Smoking Gun Cocktail

smoking gun cocktail from the Texas Whiskey Festival

Aaron Pollack, the bar manager of The Dawson’s in Chicago created the Smoking Pistol Cocktail. We modified the drink to fit our tastes and call it the Smoking Gun Cocktail. 
The smoking gun cocktail is a cross between two classics the Rob Roy and the Vieux Carre. Both drinks are boozy and riffs of a Manhattan, which is a riff of a Martini. There are a handful of core cocktails that you should master. After that experiment and create endless variations.
A little refresher the Rob Roy (our version is the Ranger Roy) is a Manhattan with Scotch.
The base of the smoking gun cocktail uses single malt whiskey, rye whiskey and cognac (or Armagnac). The variations of those three alone make for endless possibilities.

What whiskey to use for the smoking gun cocktail

We tested two variations with only the single malt changing. Our rye is Ranger Creek .44 Rye and our Cognac is ABK6 VSOP. We tested Ranger Creek Rimfire and Andalusia Revenant Oak.
The Rimfire is a mesquite-smoked single malt and the Revenant is a peated single malt. Both whiskeys have a smoke element to them, but there was a dramatic difference in the cocktail.
Rimfire had a little chocolate in the initial taste, but the Campari takes over early in the sip. The peat from Revenant Oak balanced the bitterness and created a balanced drink. By balance I mean nither the peat or bitterness shine. You get the flavor without the downside.
You add Balcones Texas Rye 100 with the Rimfire for a chocolate train could tip the balance for dessert in a glass.
Mix and match to create some awesome drinks. We would love to hear what combinations you use and the results.
  • 1.5 oz Single Malt Whiskey
  • .75 oz Rye Whiskey
  • .50 oz Cognac
  • .50 oz Campari
  • 1 tsp Benedictine
  • 2 Dashes Peychaud Bitters
  • 1 Dash Angostura bitters
  • Lemon Peel

How to make the smoking gun cocktail


Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a glass with ice. Twist a lemon peel over the top of the drink and discard.


Check out more Texas Whiskey cocktails you can make at home.


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