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The Manual’s Favorite Cocktails of 2016

favorite cocktails 2016 version 1514308842 birch iced coffee
We’ve written about a lot of cocktails this year. A lot.

From covering various booze-themed holidays to celebrating the history of specific drinks, we’ve shaken, stirred, sipped, and shot just about everything in 2016.

Below, we’ve compiled our top ten favorite cocktails from 2016. There’s a little bit for everyone on the list—from hot to cold, shaken to stirred, whiskey to rum—so break out the shaker and mix up what was hopefully one of your favorites, too.

Basil Hayden’s Autumn Sour
(By Jon Feuersänger Denver, CO)

  • 2 parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon 
  • 1 part Fresh Lemon
  • 3/4 part Honey
  • 2 dashes Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • 1 sprig of Charred Rosemary (for garnish)*

Method:Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass. Serve neat or on the rocks. Garnish with a sprig of Charred Rosemary.

*To char the rosemary sprig, place it over an open flame (either on a grill or stovetop) and rotate for 5-10 seconds until herb begins to smoke and brown slightly.

Mischief Night

  • 2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • 1 part Grade-A Vermont maple syrup
  • 1 ½ parts fresh orange juice
  • Seasonal pilsner (to taste)

Method: Build ingredients in empty shaker, add ice, shake and strain into chilled pint glass or desired beer mug (no ice). Top with a seasonal pilsner of your choosing.

Barbados Mojito

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, stems discarded
  • 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup Allaire rum
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup club soda

Method: Stir together pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, and rum. In four glasses, evenly distribute lime wedges, sugar, and mint then muddle together. Add ice, pour rum mixture over top and top with club soda.

Chipotle Cocoa Margarita

  • 3 Slices of Orange
  • 1 Slice of Lemon
  • 1/4 oz. Light Agave
  • 2 oz. Avión Añejo
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Chipotle Powder

Method: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass that has been rimmed with a mixture of cocoa powder and chipotle powder, and garnish with an orange twist.

Summer 75 Punch
(Created by Mixologist Lynnette Marrero, Llama Inn)

  • 1 ½ cups Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 cup Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Brewed and Chilled
  • 3/4 cup St-Germain French Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 cups Martini & Rossi Prosecco

Method: Place all ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher and mix. Add Prosecco. *Tip: Freeze edible flowers in ice and use to chill punch. Serves 10.

Ruby Barbecue
(Created by mixologist Nick Meyer, Los Angeles)

  • 1 ½ ounces Johnnie Walker Double Black
  • 1 ½ ounces Grilled Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice*
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ ounce Agave Nectar
  • 1 ounce Club Soda
  • Grilled Grapefruit Wedge & Rosemary Sprig garnish

Method: Place all ingredients, except the club soda, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Add club soda to shaker and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with a grilled grapefruit wedge

*Grilled Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

  1. Cut a Ruby Red Grapefruit into 4 large quarter wedges
  2. Place wedge fruit side down on a hot grill. Cook for a total of 8, minutes, with each side getting even heat
  3. Remove from the grill and rest until cool
  4. Juice each quarter and strain for use

Crime of Passion
(Created by Weston Lou, Hakkasan, NYC)

  • Pulp of 1/2 a Passion Fruit
  • .5 oz Agave Nectar
  • .5 oz Pineapple Juice
  • .75 oz Lime Juice
  • 2 Dashes Bob’s Peppermint Bitters
  • 75 oz Bird’s Eye Chili Infused Montelobos Mezcal *

Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add fresh ice cubes to shaker and shake until well chilled.  Double strain in a rocks glass over fresh ice cubes.  Garnish with a Pineapple Leaf.

*Bird’s Eye Chili-Infused Montelobos Mezcal: Chop up 6 Bird’s Eye Chilis. Add to bottle of Mezcal. Let sit for at least 24 hours (let sit longer if you want the Mezcal spicier). Then strain out chilis.

The Bacon Snapper

  • 1 ½ parts Bombay Sapphire East Gin
  • 4 parts tomato juice
  • ¼ parts lemon juice
  • ¼ parts soy sauce
  • Small palm of diced lemongrass
  • Pea of wasabi
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of white pepper

Method: Build with ice in a highball. Garnish with lemongrass.

Luck of Laphroaig
(Created by Tyson Buhler, New York, NY)

  • 1 1/2 parts Laphroaig Select
  • 1/4 part Sarsaparilla Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange twist

Method: Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with orange twist.

Negroni Coffee Swizzle
(Created by Naren Young for Dante, pictured)

Method: Swizzle with crushed ice in a highball glass. Garnish with five coffee beans.

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