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April 19, 2010

In search of bars with herb-infused cocktails

Ever since Green Cilantro closed, I've been pining for places with herb-infused cocktails. Mojitos made with mint don't count, but other drinks made with mint do.

What else counts? Well, McCormick & Schmick's on Pier Five has a Basil and White Grape Refresher that's cool and crisp. Amicci's has a Lil' It'ly Lemonade, which is made with muddled strawberries and basil, and I know Bad Decisions makes a thyme martini.

But there's got to be more than just these three. Help, gang! Help!

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:41 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


The Clementine Basil Lime Elixr

Don't forget Angela at Atlas does that thing with the fresh ginger.

A recent visit to Salt found a supply of fresh lavender at the garnish station. They have a lavender infused gin cocktail that's good and good for spring drinking.

Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I'm sure places like Woodberry Kitchen and B&O Brasserie have a few herb-infused drinks, but we write about those spots too much. I was shocked when I called Talara (the mojito mecca) and a woman there told me, besides mojitos, they don't make drinks with herbs. That's a shame.

Same goes for the Gin Mill -- when I called there, the woman who answered the phone said only a bartender would be able to answer my question, and the bartenders don't get in until 5 p.m.

Baltimore Chop -- just called Salt -- their lavender gin is off the menu for the near future. They must have run out.

lucas in locust point used to have a bunch of infused spirits, but they are at least closed for the time being....

Meli does an outstanding dirty martini with fresh thyme and tomato infused vodka.

Lebanese Taverna (I work here) has a Veranda Lemonade on happy hour for $5. Ginger infused syrup, fresh lemonade w/ orange blossom, dash of pomegranate juice and london dry gin. Garnished with pomegranate seeds. Very refreshing.

That's a shame. I don't even like gin but that was good.

If you come up with a good list be sure to share it around. Limes and oranges do get old after a while.

City Cafe has a drink with basil called the Basil Smashberry.

Seconded on the Basil Lime Elixir at Clementine. You can get it with your booze of choice. I like mine with vodka.

Talara is overpriced and overrated. Decent food, but again, not worth the price. One more "over" for ya - the last time I went (before giving up on the place) the bartender was an overbearing tool.

When I went to Corks (maybe a year ago or more) they had a supply of various herb infused vodkas and associated cocktails. Corks probably does not qualify as a bar, but that lavender vodka was tasty.

It's been a while since I've been there, but Sotto Sopra used to do a very good lemon-basil martini.

Sascha's Cafe has a Basil Martini that I can't wait to try!

i can't remember the name of this, but at Rocket to Venus, they have a really amazing shot, that sounds like it'd be right up this alley.

from what i remember, it was a shot of vanilla vodka, tossed in a blender with a strawberry and basil. then poured into a wide rim shot glass that had been rimmed on the outside with a balsamic vinaigrette reduction. AWESOME.

B&O American Brasserie always has a variety of herbal, savory cocktails. In the past there has been the Horsecar, using thyme and blueberries muddled with gin. Currently B&O has the Modena Market Cocktail with a white balsamic syrup muddled with strawberries and basil combined with vodka. Also on the list is a lavender-pink peppercorn syrup added to a gin cocktail. The cocktails are always seasonally fresh and delicious at B&O.

We used to do a three-herb cocktail at Three.

Muddled cilantro, mint and thai basil, a dash of vanilla, Malibu and ginger beer. Tasty stuff.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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