A cocktail today can be the curtain opener, meal accompaniment or grand finale — or even all three, so long as you take an Uber home.
Innovation behind the bar continues to impress, often inspired by genius coming out of the kitchen but also by experimentation with new ingredients and flavors. This year’s class of Best Cocktail winners includes beverages with squid ink, calamansi lime, gochujang and Frosted Flakes.
We’re seeing a lot of creativity with housemade syrups and tonics with complex flavors that are truly unique. And we’re seeing cocktails inspired by art — like the dark poetry of rappers — as well as geographic regions, from Asia to South America.
It was also an interesting mix of elegant-and-classy presentations and more Instagram-worthy statements designed to draw attention.
Here’s a look at the 10 Best Cocktails from bars and restaurants across the country. Drink and be inspired.