FOOD & DRINK
THE 7 BEST COCKTAILS IN TAMPA BAY
Tampa Bay may be known for its myriad craft beer breweries, but trust me, it knows a thing or two about mixology.
From spicy and umami to smooth and sweet, here are seven of my favorite Bay Area concoctions that are sure to please even the pickiest pallets.
1. El Diablo, Anise Global Gastrobar – Breathe a little fire with this savory blend of tart tequila, thai chili-infused simple syrup, and sweet ginger that will zing your taste buds like a delicious spiced candy. But fair warning: if you can’t stand the heat, take a seat at the kiddies’ table.
2. Moscow Mule, Mandarin Hide – As the unofficial “official” drink of St. Pete’s liveliest prohibition bar, this vodka-based mule packs a serious ginger kick. Fresh-squeezed lime, popping effervescence and a frosty copper mug make this libation perhaps the most enjoyable Russian in history.
3. Traditional Margarita, Miguelitos Taqueria Y Tequilas – He may live in the shadow of his older brother Miquel, but Miquelito’s expert taste in margaritas runs in the family. Bright lime, sour mix, triple sec and a healthy pour of Patrón Silver make this salty glass the perfect compliment to a bowl of warm chips.
4. Hendrick’s and Tonic, Ulele – Sure it’s simple, but as they say in real estate: “Location. Location. Location.” Order a round of these guys for you and your pals and sip them along the grassy banks of the Hillsborough River. If you’re feeling festive, politely ask the bartender for sprigs of rosemary or mint for some interesting aromatics.
5. Auld Fashioned, Fly Bar & Restaurant – The trick to reinventing a classic is all in the details. This auld favorite calls for the sweet floral notes of vanilla and chamomile and just a pinch of smoked salt to brine the profile of the spicy 10-years-old single malt. Need I say more?
6. Tahona, The Mill Restaurant – Liken to a spicy pink margarita, this herbal tequila mélange is far more than a “pink” drink. Dyed magenta by pureed cactus pears, the Tahona blends the sweetness of elderflower liquor with the tartness of smoked jalapeño-infused agave for an exotic, tiki profile you’ll be sipping on island time.
7. Corpse Survivor, Station House – Perhaps the most interesting and complex cocktail of the list, this 007 favorite combines equally perfect shots of gin, lemon juice, triple sec, and Kina Lillet, and finishes with subtle traces of absinth to coat the pallet. Talk about a spirited drink.