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Pittsburgh City Paper Booze Battles: Apteka vs. Cure

Sage and saffron bring savory elements to bourbon cocktails

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CP PHOTOS BY CELINE ROBERTS
  • CP photos by Celine Roberts

Each week, we order the same cocktail at two different bars for a friendly head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste both drinks and tell us what you like about each by tagging @pghcitypaper on Twitter or Instagram and using #CPBoozeBattles. If you want to be a part of Booze Battles, send an email to food-and-beverage writer Celine Roberts, at celine@pghcitypaper.com.

Apteka

4606 Penn Ave., Bloomfield

Drink: Bourbon with prune and sage

Ingredients: bourbon, pickled prune, sage

Our take: Lift this drink to your lips, and the first aroma to note is the soft, green smell of sage. The pickled prune is emulsified, giving the cocktail a thick, jammy texture. There are underlying notes of caramel from the bourbon, and a raisiny finish. 

Vs.

Cure

5336 Butler St., Lawrenceville

Drink: Crocus

Ingredients: bourbon, amaro, saffron, lemon twist

Our take: A cleanly executed, middle-sweet cocktail pulls depth from its saffron finish. The body of the drink is slightly bitter from the amaro, with caramel bourbon flavors to balance. Light citrus notes start and finish the drink. 


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