Tobacco use has declined in the United States in recent years, and with good reason. However, there’s still something to the taste and scent of tobacco, which is one reason why it’s been infiltrating the drinking world over the last year or so. Instead of lighting up cigarettes, people are getting their tobacco fixes via their cocktails.
Back in December, we wrote about how bartenders were using smoked alcohol flavors and adding smoking ice to drinks, and that liquor companies were adding tobacco flavoring to their alcohol and even making the bottles smell like tobacco. Well, a mixologist in Phoenix has created a new cocktail that fits right in with this whole tobacco/smoke trend.
Stephanie Teslar, head bartender at the cocktail bar Blue Hound, whipped up a new cocktail that includes real tobacco in the glass; the name of the cocktail is “Lawless.” Lawless is a combination of whiskey, malört, and homemade bitters. No clue what malört is? It’s a Swedish-style bitter spirit infused with wormwood. Teslar told OZY that she wanted to use this spirit because although wormwood is now legal in the United States, it is still seen as kind of risque and mysterious. She also wanted to use malört because it’s very “aggressive” (intense and really bitter). Believe us, it is.
Teslar named the cocktail Lawless to tie in with Lawless Denim, a new local business, but she also thought of it a little more creatively. She told OZY, “If you are lawless and on the run and you are driving somewhere, where do you stop? You stop at a truck stop.” With that thought in mind, she crafted her house made bitters from coffee, chocolate, and tobacco – all things you can get at a truck stop.
That is not where the tobacco theme stops, however. Using a torch to heat up vanilla pipe tobacco on a 3-inch cast iron skillet, Teslar cups the glass over the top to smoke it. The drink is delivered to the bar-goer with the skillet and upturned, smoke-filled glass. Then, the bartender pours the mixed drink into the smoky glass.
Teslar wanted the drink to smell like a cigar, but she didn’t want the drink to taste like tobacco. Lawless is all about the aroma when you put your nose in the glass.
We love the overall idea, but the addition of malört scares us a little bit. We will try anything once though, so bring on the Lawless.