Smoke Signals

Lawrenceville's Industry Public House makes the hottest drink in town.




Photo by Laura Petrila
 

Any mixed drink that requires a blowtorch and a trip to the home-improvement store to pick up the secret ingredient is bound to be interesting. As it happens, the aptly named Smoke Stack at Industry Public House in Lawrenceville is just that — and a fine drink as well, which explains why it’s generating such (figurative and literal) buzz.

Mixologist Adrian Van Balen says that inspiration struck while making breakfast one morning, when the aroma of maple-cured bacon got him thinking about a drink with similar taste characteristics.

Van Balen mixes bourbon, maple syrup and bitters in a highball glass and then places a mesh filter over the top. An infusion of smoke from cherry-, apple- or mesquite-flavored wood chips (with other seasonal flavor options available as well) are ignited with a kitchen torch, and an upside-down shaker is used to prevent the smoke from escaping.

Like everything else at Industry, from the utilitarian steel bar stools to the exposed brick interior, the Smoke Stack is an unmistakable (and tasty) homage to the city’s heritage.
 

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