Episode 027 - Strange Cocktail Ingredients

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Today’s topic is unusual cocktail ingredients - either those you’ve tasted in a cocktail, or those you’d like to see used more often.

I think many of us have had the experience of sitting down at one of the more experimental cocktail bars in our area, looking at the menu, and saying: “You’ve got to be kidding me. How the heck are they gonna use that in a cocktail?” And the results - in reality - are usually mixed. Sometimes the unusual ingredients are well-incorporated, and the drink is tasty, and sometimes it’s just there for the novelty factor, and the drink isn’t balanced.

Our guests for this episode include:


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Balancing salt with different flavors in a way that is palatable is something I’m interested in because I haven’t done well with it myself, but I’m also highly critical of it when I purchase a drink at a bar.
— JORDAN WICKER
I don’t have a bartending background, so a lot of our cocktails are inspired by the food that we make, and so I wanted to do a fun riff on a chicken soup.
— CHARLIE BERKINSHAW
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I’ve had a sesame old fashioned, and that’s one of the best drinks I’ve ever had. You really don’t need a whole lot of sesame to make it come through.
— CHRIS KIERTZ
I had a bone marrow Negroni once, and I think that’s probably the most unusual thing I’ve ever had.
— MARIA LITTLEFIELD
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Horseradish is and can be a beautiful thing. But like many ingredients, you’ve got to be judicious about how much you use, otherwise it can ruin everything.
— JOSH WULF
I’ve seen pine needles used in cocktails. And so I’m really interested in bringing more of an earthy, kind of holiday feeling into the glass.
— VALERIE ECHEVESTE
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