Cocktails have grown up — and fast. Gone are the days where simple two-ingredient cocktails quenched the thirst of Northeast Florida’s cocktail connoisseurs. The diversity of our cocktail scene and experience of our cocktail creators has blossomed into a full-blown culture. Patrons desire libations that are not only pleasing to the palate, but the creation and presentation of which is an experience in itself. Using lesser known spirits, flavored bitters and house-made syrups and shrubs, local bartenders have driven the cocktail culture to new heights that rival major metropolitan areas. We have searched long and hard, with some imbibing here and there, to showcase some of the wildest and most unique cocktail creations in the area.

Flying Iguana

Smokey and the Bandit — Vida Mezcal combined with Tito’s Texas Vodka, pomegranate puree, fresh lime and Angry Orchard Cider. Smokey and sweet flavors dominate this cocktail!

Hoptinger

Left Coast Lemonade — Fresh lemon, muddled strawberry, New Amsterdam Gin, Cointreau, and Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. Summer in a glass!

Candy Apple Café

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie — Don Q Rum, peanut butter almond milk, Sweet Pete’s Sea Salt Caramel, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and chocolate coin. You won’t regret drinking your dessert after this cocktail!

The Volstead

Baked Apple Sazerac — Bulleit Rye Whiskey, apple pie moonshine, Absinthe, cinnamon, brown sugar and bitters. If you like fire, then this is the drink for you!

The Parlour

Rye Not? — Rye whiskey, Cardamaro, rhubarb syrup and Blackstrap Bitters. Bitter, sweet and savory, this cocktail has it all.

Orsay

Corpse Reviver — Reyka vodka, Lillet Blanc, Combier, verjus and absinthe infused with lemon, orange zest, ginger and chamomile. Served table side in a porthole infuser and meant to be shared, a little hair of the dog never tasted so good!

Ovinte

Spiced Pear — St. George Pear Brandy, Carpano Antica Formula, Benedictine, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon juice, Fever Tree Ginger Beer and candied apple. This cocktail is a punch to the face of fall flavors!

Ice Plant

Wet Hot American Summer — Old Forester Bourbon, coconut oolong tea, lime, Kronan Swedish Punsch, Hamilton Demerara Rum, Aperol and cinnamon. The name says it all!

Medure

One Night in Bangkok — This blend of Bye Joe Lychee Fruit Vodka, Shellback Rum, lime, blueberry-ginger syrup, plum wine, GYO Greens Shiso and ginger beer will ensure your night is unforgettable.

Flask and Cannon

Santiago and Dunbar — Served in a cored pineapple with all of the tiki fixins, this blend of Kappa Pisco, Fidencio Mezcal, yellow Chartreuse, pineapple, lime, pineapple syrup and Abbott’s Bitters is sure to make other bar-goers envious.

By: John Langley | Contributor — Instagram | @drinkjax