What defines the current cocktail zeitgeist? After poring over several dozen drink lists from top bars across the country we identified the ingredients that appeared with the greatest frequency, and then asked bartenders to explain why and how to use each. The latest Japanese obsession, umeshu, is represented by Death & Co.’s Hummingbird; the aquavit boom by Pinewood Social’s Champan’s Haven; and gentian fever in the Suze-laced Bring June Flowers. New developments in fat-washing find expression in the olive oil-washed Audrey 2 at Broken Shaker LA, while hardworking cordials get their due in Nitecap’s Mantra-Rock.
Here are the recipes, and the stories behind each.