Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Rum & Smoke

A thin-walled rocks glass is filled with a light golden drink over a large ice cube. A burning bunch of rosemary garnishes the drink, sending smoke into the air. Another sprig of rosemary rests behind the glass. / Tim Nusog

On the surface, the Rum & Smoke looks like little more than a winterized rum Negroni. It swaps out the usual gin for rum, the vermouth for sherry and the Campari for Tempus Fugit’s Gran Classico, another popular bittersweet Italian liqueur. But the cocktail is more than just a tweak to a classic. Slip it underneath a glass cloche with a flamed rosemary sprig, and you’ve got a drink that’s sexy, smoky and cinematic.

The Rum & Smoke is part of a divisive trend of smoked cocktails. There are those who dismiss smoked drinks as a mere fad, but there’s a reason cocktail bars across the world are still burning rosemary and sage and slipping them under glass covers. When done correctly, smoking a cocktail can lead to a delicious result.

It’s true that drinks like the Rum & Smoke can lose their smokiness not too long after the lid comes off, but there’s a trick that gives this one an advantage: Rather than relying entirely on a smoked rosemary sprig in the glass, or the smoke caught around the drink for a time after serving, it also features a smoked rosemary simple syrup. The syrup is easy to make, and can add complexity to other cocktails. Besides its use here, it also pairs well with mezcal and whiskey drinks—you can try making a smoked rosemary Old Fashioned with either base spirit.

Even if the smokiness from the burning rosemary is subtle, presentation is a crucial part of any cocktail experience. You’ll need a proper cover if you’re making this at home, but present it to your guests or a date, and you will leave them wowed.


Click Play to See This Rum & Smoke Cocktail Come Together



  1. In a mixing glass, add the rum, sherry, Gran Classico and smoked rosemary simple syrup with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with a flamed rosemary sprig.

  4. Cover with a glass dome and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cocktail is well smoked, before drinking.

*Smoked-rosemary simple syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and the zest from 1 orange and stir until just under a boil. Remove from the heat. With a kitchen torch or lighter, flame one rosemary sprig until it begins to smoke on all sides. Drop the smoking sprig into the saucepan and let steep, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain out the solids and store the syrup in the refrigerator up to one week.