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We're Seeing It Everywhere: Mushroom Cocktails

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
March 7, 2014

Photo credit: StockFood. Illustration credit: Jennifer Fox. 

It’s one thing to see a trend in Los Angeles and New York, where savory cocktails have become A ThingBacon-infused bourbon drinks? Yawn. A barbacoa-tequila number? Sure, whatever. There’s even a whole book devoted to this genre. 

But under that big, trippy umbrella resides a slightly less common treat: the mushroom cocktail. It’s been spied on both coasts, from Boston to San Jose. Now even Dallas—certainly no slouch in the culinary department, but definitely dead-center in the middle of America—is in on the act.

Mushroom cocktails are on the move, folks, from sea to shining sea. And we’re into it.

'Shrooms are among the most umami ingredients around, and whether they’re sweet candy caps or gorgeous, buttery chanterelles, they’ve got the potential to add wonderfully nuanced notes to drinks. 

In Boston, chef and owner Charles Draghi of Erbaluce makes a "Matsutake Flip,” which involves infusing bourbon with matsutakes, then shaking it with honey, lemon, nutmeg, and a whole frothed duck egg. (Totally normal.) Over in Hollywood, a bartender at the Library Bar of the Roosevelt Hotel whips up a candy capinfused bourbon Manhattan with a Luxardo cherry. The New York Times called the tipple “earthy and spicy with the faintest hint of maple….quite genius.” 

A bit father north in Los Gatos, at chef David Kinch’s Manresa Restaurant, wine and beverage director Jeff Bareilles serves a candy cap punch with sparkling wine that sounds downright fantastic. (He was kind enough to share the recipe online.) 

But Dallas is perhaps leading the pack: At Victor Tangos, you can order the “Lost in Translation,” a cocktail of Japanese whiskey, oyster mushrooms, and a candied shiitake. And across town, FT33's “Truffle Pig” cocktail relies upon chanterelles that have been “powdered with liquid nitrogen" and both seared and raw maitake mushrooms. It’s also garnished with a shiitake, thanks very much. 

So we’re officially seeing it everywhere. Maybe next time you’re killing time in an airport you can ask for a bourbon and ginger and portobello. 

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