In the cocktail world, the spirit is king (or queen). That’s because when we’re perusing drinks menus our eyes are usually drawn to the spirits we enjoy before any of the other ingredients. If we like whiskey, we’ll definitely opt for that take on the classic Manhattan featuring walnut bitters. If we enjoy tequila, we’ll look for a playful alternative to the usual Margarita or Paloma. If we favor vodka, we’ll look for pretty much anything with “mule” in its name.
But if we only look towards any given cocktail’s main spirit (or spirits) we’ll overlook some of the other key ingredients that give our favorite mixed drinks the unique flavors we think about on Friday afternoon as we watch the clock slowly tick towards quitting time. These ingredients include various herbs, shrubs, bitters, and, most importantly, liqueurs.
Bartenders swear by liqueurs, whether in the recipe of a new, seasonal cocktail or as an after-work team-building shot. That’s why we asked them to tell us their favorites. From Fernet, to St. Germaine, these are the liqueurs that bartenders swear by.
View this post on Instagram
Named after Rudolf Valentino's 1922 movie. First written recipe was on Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book. This cocktail combines blended scotch with cherry liquor, sweet vermouth and orange juice. Interesting combination. Blood and Sand. #bloodandsand #blendedscotch #johnniewalker #sweetvermouth #cherryheering #orange #homebar #homebartender #drinks #thirsty #mixology #cocktail #cocktailgram #instacocktail
Alli Torres, Bartender at Refinery Rooftop in New York City
“Cherry Heering has always been a go-to for me. I love the deep flavor without compromising the integrity of a cocktail or making it overly sweet. Splitting a Manhattan or a Blood & Sand with it has been a crowd pleaser move I’ve used in a handful of menus. Stirring in a spoonful can go a long with adding flavor and a dash of viscosity.”