Fluid Dynamics, out of Northern California, exercises elegant restraint with its Dry Martini ($20/200 ml), composed of nothing more than dry gin and a “whisper” of extra-dry vermouth.
Meanwhile, Chicago-based Crafthouse Cocktails puts a sophisticated spin on the classic Southside ($20/750 ml), blending cane sugar, mint, and lemon and lime juice with gin made to the specifications of co-founder Charles Joly.
An emphasis on process, not products, pushes High West Distillery’s 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan ($50/750 ml) to become more than the sum of its parts: The Utah purveyor ages rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters in American oak barrels for at least 90 days – resulting in a knock-your-socks-off, 74-proof quaff. Translation: This stuff’s just strong enough to turn even the most mature household into a veritable Animal House.
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