Smoke on the Water [Cocktail Recipe]

This tropical, spiked take on hot cider, created by Christina Basham, owner and lead creative of Bubbles + Agave Creative bridges summer and autumn flavors. It’s smoky, sweet, and spicy. Don’t forget the apple cider vinegar—it gives a pop of acid to wake up the palate, Basham says. Recipe makes 12 servings.

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  • 1 medium mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 ¾ cups Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve (or other Speyside scotch)
  • 7 oz. Middle West Spirits Dark Pumpernickel rye (or other rye whiskey)
  • 6 oz. spiced syrup (recipe below)
  • 4 oz. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. orange bitters
  • Orange wheels, star anise or pepper pods, and cinnamon sticks for garnish


Add mango and apple cider to a slow cooker on high heat. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes. Turn heat to low, add remaining ingredients, and stir. Let combine for 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, ladle into punch glasses and garnish with orange wheels, star anise or pepper pods, and cinnamon sticks.

Spiced Syrup

  • ⅔ cup water
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½-2 tsp. Guajillo chile powder
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks

Bring water to a rolling boil on stovetop. Reduce heat to medium and add sugar, chile powder, and cinnamon sticks. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and refrigerate for two hours. Strain out solids and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to a month.

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