Food, Life and Love

Time for a Smoke Break

Growing up we spent lots of summers in the White Mountains of Arizona. There were three families that would share the cabin and all of us kids had one large bedroom upstairs. I have countless fond memories of running around with my brothers, shooting BB guns, playing games, and meandering through the woods. My best memories of those summers are the ones that were spent around the campfire, listening to music, eating s’mores, and staying up way past my bedtime.

To this day, the smell of a campfire can bring me right back to those woods. I can hear the laughter ringing in my ears and almost feel the comfort of the fire. It is amazing how smoke is a scent that has a tangible memory attached. It is so familiar and so mesmerizing. When smoke is enveloped with food, we typically think of the magic of smoked ribs, smoked salmon, and other carnivorous delights.

You can imagine my wonder when my love and I were dining at Eleven Madison Park and one of our first courses was a smoked apple tea. Crisp and refreshing yet swirled with this sultry smoke it was truly amazing. We found ourselves talking about this tea weeks later and even though it has taken us several months, we have finally made it at home. Of course, we added our own twist.

Smoky Tea Cocktail:

4 granny smith apples

3 stalks of celery

3 oz of gin

dash of bitters

Lemon peel for garnish


Prepare your smoker. Ideally you are going to cold smoke the juice but if you need to apply heat you can.

Juice your apples and celery and let settle for about 15 minutes. Pass through a fine mesh or chinois and place in a pan.

Cold smoke the juice for about 15-30 minutes or until you achieve your desired level of smokiness. Remove and chill.

Before serving, pass the juice one more time through the chinois. Place in shaker with one ounce of gin and a dash of bitters. Shake with ice then strain in martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel and take your smoke break for the day.

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