Food & Wine's 2016 list of the Best New Mixologists in the country spotlights some of the most talented and creative women and men working at bars right now. Selected by a panel of cocktail obsessives—including mixologists Jim Meehan and Ivy Mix, and former F&W editor Kate Krader—these winners are rising stars. Click through the slideshow to find out where to try their exceptional drinks and read their bios to find out more about their secret weapon ingredients and home bartending tips.
In a vast 1920s boiler room complete with exposed brick and a towering smokestack, Old Glory offers an inventive drinks menu created by sisters Alexis and Britt Soler. Unconventional cocktails like Pony Show (tequila, gin, honeydew, green pepper and mint) and Horse, Of Course (Fernet-Branca, Campari, ginger and lime) are a nod to Alexis’ infatuation with horses.
Andrew Volk - Portland Hunt & Alpine Club; Portland, ME
Portland Hunt & Alpine Club specializes in carefully constructed drinks such as the Green Eyes (gin, Chartreuse, lime and egg white) paired with wonderful Scandinavian snacks, such as gravlax sandwiches with capers.
Anne Robinson - Evening Bar and Westlight; New York, NY
Inside the Smyth hotel, Evening Bar pairs chef Andrew Carmellini’s vegetable-driven menu at Little Park with its own seasonal cocktail menu, like The Harley, made with a house-infused Cimarron tequila and white peach puree. At Westlight, her new rooftop bar in the William Vale hotel, Robinson will mix whimsical, al fresco-style cocktails.
The Way Back is all about community, from using produce from local farmers, to offering all hospitality workers their first beer on the house. Their cocktail menu truly speaks to the drinker in full, descriptive sentences: “Baron Samedi spiced rum, Appleton Signature rum and Campari make a likely delicious marriage. Passionfruit and nutmeg will put you in the tiki mood.”
With three distinct drinking spaces, including a bookcase-lined library with a full menu of old-fashioneds, a tasting room dedicated to multicourse food and cocktail pairings and an outdoor garden with refreshing punches, Columbia Room is an oasis for any kind of drinker.
On the 18th floor of a modern office building, GreenRiver includes both a stunning terrace for outdoor dining and a tucked-away, leather-bound lounge known as the Annex. What’s most special is the cocktail menu, which is divided by grains with categories like barley, corn and juniper.
From focuses on BBQ to seafood, Goode Company restaurant group’s spots turn out consistently delicious food that tastes like Texas and pairs perfectly with their expertly made drinks, like the Damn Goode Margarita (tequila, orange liqueur and lime), which is “a better Spanish lesson than Rosetta Stone.”
From the ashes of the venerable Locke-Ober, Yvonne's honors its memory by preserving the beautiful, original mahogany bar, carved in 1886 while serving modern interpretations of classics, like the King Louie, with vodka, coconut, roasted pineapple, banana and nutmeg.
At The Tasting Kitchen, nearly everything (butchering, pickling, curing) is done in-house; cocktails also get star treatment, like the Faux Winter (tequila, cold cider and cardamom) and the 5,000 Neckties (rye, cachaça and maraschino).