Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Dragon’s Breath

Recipe by Steven Raichlen

For months, I’ve been hearing about a smoking cocktail (literally) named the Dragon’s Breath. So my first stop on a recent trip to Scottsdale was the restaurant Renegade, where a Moldovan barman named Aleks Karavay mixed me up a batch. Using the rubber tube of a Smoking Gun, he filled an inverted brandy snifter with mesquite smoke. He then stirred Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, simple syrup, and an elderflower liqueur called St. Germain with ice. He served the cold drink in the still smoking snifter. “Slay your inner beast,” advised the cocktail menu. Amen.


  • Equipment: 1 large brandy snifter with a coaster; A Smoking Gun fitted with a smoking tube and loaded with mesquite sawdust.
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  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) Maker’s Mark bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon St. Germain
  • 1 teaspoon Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon mesquite sawdust

Step 1: Place the sawdust in the Smoking Gun and light it. Hold the brandy snifter inverted with one hand. Place the smoker tube in the glass with the other and fill the snifter with smoke. Fill it until you can’t see through the glass. Turn the glass over and cover it with a coaster to hold in the smoke.

Step 2: Meanwhile, place 1 cup ice cubes in a bar shaker. Add the bourbon, St. Germain, Cointreau, and syrup and stir rapidly for about 20 seconds.

Step 3: Uncover the snifter and immediately strain the cocktail into it. Serve at once, with the smoke still rising from the glass.