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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

What To Drink Next

Phil Ward's Perfect Margaritas


Courtesy of Mayahuel

Phil Ward, co-owner of New York City’s tequila and mezcal den, Mayahuel, has strong opinions about the margarita: “It has sold a lot of really bad tequila, but it’s a relevant drink—up there with the classics.” While some of our favorite bars take liberties with their recipes, Ward is a purist. Here are his three rules for making an exceptional margarita >

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Real Tinctures


Courtesy of Cure

Alcohol-based extracts and solutions used as curatives in holistic medicine, tinctures have been popping up on bar menus as a way to add unique flavors to cocktails—like bitters but focused on one ingredient as opposed to an herbal blend.

Cure bartender James Ives explains tinctures, plus where to go to try them >






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Mixologist Sam Ross on Attaboy, the Future of Cocktails and Pot Still Rum

Sam Ross

Courtesy of Sam Ross

One of New York's storied modern speakeasies, Milk & Honey, is relocating from its Lower East Side location, but the original space hasn’t seen its last cocktail. After seven years at Sasha Petraske's low-key, referral-only legend, bartender Sam Ross hopes to open Attaboy there by the end of the summer with fellow alum Michael McIlroy. Even sooner on the horizon, Ross will launch an iPhone app next month called Bartender’s Choice, which lets users search recipes by primary spirit and preferred flavor profile. Here, Ross talks to F&W about his new bar, trends and the future of the industry. Plus, a recipe for Ross's new favorite drink...

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what to drink next

Cocktails with House-Distilled Spirits

Mile High Spirits

Courtesy of Mile High Spirits



As interest in locally made spirits grows, a handful of small craft distilleries are now serving their own cocktails. In Denver, Mile High Spirits serves only liquors made on premises.








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Whole Egg Cocktails

Eastern Standard

© Mimi Ritzen Crawford / Eastern Standard



A little known fact is that, like rhubarb and ramps, farm fresh eggs are also in season during spring, when they’re a staple of the Easter table. Besides hard-boiled pastel eggs and quiche on the buffet, flips—drinks made with whole eggs—can make fantastic holiday cocktails.






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Bitter Sparklers

Clyde Common

© David Lanthan Reamer / Clyde Common



Often brushed off as sweet and simple, sparkling cocktails can have great complexity, and many bars are choosing to carbonate their own innovative drinks in-house.

Amor Y Amargo serves their carbonated Americano on tap >






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Rhubarb Cocktails for Spring

Rhubarb Fizz

Courtesy of Blue Hill Stone Barns


Often baked into pies to balance the sweetness of fruits like strawberries, tart rhubarb—landing in markets now—is a versatile ingredient for early spring cocktails. The vegetable can be made into jam, infused with bitters or squeezed fresh for a diverse mix of seasonal drinks. Thirsty for a Rhubarb Cooler?







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Guinness Cocktails

Jasper's Corner Tap

Courtesy of Jasper's Corner Tap


Guinness is more than just a tasty stout you drink on St. Patrick's Day. The complex, malty bitterness makes it a fantastic mixer in a range of cocktails (and even frozen drinks) being served now from Boston to Virginia. Ever heard of a Black Velvet?



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The Rise of House-Made Mixers

Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar

© Alen Lin/Blue Cow

From tonic water to blood-orange ginger beer, bartenders are making everyday mixers from scratch as a way to upgrade even the most mainstream cocktails.

Read more about house-made mixers >



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Rethinking the Bloody Mary


Typically relegated to brunch and used as a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure, the Bloody Mary is attracting the attention of mixologists, who are blending everything from balsamic vinegar to sausage into the salty-savory mix of tomato juice and vodka.

This month, a refined recipe by Yana Volfson, the head bartender at Freemans and Peels in New York City, took first prize against 17 other restaurants at the inaugural “Eat, Drink and Bloody Mary” contest. When she first arrived at the event, Volfson was intimidated by the variety of over-the-top cocktails, like a Mango Mary and an intense, anchovy-garnished version.

“The Bloody Mary has become a way of having breakfast within a cup,” Volfson says. By comparison, her entry was a relatively subtle departure from the original. Volfson’s requirements: approachable, balanced and not too thick. Instead of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice (which she thinks can taste harsh), she uses balsamic vinegar and caper-berry brine to add acidity.

Both Peels and Freemans serve the winning recipe as their house Bloody Mary, but Peels also features a Red Snapper, made with floral gin instead of vodka and garnished with a crunchy radish to add a spicy element. A retired Peels favorite, which may soon make a comeback, is the Hairy Mary, made with homemade harissa, spicy ginger and smoky mescal and garnished with a sweet, crunchy carrot to contrast the drink’s heat. While creating it, Volfson was thinking about the spices in merguez, a North African lamb sausage. But unlike some new bars, she chose to simply be inspired by the sausage, rather than include it in the drink. “I generally try to keep the meat out of my cocktail,” she says.

For more inspired Bloody Marys, check out the bars below:

Veselka Bowery, New York City: Veselka’s new outpost uses kielbasa-infused Russian Standard vodka in their signature Bloody Mary and garnishes the hearty drink with a swizzle stick of either cabanossi (a dry sausage) or beef jerky—depending on what looks better at the butcher shop.

Barceloneta, Miami Beach: The South Beach tapas bar blends a fresh gazpacho, made with cream, with vodka and dry Manzanilla sherry for a rich Spanish take on the classic.

Playa, Los Angeles: This Latin spot’s new Via Maria is made with mezcal, seasoned tomato juice and chipotle chiles. With a molecular-gastronomy flourish, mixologistJulian Cox tops the smoky drink with a celery-tomatillo espuma (foam).

Related: 50 Best Bars in America
Delicious Bloody Mary Recipes
Great Brunch Recipes

(Pictured: Zee Spotted Pig Bloody Mary)

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