Across the Bar's Best Footage of 2015

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This season’s “Across the Bar” has been our sexiest season yet. From San Francisco to Boston, this year took us in front of some of the most innovative cocktails, prepared by mastermind mixologists whose unique crafted cocktails dazzled us to the very last sip.

In this compilation video, brought to you by the Foodable Network, we invite viewers back into some of the most epic drinking experiences of 2015 — from San Francisco’s Trick Dog, where we drank a bourbon concoction garnished with a complimentary cube of sharp cheddar, to Chicago, where Bar Takito and the Aviary showed us their creative (and scientific) chops. Bar Takito’s Adam Weber explores tea-infused cocktails, and the Aviary’s Micah Melton takes us on a full-sensory journey at the establishment’s cocktail lab.

Cocktail Inspiration: 5 Bartenders Reveal Their Spin on Classic Cocktails

Cocktail Inspiration: 5 Bartenders Reveal Their Spin on Classic Cocktails

By Jessica Bryant, Managing Editor

You can’t go wrong with a classic. That sentiment continues to reverberate around bars all across the country, as cocktail culture cycles back to its roots with a renewed appreciation for simple, classic drinks.

Just as with any industry of expression (like fashion or art), trends tend to evolve backward as much as they do forward, their reintroduction met with new waves of appreciation. And as consumers become more educated drinkers, and start to understand the depths that one spirit alone holds, it seems almost cruel to mask the complex notes of the tastebuds by overdoing it. This demand of to-the-point simplicity can also be seen in the ever-progressing American dining culture. Journalist C.W. Ceram said it best: “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”

What influences American culture to revive these trends once again? And how are bartenders around the country putting a modern spin on the classics? We’ve got you covered, below.

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Check Out Our "Across the Bar" Episode Featuring Bar Takito

For some, the idea of Bar Takito may conjure up delicious visions of gourmet taco and mezcal pairings, but the “little sister” of Takito Kitchen is doing even bigger things in both the kitchen and behind the bar. On the cocktail front, Adam Weber—like any great professional drinkologist—is constantly flexing his mixology muscles to learn, discover, and thus create new inventions. New drinks on the menu take about a month to six weeks to refine, he says.

In a recent episode of “Across the Bar,” where we hit bars and breweries across the country to find hidden gems and ingenious creations from leading mixologists, brewers, and beverage directors, Weber makes us three cocktails we’ve never drank or even seen before. The ingredient that ties them all together? Tea.

Tea-infused cocktails have been made more popular throughout the past couple of years, but have you ever drank an Old Fashioned with tequila and tea? Another invention Weber pulls out of his sleeve is a “boozewashed” rum daiquiri, where the astringency of the combination of black tea and chilled rum is removed by a curdling method using the proteins found in milk. 

Watch the full episode below to get a firsthand look at these never-before-seen cocktails, made especially for us!

Bar Takito — Using Tea As an Ingredient to Modernize Classic Cocktails

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Chicago-based Bar Takito has a piece of our heart — not only for Adam Weber’s cocktails but also for reasons of nostalgia. The venue’s mothership, Takito Kitchen, kicked off our very first “Across the Bar” episode back in 2013. A bar and its resident mixologist can evolve a lot in two years, and Bar Takito is no exception.

In this episode of “Across the Bar,” brought to you by the Foodable Network and Lipton® Fresh Brewed Iced Tea, Weber sets the bar high by creating three tea-based cocktails. Up first is the Peachy Keen, with bitters, lemon juice, vodka, agave nectar, and Lipton® Fresh Brewed Peach Iced Tea, followed by a modern remake of The Old-Fashioned and, last but not least, a daiquiri-inspired cocktail that uses booze-washing.

Watch the full episode as Weber concocts simple cocktails with maximum flavor, and puts a modern twist on some tried-and-true classic cocktails.