Bar Hopper: Where There's Smoke, There's The Gas Lantern Drinking Co. 

Where is it? One of the newer additions to the bar scene, The Gas Lantern Drinking Co. is across the street from Boise Art Museum on Boise's Capitol Boulevard. A subdued interior with a throwback vibe beckons, a stark contrast to many downtown watering holes. Warm filament bulb lighting and old-timey newsprint menus enhance the prohibition-era decor. There's live music every week and food is available from the the Smoke & Thyme food truck. Best of all, there's free pool.

What's with the smoke? On your first visit, it might be easy to overlook a small glass box perched in the corner. That is, of course, until the contraption fills with woodsmoke, giving the entire room the olfactory allure of a dapper lumbersexual. The smokebox finishes off several of the bar's specialty drinks with a "foggy infusion." When each drink is mixed, it's placed in the smoker for 60 seconds. The smoke subtly affects the drink's flavor, but the aroma sends the experience over the top.

click to enlarge MICAH DREW
  • Micah Drew

What should you drink? Something smoked is the obvious go-to. A common starter is the Smoke & Thyme, made with Elijah Craig small-batch and whiskey bitters, and garnished with a sprig of thyme and a bruleed lemon sliver (dried, touched with brown sugar and torched). The most popular selection, something called "Death in the Afternoon," is the only original vodka cocktail on the list. Other specialty libations have names like "Deceptive Subh-lair," "Al Capone" and "L'Abeille de la Nouvelle-Orleans." Bartender Brittany Brown notes that even if the recipe doesn't call for it, "if it fits in the smoker, we'll smoke it for you."

What's the happiest hour? Happy hours at The Gas Lantern run from 4-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday. Select beers and wines are half off, as are specialty cocktails and well drinks.

Where to find it: The Gas Lantern Drinking Co. is located at 701 Fulton St. in Boise.

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