Smoky cocktails are perfect for Neapolitan winters, regardless of how mild the temperatures are on any given night.
Monika Czechowska, co-owner of Fuse Global Cuisine, has been setting wood planks ablaze for smoke-infused cocktails long before these luscious libations came en vogue—almost since her doors opened in November 2013. Through the years, she’s polished and perfected her drink-smoking skills, collecting and using different woods to produce a variety of flavor profiles.
Ghost & Smoke—with a base of Michters Bourbon—is one of Fuse’s most popular drinks. “It’s not too hot, not too mellow, not too sweet,” explains Czechowska.
She mixes it with a dash of maple syrup, lemon juice, and what she calls her not-so-secret, secret ingredient: Galliano.
For this cocktail, she places wood shavings from old bourbon barrels into a handheld smoker. Once the chips are ignited, their smoke is pumped into a shapely glass beaker. As the smoke swirls and coats the glass, she mixes the cocktail, strains it, and pours it into the beaker.
So that the flavors can meld, the cocktail and smoke are left in the beaker to mingle. Finally, the infused product is poured into a rocks glass and finished with the zest of an orange. The result is a balanced cocktail with a rustic touch of smoke and herbs.
Fuse currently has one additional smoky cocktail on its regular menu, a margarita infused with maple wood smoke. However, Czechowska reports she can add smoked flair to almost anything.