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Signature drinks that shake hands with the menu

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Benihana's Sake Sangrias
La Calaca Feliz's Tennessee Jed. Photo: Courtney Apple Photography/Mark Robert Turner

Menu-compatible cocktails take on the tone of the menu and the cuisine theme, often with a nod to ingredients of the season. Here are a few examples.

• In Philadelphia, La Calaca Feliz offers contemporary Mexican cuisine complemented by tequila, margaritas, beer and house cocktail specialties ($7 to $11) named for Grateful Dead songs— the Stagger Lee, Ramble on Rose and Cumberland Blues, to name a few. The Tennessee Jed combines 1½ oz. Jack Daniels with ½ oz. Campari and ½ tsp. vanilla simple syrup, served over ice in a rocks glass with orange zest.

• Farm-to-glass ingredients follow the season at Bareburger. The newly introduced organic cocktail menu creates a counterpart for the food at this organic burger micro-chain. Drinks feature USDA organic and small-batch spirits, such as Square One Vodka, Koval Single Barrel Bourbon and Cuca Fresca Silver Cachaca. Cocktails include the John Deere, Cesar Chavez and Johnny Appleseed, named for historic figures in the farming industry. The Johnny Appleseed is made with 1½ oz. bourbon, 2 tsp. green apple puree, ¼ tsp. chile-infused honey and 2 oz. of ginger brew.  The bourbon, puree and hot honey are mixed in a shaker on ice, strained into a glass with fresh ice and topped off with ginger brew. The Johnny Appleseed is garnished with apple slices.

• Benihana welcomes the warmer weather with sake sangrias, a spin on the classic that complements its menu. The Miami-based Japanese theme restaurants have introduced Benihana Sake Sangrias showcasing the flavors of peach and plum. The Benihana Red Plum Sake Sangria calls for merlot, sake, plum wine, hibiscus syrup, pomegranate juice and orange juice.

TAGS: Food & Drink
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