The dudes from Bittercube are marketing a blazing little bar tool called the cedar stick.

A glass “smoked” using a Bittercube cedar stick. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris.

A glass “smoked” using a Bittercube cedar stick. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris. Click for full screen photo.

In a video posted on YouTube, Bittercube co-founder Ira Koplowitz demonstrates one way to use the Milwaukee-based bitters company’s new cocktail tool – a wafer-thin stick of Spanish cedar. He starts with a cocktail – the whiskey sour. Lighting one end of the cedar stick, he “excites the oils” inside a quarter-sized disc of orange peel by waving it over the flame, then squeezes the peel to release the oils over the glass into the cocktail.

That’s just the beginning of the stick’s applications, which include “smoking” glasses and infusing spirits. If you’re not ready to try the stick at home, watch the bartenders at the Iron Horse Hotel’s Branded use it to finish their rum-based drink, called “The Escape Clause.” The technique of expressing citrus with the stick enhances the cinnamon, pink peppercorn and allspice also in the drink. (Braise in Walker’s Point is using the sticks, too.) You can buy bundles of 25 cedar sticks for $18 at

‘Fan The Flame’ appears in the October 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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