Smoke Show


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Introduction to the Smoke Show Cocktail

Embark on a sensory journey with the Smoke Show, a cocktail that masterfully combines the boldness of mezcal with the fiery kick of jalapeño. This drink is not just a beverage; it’s an experience, perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail with depth and character. Whether you’re a mixology aficionado or simply looking to spice up your evening, the Smoke Show promises to deliver.

The allure of this cocktail lies in its intricate balance of smoky, spicy, and sweet elements, making it a standout choice for any occasion. Its origins may be modern, but its flavors are timeless, appealing to those who crave a touch of adventure in their glass.

Let’s dive into the essence of the Smoke Show, exploring its key components and the artistry behind its creation. Prepare to be captivated by the dance of heat and smoke, a true showstopper in the world of cocktails.

Key Facts About the Smoke Show

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 20% ABV (40 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 200 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 10g
  • Glass Type: Rocks glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lime wheel and jalapeño slice

Interesting Facts about the Smoke Show

The Smoke Show is a testament to the versatility of mezcal, showcasing its ability to play well with both sweet and spicy counterparts. This cocktail is not just about taste; it’s also about the visual and olfactory experience, making it a multisensory delight. The name itself hints at the theatrical element of the drink, promising a performance in every sip.

Smoke Show Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the Smoke Show

The Smoke Show is a symphony of flavors, starting with the earthy, smoky undertones of mezcal that lay the foundation. The heat from the jalapeño slices builds a spicy crescendo, while the fresh lime juice adds a refreshing citrus melody. The agave syrup’s sweetness harmonizes the composition, creating a well-rounded finish.

This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy bold flavors and are looking for a drink that stands out from the crowd. It’s ideal for sipping on a cool evening or as a conversation starter at a sophisticated gathering. The Smoke Show is a versatile cocktail, fitting for both casual get-togethers and formal events.

History of the Smoke Show

The Smoke Show is a relatively new addition to the cocktail scene, born from the rising popularity of mezcal in mixology circles. Mezcal, often overshadowed by its cousin tequila, has gained recognition for its complex flavor profile, which includes a distinctive smokiness derived from the traditional pit-roasting of the agave hearts.

The cocktail’s inception can be traced back to the craft cocktail movement, where bartenders began experimenting with bolder flavors and artisanal spirits. The Smoke Show is a product of this innovation, combining the ancient traditions of mezcal production with modern mixology techniques.

As the cocktail continues to gain popularity, it serves as a bridge between the old and the new, introducing drinkers to the rich heritage of mezcal while pushing the boundaries of contemporary cocktail culture.

Smoke Show Ingredients

  • Mezcal (2 oz / 60 ml): The heart of the cocktail, providing a smoky base.
  • Fresh Lime Juice (3/4 oz / 22 ml): Adds a zesty, refreshing twist.
  • Agave Syrup (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Balances the flavors with its natural sweetness.
  • Jalapeño Slices (2): Infuses the drink with a spicy kick.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling and diluting the cocktail to perfection.
  • Lime Wheel (1): A garnish that adds visual appeal and a hint of citrus.
  • Jalapeño Slice (1): A garnish that signals the spicy adventure within.

Did you know? The Smoke Show can be tailored to your heat preference by adjusting the number of jalapeño slices.

Preparing Smoke Show Cocktail

Smoke Show Method

Muddling the Spices

Begin by muddling the jalapeño slices with agave syrup in a shaker. This process releases the essential oils and spicy flavors, creating a robust base for the cocktail.

Combining the Spirits and Citrus

Add the mezcal and fresh lime juice to the shaker, introducing the smoky and tangy notes that define the Smoke Show.

Shaking to Perfection

Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. This not only chills the drink but also ensures that all the flavors are well-integrated.

Straining with Finesse

Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice, creating a smooth and visually appealing cocktail.

The Final Touch

Garnish with a lime wheel and a slice of jalapeño, adding the final flourish to this captivating drink.

Serving Suggestion for the Smoke Show

The Smoke Show is best served in a rocks glass, which allows the drinker to fully appreciate the cocktail’s rich aromas and colors. The wide opening of the glass also makes it easy to enjoy the garnishes, which are not just decorative but integral to the drinking experience.

When preparing the garnishes, use a fresh lime wheel to add a pop of color and a slice of jalapeño for an enticing hint of the heat that awaits. These elements not only enhance the flavor but also contribute to the overall aesthetic of the cocktail.

