There is a primal link between ancient man and fire, and it still has a magnetic power that attracts us today. For campers, fire provides warmth, protection from animals, light in the dark wilderness, and a place to cook food. But if striking a spark with steel and flint over collected dry leaves and bark for tinder, igniting the kindling, then constantly nurturing those fickle, roaring fumes was such a simple task—campfires wouldn’t be so revered and romanticized.

But what about handling that burning smoke...

Sotol, the dangerously delicious cousin of tequila and mezcal, continues to be a neglected and underutilized spirit of choice—many intimidated by its fermented hearts of agave and intense smokey profile. And to pair that with the sweetness of apples? Sounds like a feat for even the most skilled boy scout bartender. But challenges are meant to be met, and instead of running from the flames, we embraced it. Taking the piquant bite of sotol, a kick-in-the-mouth bitters, and the beloved autumn flavors of cinnamon cider, we provisioned a smouldering cocktail that feeds the fire, instead of extinguishing it.

Connor's Campfire Crux—

  • 1.5 oz Fabriquero Sotol Durango
  • .5 oz Altos Reposado
  • 1 oz homemade apple cider shrub (apple cider vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar and apple cider)
  • 3 dashes of Tres Amigos Infuse Bitters
  • .5 oz lime juice
  • Topped with Gumption Sparkling Hard Cider
  • Smoked in a smoke box for campfire effect
  • Garnished with a Honeycrisp apple slice, dehydrated with cinnamon and crystallized sugar
  • Served up in a coupe glass

Cheers to getting toasty

Cocktail by Connor Bert from Sage SRQ & photos by Zach Dauth of Sage SRQ.