How do you make RoCA’s Smoking Gun Cocktail?

RoCAThe Smoking Gun Cocktail appears to be taking the Des Moines cocktail scene by storm.  It has generated a huge amount of publicity for RoCA, a very popular restaurant and bar in the Court Avenue District of Des Moines. At the recommendation of someone who had a hand in creating the Smoking Gun for RoCA, I tried this excellent drink last Winter. This cocktail is made from Bulleit Bourbon, maple syrup, angostura bitters, and hickory smoke — essentially their craft cocktail take on the Old Fashioned. For $10 you get the glass with the hand-cracked  clear ice and a Bulleit bottle with bourbon and hickory smoke locked in under the cap. Give it a shake and pour. The drama of a bottle full of smoke was worth the experience and the infusion of hickory smoke makes for an interesting change from the usual Old Fashioned. .Look at the picture below. How cool is that?

smoking gun cocktail

Bulleit Bourbon-based Smoking Gun Cocktail

But how do you make a smoking gun cocktail you ask? It turns out that the way that RoCA makes its special cocktail is to use nothing other than The Smoking Gun by PolyScience. You can buy one on Amazon for $100.   It comes with a small container of wood chips that are apparently combusted in the gun. I know that there are some hickory trees in and around my yard that will soon be donating some branches.


Of course, adding smoke to a drink is not entirely new to the cocktail world. Here is a video of Takumi Watanabe of the Sailing Bar in Sakurai, Japan using a heavy-duty version of The Smoking Gun.

I am still trying to figure out where he got his very cool smoking gadget. Feel free to leave a message if you have any questions or comments on the process of smoking cocktails.




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