or holiday entertaining!
Poof! And just like that you're a hit!