Cocktail trend matrix 

We assign values to current mixology fads, plus where to find the good stuff locally

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A few local sources:

Hanson’s Shoe Repair offers a strictly edited menu of classic cocktails only: the Manhattan, the French 75, and other drinks of that historic ilk. (27 E. Pine St., 407-476-9446, call for reservations;

Chef-owner Tyler Brassil whips up the house-made sodas at Pharmacy. (8060 Via Dellagio Way, 407-985-2972;

A rotating selection of cocktails on tap – almost always including a G&T variation – is on offer at the Courtesy Bar. (114 N. Orange Ave.,

We’re no Portland (which has dozens of indie spirits makers) but we do have our own locally distilled liquor: Winter Park Distilling Co. ( – not to mention the locally inspired (though distilled in, yep, Portland) Enlightened Grain ( and brand-new artisanal bitters company Daughters & Co.

The Matador often serves barrel-aged cocktails – if it’s a Negroni, don’t pass it up. (724 Virginia Drive,

Candy- and pastry-flavored liquor (bubblegum, cookie dough, marshmallow, etc.) and fakey “moonshine” (keep your peach-pie filling out of my drink, thanks) are more of a national bottling nightmare than a local issue, but if you want it, you can find it. We’re not naming names or shaming neighborhoods here. On the other hand, Luctor International (which makes Van Gogh Vodka, the only tolerable flavored vodka out there) recently relocated its corporate HQ to Orlando; and Winter Park Distilling Co. makes a very fine corn whiskey – akin to moonshine, but a much better choice.

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April 8, 2020


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