Mixology 619: The Smoke Alarm

In this episode of Mixology 619, the bar manager of Firehouse, Ryan Short, shows us how to make this smokey mezcal tequila cocktail that utilizes a housemade blood orange cinnamon syrup and a combination of mezcal and tequila.

Watch as Ryan Short makes the Smoke Alarm.

Did you grow up in San Diego?

No, I grew up in Montana and moved out here two years ago after finishing school in Georgia.

How did you get into bartending?

In college it seemed like the cool thing to do.

How long have you been working at Firehouse?

I was able to convince Matt Spencer to bring me on board two years ago.

What kind of experience can someone get at Firehouse?

Firehouse is everyone’s playground. You can come and enjoy our beautiful rooftop for a family brunch, you can take a client here for our great happy hours, you can bring a date here for a romantic dinner, or you can come shake it to the beats of our DJs on a Friday night.

What’s your favorite cocktail?

On a Friday night you won’t see me without a Corona. But when I am sitting down to enjoy a cocktail, I normally go with a negroni.

What’s your favorite cocktail to make?

The perfect Old Fashioned.

When you’re not mixing drinks, what are you doing on your spare time?

Usually you’ll find me getting into trouble somewhere down in Mexico.

Smoke Alarm

Cost: $10

  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. housemade blood orange cinnamon syrup
  • 1 oz. mezcal
  • 1 oz. reposado tequila
  • Dash of peach bitters

Garnished with a lemon twist and served in a Collins glass.

What’s the origin of the Smoke Alarm?

It was made with the idea to introduce the tequila drinker to the mezcal spirit.

How would you describe the taste to someone who hasn’t had this before?

Starts off as a refreshing citrus based drink and finishes with hints of the smoke flavor from the mezcal.

What would be the key component in this drink?

Obviously the flavor from the mezcal is what we were going for with this drink, but the peach bitters compliment it well with a refreshing finish.

What reactions do you get from customers when they try this cocktail for the first time?

The smokey flavor is always the first thing brought up, but after that’s it’s nothing but smiles.

The blood orange cinnamon syrup is a house-made syrup. What’s the process of making it?

First we make 25 ounces of cinnamon simple syrup by infusing the simple with cinnamon sticks and letting it sit 24 hours. We then squeeze 50 punces of fresh blood orange juice and use that to make a new 2:1 sugar:blood orange juice simple syrup. Once that is finished, we combine with the cinnamon simple syrup and heat until fully combined.

Do you have any other house-made syrups?

Yes, we also have a fresh pressed ginger syrup.

What are some good dishes to pair this drink with?

I would recommend it with our local sea bass dish or spicy chicken sandwich.


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Jarnard Sutton is a multimedia producer for DiscoverSD and San Diego Union-Tribune. He loves providing readers with updates on music and events happening in San Diego. You can follow Jarnard at @jarnard for everything music, food, beer and television. You can also follow him on Instagram at @nardvillain

Source: DiscoverSD