Mushrooms come to mind when making soups, stocks, and gravies, but aren’t the first (or even the fifteenth) ingredient one might think to put in a cocktail. However, masterful mixologists like incorporating the funky fungi into their creations to add deep umami tones that linger long after the drink is finished. Here are six marvelous mushroom cocktails.
Truffle Old Fashioned at Saxon + Parole, New York, New York
Bring on the umami! Smoked portobello mushroom cordial sweetens and deepens this innovative creation. Chivas Regal 12 year old powers it, while white truffle salt and chocolate bitters add further complexity. Make a reservation at Saxon + Parole.
Hachi at Kuro, Hollywood, Florida
Bourbon is the backdrop here. Earthy, savory mushrooms are infused into the spirit, which is complemented with mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), black pepper, and lemon juice. The results are like no other cocktail you’ve ever tasted before. Make a reservation at Kuro.
Candy Cap in Rye at Henry’s at the Farm, Milton, New York
Housemade candy cap mushroom syrup lends a maple-y taste and aroma to this tipple. It’s augmented with rye, white vermouth, and orange bitters. A piece of candied maple bacon dusted with candy cap mushroom dust tops it off. Make a reservation at Henry’s at the Farm.
I’m One Fungai at KYU, Miami
Shiitake-infused Bulleit rye is the star of this avant-garde cocktail. The spirit’s earthen tones find balance in the brightness of the shiso (Japanese herb from the mint family) syrup and a grapefruit twist. A candied mushroom is the finishing touch. Make a reservation at KYU.
Dirty Decision at Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
Head bartender Sarah Ruiz starts by infusing amontillado sherry with morel mushrooms. She mixes the heady concoction with Noilly Ambre vermouth, orange bitters, and black garlic tincture. Unconventional and unforgettable. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
Shroom For Improvement at Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bar director Seth Freidus is the punny guy behind this shroomy sipper. By combining mezcal, mushrooms, lillet blanc, and yerba mate, he has created a light, slightly woody cocktail. It’s sure to remind you of tripping through the countryside on a foraging expedition. Make a reservation at Alden & Harlow.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credit: Michael Pisarri (Kuro); AvroKO Hospitality Group (Saxon + Parole).