• Jarnard Sutton

First Sip: Eric Johnson of Smoking Gun

The Gaslamp's new destination for craft cocktails is adding its own flair to the scene. Eric Johnson, managing partner at Smoking Gun and Spill the Beans, is creating a wide range of specialty cocktails such as The Smoking Gun cocktail. This libation is smokey, citrusy and refreshing. We caught up with Johnson to chat about his journey in the industry and the concept behind his scotch-based cocktail, The Smoking Gun.

The Smoking Gun


1.5 oz Famous Grouse .5 oz Laphroaig Select .5 oz Averna .5 oz Simple Syrup .75 oz Lemon Juice Garnish: Mint Sprig

What's the story behind The Smoking Gun?

It was a drink my business partner came up with when we were working at Craft & Commerce. I think we were talking about the name first and then that was end product. Our historical building used to be a gun store and range, there are still bullet holes in the basement. It made sense to go back to the building's roots.

Scotch can be a difficult spirit to mix, how did you come up with the combination of ingredients?

There were not a lot of scotch, citrus drinks when we got into the game so that was a category we liked to push. There are lot of scotch drinkers who will not add anything to their scotch and I get it. Every once in a while, it's nice to have a refreshing v