Culture

10 Drinks We Swooned Over This Week

Whiskey cocktail from Épernay Manchester
Épernay Manchester's Tea and Toast combines tea-infused whiskey, toast-infused vermouth and Teapot Bitters for a lively take on your grandmother's teatime. (Photo: Épernay Manchester)

With Thanksgiving just around the bend, we're feeling particularly grateful for the creative, innovative people who make this industry so special. We're also feeling quite thankful for the simple things: tiki drinks made to combat the winter doldrums, fluffy chickens posing with cocktails, and drinks that hearken back to simpler times of sequins, shoulderpads and Spandeau Ballet. Read on for a few of the showstopper drinks that captured our attention this week:

It’s all about balance

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What the hell is that? It's just a cocktail. Serve in a cool setup 😬😀😀 Christie's gin - 40 ml Calvados Papidaux - 20 ml Sage powder - 1 pinch Oleo saccharum - 5 ml Lemon juice - 20 ml Sugar syrup - 20 ml I obtained my sage powder, immersing sage in liquid nitrogen, and after that blend it. Oleo saccharum it's made with grapefruit zest with fructose in vacuum machine. Shake all the ingredients & serve it. #jaxxamericanrestaurant #imbibe #garnish #glasswear #instacocktail #cocktailporn #cocktail #cocktails #tipsybartender #mixology #bartenders #beautifulcocktails #brasov #timisoara #bucuresti #romania #iasi #oradea #cluj #clujnapoca #transylvania #visitromania #proudtobeabartender

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We talk all the time about the importance of balance in cocktails. Typically, we’re talking about flavor. In this case, Transylvanian Bartender Marian Porumb is applying the principle to this drink’s vessel — a glass bird, delicately balancing on the end of a wire hook.

Nightjar wins Instagram yet again

If you’re ever feeling low on creative fuel, we suggest you keep a close eye on what Nightjar is doing in London. Their visual delivery never ceases to amaze, this time with a stunning porcelain glass, matched by equally vibrant ice. Keep it coming, Nightjar — you’re our inspiration.

That’s a wrap

As if this cocktail’s charming wrapping paper wasn’t charming enough, it’s holding in a sage scent to complement the drink’s verdant flavors. Now that’s a happy surprise!

Pouring Ribbons flashes back to the '80s

We’ve talked before about giving new life to cocktails that earned a bad rap. For an '80s night, Pouring Ribbons took this challenge head-on. We have reason to believe their take on the “Slow Comfortable Screw” shows this cocktail all that it was missing.

Smoked cinnamon, ice and everything nice

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We’re not sure how it happened, but the holidays are just around the corner. So haul out the holly and all of the seasonally scented cocktails you can stand — starting with this smoking cinnamon garnish.

'Tis the season for eggnog

What came first, the chicken or the eggnog? This picture has some mildly cannibalistic undertones, but the gloriously floofy chicken and Bullwinkle mug make it easy on the eyes.

Beat winter with a tiki getaway

We’re of the camp that tiki drinks should be consumed year round — even when temperatures drop well below tropical. Ice Plant melds the essence of two opposite seasons in this inherently summer-y swizzle, rife with cold weather flavors.

Boba gets boozy

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Presidio got a well-deserved Chicagoist shout-out for this drink, which adds both flavor and texture with the addition of boba, the chewy, tapioca-based pearls commonly found in Taiwanese bubble tea. Here, the pearls are made with Lapsang Souchong tea, adding a touch of smoke to the drink’s combination of Scotch, rye, coconut horchata and chai syrup. (Extra props for this bar’s gorgeously haunting menu design, too.)

A classic goes nuts

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this chestnut old fashioned is a holiday gift that just keeps giving. made with an infused roasted chestnut syrup, leaving all those syrupy and brandy-bathed chestnuts leftover for another use (hello spoon and ice cream 😬). see the full post up on my blog today (link in profile) and checkout the recipe there and below ⬇️#ctfholiday Chestnut Old Fashioned 1/4 ounce chestnut syrup 2 dashes angostura bitters 1 orange peel 2 ounces rye whiskey In a mixing glass combine chestnut syrup, angostura bitters and the orange peel. Very gentle muddle the orange peel into the syrup and bitters. Add the rye whiskey and a scoop of ice to the mixing glass, give it just a few stirs then strain the cocktail into the serving glass over one large ice cube. For a more diluted cocktail, stir the cocktail longer and more vigorously in the mixing glass before straining into the serving glass. Garnish with the orange peel and serve. Chestnut Syrup makes 8 ounces syrup 1 cup cooked chestnuts 1 cup water 1 cup raw sugar 1 vanilla bean 1 tablespoon orange zest 2 ounces brandy To make the chestnut syrup, combine 1 cup water, raw sugar, seeds from the vanilla bean and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook just until the sugar is dissolved then remove from heat and let cool completely and strain out the zest. Place 1 cup of roasted chestnuts in a clean sealable jar and pour the simple syrup over them. Add brandy and stir to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator and wait at least 5-7 days before using the syrup. #patience #thanksgiving

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Nah, we’d rather have them in our drinks — and that’s precisely what cocktail enthusiast/blogger Mallory Leicht has done here. Leicht’s Chestnut Old-Fashioned puts the sweet, earthy, humble chestnut to good use by roasting and infusing it into a brandy syrup, which is then added to the classic Old Fashioned. This recipe is begging to be sipped fireside.

Tea party, anyone?

Teatime gets a serious upgrade in this stunning serve from Épernay Manchester, in which Teeling Irish Whisky is infused with milk-washed tea, combined with toast-infused vermouth and topped off with teapot bitters.

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