What Wood Chips are Best For Smoked Cocktails?

Infusing wood flavour into food and drinks is not merely for the visual theatre - it adding an extra extra ingredient. 

While any hardwood works well, the best choice of wood depends on your taste preference and the specific flavour profile you're aiming to achieve. Experimenting can lead to some delightful culinary discoveries.

natural cherry wood chips for smoking cocktails supplied by Australia's Sixpence Alchemy

Cherry Wood for Cocktails and Drinks

Cherry woodchips can imbue a gentle berry-like nuance to your drinks without overshadowing the original flavours. They are particularly well-suited to lighter spirits and cocktails.

Cherry Wood for Smoke Infusing Food

Cherry Wood - the light, sweet smoke can bring out the best in chicken and delicate fish without overpowering their flavours. Also suited to milder cheeses, if considering smoking an antipasto platter or charcuterie board. Their light, fruity smoke offers a subtle sweetness that can beautifully accentuate the creaminess of brie or camembert, mozzarella or a young gouda.

Sixpence Alchemy Hickory Wood Flavoured Woodchips

Hickory for Cocktails and Drinks

Hickory's strong flavour profile is best suited to robust cocktails and spirits that can stand up to its intensity. It can enhance and bring out the naturally deep, spicy, and sweet flavours in drinks, particularly in dark spirits such as bourbon and rum.

Hickory Wood For Food

The hearty, robust smoke flavour pairs exceptionally well with pork cuts, including ribs and pulled pork. If looking at serving a small goods platter, hickory's intense flavour profile works well with robust and aged cheeses as well as providing a delightful smoky flavour to nuts like almonds and pecans.

Oak Wood for Cocktails and Drinks

This wood type is particularly favoured for infusing spirits and cocktails with deeper flavours such as vanilla, caramel, and even subtle hints of tannin, much like what you would find in oak-aged wines.

Oak wood is particularly suited to darker spirits such as whiskey, bourbon and rum and cocktails that use these spirits as their base.

Oak Wood for Smoke Infusing Food

Oak is often the first choice for smoking beef, particularly for cuts like brisket or short ribs. It also pairs well with game meats and hearty fish.

As with hickory wood, oak is well suited to strong cheeses like cheddar and gouda.

Pear Wood Chips for Smoke Infusing

Pear woodchips provide a light, subtly sweet, and slightly fruity smoke that can enhance a variety of spirits and cocktails.

For example, the delicate, aromatic qualities of pear harmonize well with the botanicals in gin. And the fruity subtlety of pear smoke can add an extra dimension to the tropical flavours in light rum.

Pear Woodchips for Food Infusion

Chicken and turkey can take on a pleasingly sweet-smoky flavour from being infused with pear wood. Delicate fish like tilapia and catfish are nicely complemented by the light, fruity notes of pear smoke.

Sixpence Alchemy Beech Wood for Smoke Infusing Cocktails and food

Beech Wood for Cocktail Smoking

The neutrality of beech smoke can enhance vodka without overpowering its subtle flavours. The clean, balanced smoke from beech can complement the agave flavours in tequila.

Beech Wood For Smoking Food

Beech woodchips, known for their medium-strength, somewhat neutral smoke, are versatile and work well with both oily and mild fish, poultry and grilled vegetables.

Sixpence Alchemy Apple Flavour Wood chips for smoking cocktails and food

Apple Woodchips for Cocktails

Apple woodchips create a mild and subtly sweet, fruity smoke that is excellent for a range of drinks. For example, the sweet and mild apple smoke can complement the caramel and vanilla tones in whiskey and the fruit forward flavours of brandy.

Apple Wood for Smoked Food

Apple woodchips, with their mild, subtly sweet, and fruity smoke, are excellent for pork, poultry and light white fish. The sweetness of the apple smoke complements pork dishes and the mild flavour works well with chicken while fish like haddock benefit from the delicate, sweet flavour.

Sixpence Alchemy Pecan Wood For Smoke Infusing Drinks and Food

Pecan Wood For Cocktails Smoking

Pecan woodchips create a rich, sweet, and nutty smoke. The sweet, nutty smoke of pecan woodchips can complement the rich flavours in bourbon. The complex, fruity, and spicy flavours in cognac can be enhanced by pecan smoke.

Pecan Wood For Food Infusion

The nutty and sweet pecan smoke pairs wonderfully with pork cuts like ribs or shoulder. Pecan smoke can add a unique, sweet depth to beef brisket or steaks and darker poultry meats, like duck or turkey, can handle the rich, sweet smoke from pecan woodchips.