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2014 Best Cocktails in America: The Smokey Tomahawk

Not only has America’s love for cocktails grown tremendously in recent years, so has the skill of those who prepare them. Restaurant Hospitality’s editorial staff selected 29 top cocktails prepared by mixologists around the country. See all winners >>

Category: Vodka

Restaurant: Guard and Grace, Denver

Creators: Lasha Muske, bar manager, and Alex Linney, bartender

Inspiration: The need to create a vodka drink that would stand up to the restaurant’s tomahawk bone-in ribeye.

Key Ingredients: Smoked vodka, Cappelletti Liqueur, Lagavulin Scotch and a sliced lemon dusted with house steak seasoning

Price: $12

What the Judges Said: “If you’re going to create a vodka cocktail that can hold up to a slab of meat grilled over an oak fire, you’ve got to get dramatic. The barkeeps at Guard do just that by smoking the vodka in the oak-fired grill and then adding to it Cappelletti, a slightly sweet wine-based Italian aperitif with a bitter finish. It’s a clever combination that is further enhanced by the smoky Scotch. Just as clever is the addition of a lemon slice dusted with steak seasoning. It’s a hell of a lot of work to create a vodka cocktail that mimics a dark-spirit cocktail, but it’s one fine sip and made us wish we had a tomahawk ribeye.”

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TAGS: Drink Trends
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