Cocktail & Other Recipes Flavor Profile Smoky

Butter & Smoke

Smoking a cocktail glass using a lit sprig of a stalky herb like thyme, rosemary or lavender not only adds flavor but is a fun parlor trick for a cocktail party. “This combination is perfect because the homemade pumpkin butter adds depth and richness to the bourbon, along with a touch of fall spice,” says Zachary Gross, the beverage director at Sen Sakana in New York City. “This whole combination is completed by smoking the cocktail with thyme, which is another essential fall flavor.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “4 Smart Ways to Smoke Your Bourbon Cocktails.”



  1. Light a thyme sprig using a kitchen torch, place it inside a rocks glass, and set the rocks glass upside down on a granite countertop or other fireproof surface.

  2. Add remaining ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into prepared glass over a large ice cube and swirl to incorporate smoke.

  4. Garnish with a thyme sprig and cranberries.

  5. *Pumpkin-butter-infused fat-washed bourbon: Add 2 15-oz cans of pumpkin purée, 2/3 cup coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, 1/4 cup Grade A maple syrup, 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt to a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let cool completely and transfer to a large glass container. (Keeps in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.) Spread the pumpkin butter out on a large pan with a high rim. Pour a 750 mL bottle of bourbon on top, cover and let it infuse for an hour. Place the pan in the freezer to allow the alcohol to separate. Strain out solids and put it in a container.