Why you should care
Craving tobacco with your cocktail while in a bar that bans smoking? There’s a drink for that.
Drinking and smoking go together like, well, like drinking and smoking. Stephanie Teslar, the mixologist and head bartender at cocktail bar Blue Hound in Phoenix, Arizona, has devised a way to combine the joyfully painful burn of whiskey with the heady high of smoking a cigar.
Hold the cigar.
A new trend in cocktails involves adding tobacco infusions to drinks, but Teslar has upped the stakes by making a cocktail that includes actual tobacco in the glass. Her drink, entitled “Lawless,” is a combination of whiskey, malört and homemade bitters.
I didn’t want you to drink something that tasted like tobacco — I wanted you to have the aroma of smoke when you put your nose in the glass.
– Stephanie Teslar, bartender + creator of “Lawless” cocktail
Teslar created the drink to honor a new local business called Lawless Denim, crafting the drink around the name. The perfect bourbon for her theme? St. George’s Breaking & Entering. She added Bäska Snaps med Malört, a Swedish-style bitter spirit infused with wormwood. ”I wanted something very aggressive,” she says, explaining that the spirit is intense and very, very bitter. She also chose the drink because, while wormwood is now legal in the U.S., it retains a risqué and mysterious reputation.
The creativity kept pouring forth. ”If you are lawless and on the run and you are driving somewhere, where do you stop?” says Teslar. “You stop at a truck stop.” The head bartender combined coffee, chocolate and tobacco — all things you can get at a truck stop — to make housemade bitters.
Finally, the serving of the drink is key. She uses a torch to heat up vanilla pipe tobacco on a 3-inch cast iron skillet and cups the glass over the top to smoke it. Bartenders then deliver the skillet and upturned, smoke-filled glass to the customer, pouring the accompanying mixed beverage into the smoky glass.
”I think the glass should smell like a cigar,” she explains. ”I didn’t want you to drink something that tasted like tobacco — I wanted you to have the aroma of smoke when you put your nose in the glass.”
The end result is a “more intense and intriguing” version of an old-fashioned. Outlaw not included.