The smoky bottle
Empire Spirits Project
Sure, you can have Scotches with a smoky flavor (and the smokier the better , we say). But what about gin? The Empire Spirits Project , a New York-based maker of what might be dubbed boutique gin, indeed has a Smoked version ($39) — flavored with applewood smoke, to be exact, along with a host of other botanicals, including peppercorn and caraway. It’s said to go great a Negroni, the classic gin-and-Campari Italian cocktail. Of course, if you prefer things on the non-smoky side, Empire has you covered with other gins, including a floral-flavored American Beauty one.