Each week, two mixologists will put their own spins on the same drink in a head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste them both and tell us them by tagging @pghcitypaper on Twitter or Instagram and use #CPBoozeBattles. If you want to be a part of Booze Battles, send an email to food-and-beverage writer Celine Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Drink: Horse’s Neck
The bar at Ace Hotel120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty
Ingredients: Bourbon, club soda, ginger-turmeric-honey syrup, lime wheel and candied ginger garnish
Our Take: The ginger syrup, underscored by the turmeric, gives the drink a spicier kick than you get from using ginger beer. Club soda adds a refreshing lightness to the drink while cutting some of the sugar. Working on more of an “update to a classic” model, it would be easy to drink these down without noticing how much bourbon was in each glass.
2108 E. Carson St., South Side
Ingredients: Bourbon, ginger ale mixed with Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer, lemon, lemon peel garnish
Our Take: The arc of the lemon peel curling around the top of the glass enhances the citrus notes from the first sip. It’s a very bourbon-forward and balanced cocktail. The carbonation is subtle, just noticeable and tempered by the bourbon. While light and refreshing, the minimal carbonation made it more like a traditional cocktail than a fizzy bourbon-flavored soda.