Califonia Bountiful

Gun Smoke

This clever approach to the Manhattan—with a smoky cinnamon stick as a garnish—is sure to be a conversation starter. "The idea behind a lot of our cocktails is taking a riff of a classic cocktail and making it our own," Sean Venus said. 

Sean Venus
Venus Spirits Cocktails & Kitchen, Santa Cruz

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2 oz. Wayward single malt whiskey
1/2 oz. Averna amaro
1/4 oz. walnut liqueur
1/8 oz. (barspoon) maple syrup
3 to 4 dashes chocolate bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 oz. Wayward peated whiskey
(for rinsing and spritzing), optional
Orange peel and 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish


Stir single malt whiskey, amaro, walnut liqueur, maple syrup and bitters with ice in a mixing glass (about 20 times). Pour over 1 large, square ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass rinsed with peated whiskey.

Garnish with orange peel. Express oils over the cocktail and rim, curl the peel and place on the rim of the glass. Char cinnamon stick with a mini handheld torch until it begins to crack, then place on the rim of the glass while smoking.

Tip: If you don't have a mini handheld torch, safely putting it over your stovetop—using metal tongs—is a great alternative. Avoid using a match, as it puts off uninvited sulfurous aromas.

Serves 1

Photo: © 2021 Tomas Ovalle

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