These 10 cocktails, selected by the editors of Restaurant Hospitality, showcase bartenders’ creative takes on top bar trends. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >>
Non é Acqua
Where to get it: L’Amico, New York City
Creator: Percy Rodriguez, beverage director
Ingredients: Ocho Plata tequila, basil, lemon, dandelion and burdock bitters.
About the drink: Rodriguez wanted to create a cocktail that was completely colorless, but that surprised the drinker with its flavor and expressiveness.
A look at the trend: Sometimes, a bit of restraint is called for.
In a world of overwrought cocktails, a drink that is simple and clean can stand out.
In the case of chef Laurent Tourondel’s L’Amico in New York, the cocktail Non é Acqua is not what it may seem.
While the cocktail appears to be a simple glass of water — hence the name, which means “It’s not water” in Italian — this cocktail surprises with its bold flavor.
Beverage director Percy Rodriguez said this bestseller is “minimalist but showy.”
The drink begins with a flavorful single-estate tequila, often compared with mezcal for its sweetness, but without the smoke. Rodriguez boils lemon juice with agar agar to remove the solids and make the citrus juice crystal clear.
Basil is double charged in a whipped cream canister to force an aromatic element into the drink. The tertiary flavors are subtle, but add complexity.
Rodriguez compared it to an old showgirl who you don’t initially expect much from, “but when she gets up to perform, she brings down the house.”