Each week, we order the same cocktail at two different bars for a friendly head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste them both 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Drink: Sazerac
Scratch Food & Beverage
1720 Lowrie St., Troy Hill
Ingredients: Bluebird rye, aromatic bitters, organic simple syrup, Wigle Absent Minded absinthe rinse, orange peel
Our take: This cocktail puts a Pennsylvania twist on a New Orleans drink by using all Pennsylvania-made liquors and bitters. A sip gives strong vanilla notes with a good dose of menthol to balance it, lingering on the finish. Unlike its Creole cousin, this rendition doesn’t pack quite such a boozy punch, leading to a softer, sweeter flavor. The oils from the orange peel add a bit of needed bitterness.
NOLA on the Square
24 Market Square, Downtown
Ingredients: Bulleit rye, Herbsaint liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, essential lemon oil, lemon peel
Our take: For a truly New Orleans cocktail, it only makes sense to go to NOLA to try the classic recipe. The cocktail is very rye-forward, bringing a lot of heat to the palate. The Herbsaint and bitter make the drink pleasantly medicinal, while the sweetness of the rye and tartness of the lemon oil create balance.