How to Make The Laguna Salada Cocktail - With a Torch

It’s summertime and the living easy. While you have the torch out to fire up the charcoal for the grill, why not fire up some hot summer cocktails. The only extras you’ll need are a torch and a cedar plank. You can use the same type of cedar plank you use to grill fish but we do recommend a new plank, your guests likely would not appreciate the smell of dead fish in their glass.

“Incorporating flame is one of the most inspiring cocktail techniques to try because of the drama and dimension it adds,” said Eric Trousdale, head bartender at Arbella. “Just as an artist creates with a paintbrush, a bartender uses fire to enhance the flavor profile of a drink while creating an engaging experience. A torch is my go-to tool to bring these creations to life.”

The Laguna Salada is simple to make and will impress your guests. Now, time to fire up the bar!

How to Make the Fiery Laguna Salada Cocktail

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  • 1 1/2 oz. Silver tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Cynar
  • 1/2 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice


  • Cedar plank for smoking – You can find these at just about any grocery or box store these days.
  • High heat torch – If you don’t have one, you can order your own torch here.


  • Light a spot on a cedar plank using the torch until the wood is smoking.
  • Quickly capture the smoke with an upturned Nick & Nora martini glass on the plank.
  • Build all ingredients over ice, shake well.
  • Turn over the smoked glass and strain the cocktail into the glass.
  • The glass should maintain a hint of the smoke flavor and scent.
  • Top off with grapefruit zest
  • Garnish with slice of grapefruit

Now, go check on that charcoal and see if it’s ready for those steaks.


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