Elevating the Smoke Show

  • Choose a Premium Mezcal: Opt for a mezcal with a pronounced smoky profile to intensify the cocktail’s signature flavor.
  • Experiment with Garnishes: Consider adding a smoked salt rim or a sprig of fresh cilantro for an extra layer of complexity.
  • Control the Heat: Adjust the number of jalapeño slices to fine-tune the spiciness to your liking.

For an even more dramatic presentation, try smoking the glass before pouring the cocktail. This can be done by capturing smoke from a burning piece of wood or herb under the inverted glass, infusing the vessel with a smoky aroma that complements the mezcal.

Smoke Show Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Smoke Show

If mezcal is not available, a smoky Scotch whisky can be a suitable substitute, although it will alter the cocktail’s traditional flavor. For a less spicy version, remove the seeds from the jalapeño slices or use a milder pepper.

Similar cocktails that share the Smoke Show’s bold character include the Spicy Margarita and the Mezcal Paloma. These drinks also combine the heat of chili with the brightness of citrus, offering a comparable taste experience.

Add a Twist to the Smoke Show

Consider infusing the agave syrup with herbs like rosemary or thyme for an herbal twist. Another variation is to add a splash of fruit juice, such as pineapple or grapefruit, for a tropical flair.

For a smokier twist, try rimming the glass with a mixture of smoked paprika and salt. This not only adds to the visual appeal but also provides a smoky burst of flavor with each sip.

Preferred Liquors for the Smoke Show

Selecting the right mezcal is crucial for the Smoke Show. Brands like Del Maguey Vida and Montelobos offer the ideal balance of smokiness and smoothness. These mezcals are known for their quality and will elevate the cocktail to its full potential.

When choosing a mezcal, look for ones that are labeled “espadín,” which is a variety of agave known for its approachable flavor profile, making it a great starting point for those new to mezcal.

Similar Cocktails to the Smoke Show

If you enjoy the Smoke Show, you might also like the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, which features mezcal with a touch of tequila, sweetened with agave nectar. The Mezcal Mule is another excellent choice, offering a smoky take on the classic Moscow Mule.

For a simpler option, the Mezcal Negroni swaps out gin for mezcal, creating a bolder version of the beloved aperitif. These cocktails share the Smoke Show’s appreciation for mezcal’s unique flavor and are sure to please fans of smoky spirits.

Food Pairings to Go with the Smoke Show

The bold flavors of the Smoke Show pair well with equally robust foods. Try serving it with grilled meats or smoky barbecue dishes to complement the mezcal’s smokiness. For a lighter option, ceviche or fresh oysters can provide a refreshing contrast to the cocktail’s heat.

For a snack pairing, consider salted nuts or spicy popcorn, which will echo the cocktail’s spicy notes. The Smoke Show is also a great match for rich, creamy cheeses, which can help temper the heat while enhancing the drink’s complexity.

Smoke Show FAQs

Can I make the Smoke Show without a shaker? While a shaker is recommended for chilling and diluting the cocktail, you can stir the ingredients with ice in a glass as an alternative.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Smoke Show? Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the mezcal with a smoky tea or non-alcoholic spirit and adjusting the other ingredients to taste.

How can I make the Smoke Show less sweet? Reduce the amount of agave syrup or substitute it with a sugar-free sweetener to lower the sweetness level.

What if I don’t like spicy drinks? Simply omit the jalapeño slices or use a milder pepper to enjoy the Smoke Show without the heat.

Can I batch the Smoke Show for a party? Absolutely! Multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large pitcher. Serve over ice and garnish each glass individually.

Smoke Show_001

Smoke Show

A tantalizing blend of smoky mezcal, spicy jalapeño, and refreshing citrus notes, the Smoke Show cocktail is a perfect balance of heat and smoke with a touch of sweetness. This cocktail is sure to impress with its complex flavor profile and dramatic presentation.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 200 kcal


  • Shaker
  • Muddler
  • Strainer
  • Rocks glass


  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 3/4 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Agave syrup
  • 2 slices Jalapeño with seeds for extra heat, if desired
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 wheel Lime for garnish
  • 1 slice Jalapeño for garnish


  • Muddle the jalapeño slices and agave syrup in a shaker to release the spicy flavors.
  • Add the mezcal and fresh lime juice to the shaker.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel and a slice of jalapeño.


For a smokier profile, consider using a mezcal with a stronger smoke character. Adjust the number of jalapeño slices to suit your heat preference. The cocktail can also be double strained to remove any small pieces of jalapeño.
Keyword Agave Spirits, Citrus, Cocktail, complex, Jalapeno, mezcal, mixology, Smoke Show, smoky, Spicy, Sweet

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