If there's one thing that can win over our hearts more than a perfectly crafted cocktail, it's a perfectly crafted and cleverly named one. Whenever we just can't decide whether to stay steady with gin or spring for the artisanal rye whiskey, amusing, witty names always point us in the right direction.
And while these 10 drinks just so happen to be the brainchildren of talented mixologists and celebrated spirits industry pros around the country, let's be honest: It's their punny names that really make them shine.
① Shiso Vain
The Anchorage (Greenville, South Carolina)
This Carly Simon-approved refresher combines Four Roses bourbon and Gosling's Black Seal rum with tonic, ginger and shiso (a grassy, citrusy herb) for a sparkling pick-me-up perfect for South Carolina's sweltering summers.
Diamond Reef (Brooklyn, New York)
From the cocktail maestros behind Manhattan's highly acclaimed Attaboy comes Diamond Reef, a Brooklyn hangout blending tropical-themed cocktails and boozy slushies, including this frosty, paper umbrella-adorned version of the classic Penicillin, consisting of whisky, lemon, ginger and honey.
③ Marzipan's Labyrinth
Jack Rose Dining Saloon (Washington, D.C.)
Despite Jack Rose's massive whiskey library (2,700 bottles and counting), it's this almond-scented stunner, made with Espolón tequila reposado, Manzanilla sherry, marzipan syrup and rose water, that really catches our eye—and our funny bones.
④ Llama del Rey
Llama Inn (Brooklyn, New York)
Llama Inn's selection of draft cocktails means that whether you're in the mood for a glass or a pitcher, the Llama del Rey, an all-too-easy-to-drink sangria spiked with pisco, grilled pineapple and house-made chicha morada—a classic Peruvian fruit juice made using purple corn—is always just a pour away.
⑤ A Shrub Is a Guy Who Thinks He's Fly
Ripple (Washington, D.C.)
Though this 90s R&B throwback is technically a mocktail, complex flavors like toasted coriander shrub and charred grapefruit will easily make you forget about the absence of booze. (But, sadly, not about the absence of Left Eye. RIP.)
⑥ Beets by J
Belcampo (Los Angeles)
This vegetable-forward drink, made with tequila añejo, vibrant beet juice, citrus-spiked agave and a punch of smoked salt, is close enough to vitamin-rich juice that you can get away with bypassing the salad in favor of this Santa Monica brunch spot's famous gojuchang-glazed fried chicken sandwich.
⑦ The Sergeant Bell Pepper
Vandal (New York City)
A reflection of chef Chris Santos's globally inspired cuisine, the Sergeant Bell Pepper blends together gin, lemon juice and red bell pepper juice, finished with a few crimson-hued drops of diabolically hot Thai chile oil.
⑧ Minaj à Poire
The Aviary (Chicago)
At Grant Achatz's legendary experimental cocktail bar, drinks are treated with the same precision as the exquisite dishes at his Michelin-starred restaurant, Alinea. This curious tipple is made with brown butter, heady black truffle, cognac and delicate spheres of pear.
⑨ Toucan't Touch This
The Bird (Washington, D.C.)
If the name of this drink isn't enough to sway you, the mix of two types of gin, ginger, lemon and soda is presented in its own special—and very adorable—toucan mug.
⑩ Tequila Mockingbird
Catcher in the Rye (Los Angeles)
Copies of literary classics line the walls of Catcher's cozy dining room, where guests can choose from a Reading List of cocktails, including this liquored-up take on Harper Lee's famous novel; it's made of Arette blanco tequila, triple sec, lime, jalapeño and Aperol. Looking for some additional sustenance? The To Kale a Mockingbird salad, studded with dried apricots and dressed in an orange poppy seed vinaigrette, is all you need to get you through Atticus Finch's courthouse monologue.
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