Cocktails are coming back in a big way, and Sacramento has seen a surge of new bars and signature drinks coming through. While it’s hard to beat a good Old Fashioned, there are some truly unique drinks coming out of the city that are simply signature Sacramento. Here are five you need to try today:
Served at Grange, home of Executive Chef Oliver Ridgeway, this culinary event carries on its menu specialties beyond its expertly prepared plates. The shrub is a gin drink that adds in champagne vinegar, pink peppercorns, basil, lemon, and prosecco. Plus, local California strawberries. After all, nothing is better than fresh strawberries. The whole thing makes for a slightly pleasantly tart and herbaceous drink that’s a perfect compliment to a plate of buffalo pork ribs or beer steamed mussels.
Krakow Salt Mine
Sliding across the bar at the Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar, you’ll find the vodka drink under the “juicy” section of the bar menu. It features apple cider lemon, ginger beer, simple syrup, and kosher salt. It’s a cocktail that will seem familiar in flavor in that kind of way where you can’t place it, and that’s exactly the point. Enjoy a zingy riff on on profile you know you love, and maybe try some rabbit bolognese if you’re feeling adventurous.
Cin/Van Old Fashioned
Hook and Ladder does an Old Fashioned that might as well be dessert – in the best possible way. Starting off with a splash of bourbon that’s just recently returned to the US, this fresh twist on a true cocktail classic substitutes the sugar cube for cinnamon vanilla syrup and splashes on some aromatic vanilla-ango bitters. It’s not necessarily a sweeter drink that it’s spicy but subtly fruity older brother, but familiar vanilla makes it warm and reassuring – perfect for letting your meal settle or just for a quality drink at the end of a long day.
The Shady Lady Saloon is arguably the city’s best spot for cocktails, and they rotate them out seasonally. That means the Venezuelan Sour might not be there for too long, but there’s no doubt you’ll bind something amazing to replace it. If you can get there while it’s still on the menu, though, this upscale spin on the sour drink is well worth it. Mixing fresh lemon juice, rum, a pinch of sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, and egg whites, this sweet, tart, frothy drink is a little familiar, a little exotic, and a lot refreshing and delicious.
At Pour House, beer is often a feature, but if you glance a bit lower on the menu under the “swill” section, you will find some truly incredible craft cocktails. The Habanero Hottie uses habanero infused tequila, ancho reyes chili liqueur, honey, and lime to bring you a tongue tingling and surprisingly sweet sensation. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but it’s certainly not a drink that likes to be ignored. If you order one for yourself, be prepared for it to be the main event.