Cocktails with unusual ingredients are becoming more common as people get tired of drinking the same well drinks over and over. From meat or bone broth based beverages to the cocktails paired with perfume, mixologists and bartenders are flexing their creative chops. What may surprise you is that many of these cocktails aren’t a hit. But that, according to brave souls mixing up these concoctions, is half the fun. The so-called fringe cocktails might contain an unusual spirit or ingredient or pair two things together that aren’t normally matched.
At Brooklyn’s Tooker Alley, the Amethyst is one such drink. A combination of tequila, Dutch genever gin, and Martini bianco vermouth is already a curious choice. But it is the magic ingredient—Parfait Amour, a liqueur that tastes like flowers and vanilla—that gives the Amethyst its color and peculiar taste. Even though more of the drinks are sent back than enjoyed, the Amethyst is on the menu for the adventurous to try.
These niche drinks aren’t only found in Brooklyn. The Blackbird in San Francisco, Midnight Rambler in Dallas, and the Up & Up in Greenwich Village also feature strange cocktails on their menus. They’re seen by many as a way to keep cocktails from becoming boring. These drink-mixing magicians want to create drinks that still taste good, but that are a challenge to the average drinker’s tastes. While some of the strange cocktail ingredients seem like gimmicks that won’t last long, it’s good to know there are people out there shaking up the cocktail world, one drink at a time.
The Blackbird’s outlier cocktail is called The Yellow King. Brave enough to give it a try?
The Yellow King
• 1 ½ oz Aveze (gentian liqueur)
• ½ oz Cocchi Americano
• ¾ oz dry vermouth, preferably Dolin
• Sprig of thyme
In a mixing glass three quarters filled with ice, combine Aveze, Cocchi Americano and vermouth. Stir until chilled and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with thyme sprig.