The best things in life get better when you add a little complexity. Which is why we love the addition of spicy, savory elements to classic cocktails.
“The savory scene has gotten really big, incorporating a lot of salt components and spices into drinks,” says Whitney Morrow, Beverage Director of Drumbar in Chicago.
She and her staff rely on their love of a good stiff drink peppered with a bit of creative liberty to design their seasonal menus four times a year. “They’re pretty eccentric sometimes,” she says.
But a bar favorite that has withstood changing tastes and seasons is The Hogwild, a drink originally created for a local movie premiere at an art gallery in Chicago’s Wicker Park, that delivers a robust smoky savory taste. “It drinks like an Old Fashioned, so it’s palatable for most people, but it’s also outside the box. This is for the adventurous Old Fashioned drinker,” she says
The base is similar, but there are some key substitutions. First and foremost, you've got bourbon – Morrow uses Buffalo Trace. But instead of Angostura bitters, The Hogwild uses a splash of Cynar, a bitter amaro made from artichokes. And in lieu of a sugar cube, their drink gets its sweetness from maple syrup, which is cut with soy sauce to further the recipe's savory element. And last but not least, Morrow adds a half ounce of Ancho Reyes, a chili liqueur, for an extra kick.
Think of it as a classic, flipped on its head. Same formula, new flavors.
1.5 oz bourbon
.5 oz Ancho Reyes
.25 oz Cynar
.5 oz blend of maple syrup and soy sauce
Combine into a mixing glass and stir.
Strain over a large single ice cube.