montana payback cocktailOur pals at Tasting Table are a thirsty lot, regularly traipsing about the country in search of fine libations. It’s tireless, thankless work. Actually, no, it’s pretty great. But to justify their expense reports, they’ve got to have something to show for it. So they’ve recently crunched the numbers, compiled the data and likely enlisted some advil to create a roundup of the best drinks they’ve consumed throughout the course of 2012. It’s something we can appreciate, because hey — everyone should know where to get a good cocktail in Boise. So herewith, some highlights from Tasting Table’s Best Cocktails of 2012.

Heart of Darkness — Sugar House (Detroit)
Ah, black strap rum and Fernet. Such a lovely pairing. Throw in some blackberry syrup, lime juice and San Pellegrino chinotto, and you’ve got a nice little treat for winter.

Montana Payback — Hop Sing Laundromat (Philadelphia)
The Montana Payback (pictured) combines Laird’s Bonded with El Dorado rum, fresh strawberries, lime, Thai chiles, falernum and cream for a frothy drink that’s sweet, tart and spicy.

Joe Buck — Midnight Cowboy (Austin)
It’s an age old story. A brothel exists in plain site for a couple decades, then closes and becomes a reservations-only cocktail bar. Makes sense. And one drink they’re slinging, the Joe Buck, calls upon Dijon mustard and paprika. Throw in some Balcones Baby Blue Corn whiskey, honey, lemon and ginger beer, and hey, you’ve got complex and savory undertones with a gingery bite.

Mary Rocket Milk Punch — Bellocq (New Orleans)
This cocktail comes courtesy of bartender Kirk Estopinal. It’s fueled by Cognac, milk, lemons and nutmeg, with a touch of Peychaud’s for color.

Cooper’s Folly — Modern Hotel (Boise)
Craft cocktails in a Boise hotel. Of course. The Cooper’s Folly starts with some mezcal (always a good start), and from there adds dry vermouth, pineapple syrup and sage leaves for a vegetal refresher.

You can check out the full list here. And f you’ve consumed any drinks on the list, or have some nominations of your own, by all means, let’s hear your thoughts.


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  • Matt says:

    SugarHouse Detroit. So far, my favorite watering hole in and city I’ve traveled.

  • Chris says:

    Wish you guys had a re-blog button. Would have loved to share it on our blog.

  • moises says:

    Love Hop Sing!! Such a weird little bar. The owner is so stern and has all these crazy rules, but I’ve never had a bad time there.

  • Dan says:

    Midnight Cowboy is gorgeous, but I thought the drinks were pretty overrated. I got a Joe Buck… it was fine, but not as interesting as I would’ve guessed. Maybe too much ginger beer. Also got some tiki drink that was completely watered down. Love the tableside cocktail carts though. Cool concept.

  • Jay says:

    I didn’t even know they had hotels in Boise, let alone cocktail bars. 🙂

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