Smoked sage adds rich flavor to a molasses syrup used to sweeten a bourbon and apple cider cocktail. Smoking the sage can be done right on the stovetop!
For the Smoked Sage Molasses Syrup, mix water, molasses and smoked sage in small saucepan. Bring to simmer on medium heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain through fine sieve. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. (This makes enough syrup for 6 cocktails)
Fill cocktail shaker half full with ice cubes. Add 1/2 cup each apple cider and bourbon, and 2 tablespoons Smoked Sage Molasses Syrup; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into 2 cocktail glasses. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 6 cocktails.
To smoke spices: Spread 1 cup fine mesquite wood chips in cast-iron skillet. Heat on high heat about 10 minutes or until wood chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low. Place small baking rack on top of wood chips. Spread sage in small shallow disposable aluminum pan or foil muffin baking cup. Place pan on rack. Cover skillet with lid. (In order to keep the smoke in, lid should cover skillet tightly. If necessary, place aluminum foil over skillet first then cover with lid.) Smoke 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 1 hour or until cooled.
Apple Cider Ice Cubes: Pour 2 cups apple cider into standard ice cube tray. Freeze until frozen. Serve cocktails over Apple Cider Ice Cubes.