The Cinder Cocktail

Phil Ward is one of America’s best mixologists, and he helped me realize the great potential of my blends in cocktails. The intense aroma of my Smoked Salt N.8 spice blend is not the first thing you’d expect from a cocktail, but it echoes the smoky flavors of mezcal and aged tequila. Combined with jalapeño0infused tequila, it moves this cocktail well toward the savory category.

Smoked Salt N.8 – Recipe by Phil Ward, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 1 drink


1 teaspoon Smoked Salt N.8 spice blend
3/4 ounce jalapeño-infused blanco tequila (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce reposado tequila
1/2 ounce mezcal
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters


Jalapeño-infused blanco tequila

Cut two jalapeños in half, then cut out the seeds and white ribs. Transfer the ribs and seeds to a measuring cup and add 1 cup blanco tequila (reserve the green part of the peppers for another use). Stir briefly to combine, then let the tequila sit at room temperature, tasting it every 30 minutes or so, until it reaches the desired spiciness (the tequila will take anywhere from 30 minutes to about 2 hours to infuse). Strain the tequila when ready to use.

1. In a spice grinder or coffee mill grind the Smoked Salt until fine.

2. Moisten the rim on a cocktail glass and coat it with the smoked salt.

3. In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequilas, mezcal, simple syrup, lime juice, and bitters. Fill with ice and shake hard until cold, at least 20 seconds. Strain in the prepared cocktail glass and serve.