Slideshow: The Best Drinks We Drank in September

Gin Smasher at Bellocq, New Orleans
Gin Smasher at Bellocq, New Orleans
"It's my second night in New Orleans, and I've visited cocktail bar/vampire opium den Bellocq twice. I've had this drink three times, and might have another before I leave. Lemon and orange zest with mint and gin may sound like a tired combination for empty, low-proof refreshment, but not here. No siree. Not when they're using Hayman's navy-strength Royal Dock gin and a few dashes of Peychaud's bitters for good measure. The drink is crisp and clean, like herb-tinged gin drinks should be, but it has such a generous citrus oil flavor—not juice, and not sweet, but the most wonderful extracted essence of the fruit. Despite all the garnish, the gin takes the lead, forceful but very—dangerously—drinkable."—Max Falkowitz, SENY Editor

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Coffee from Doi Chaang in Thailand
Coffee from Doi Chaang in Thailand
"After I toured the Or Tor Kor Market in Thailand, my tour guide pointed across the street to a modern building with a coffee shop attached and casually mentioned that Doi Chaang was the best coffee in the world. Not a second passed before I asked whether I could sample said coffee. So, is it the best? How should I know!? I do know that the single estate Arabica coffee is both smooth and astoundingly complex, which is tough to nail. Looks like it can easily be found in some shops in Canada, but you can order it online in the States."—Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor
Mata Hari at Employees Only in NYC
Mata Hari at Employees Only in NYC
"I don't normally go for "pretty" cocktails, but this cognac and chai-infused sweet vermouth cocktail has substance to match its style. One secret to the drink's success is the dried rose bud garnish—a thoughtful touch that engages the senses and adds a subtle layer of aromatic complexity to the experience."—Maryse Chevriere, NY Drinks Contributor
Vermont Apple Cider
Vermont Apple Cider
"Though I haven't stopped eating watermelon quite yet, I know it's almost time to hug pumpkins, wear chunky sweaters, and drink cider. HELLO FALL. My first sip of apple cider this season was from Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Vermont, which is part of the Five Acre Farms line of local products. Sweet and refreshingly tart, the cider is made from a blend of apples: Macintosh, Empire, Red Delicious, Spartan, and Northern Spy, all picked at the orchard at peak ripeness. It's like biting into a crisp, squirty apple and at the end of the glass, you get some of that great natural sediment waiting at the bottom."—Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor
Texecutioner at Contigo in Austin, TX
Texecutioner at Contigo in Austin, TX
"This cocktail by Houston Eaves of Contigo features smoky mezcal, D'Aristi Xtabentun Honey Liqueur, honey, tangy grapefruit juice, and Cocchi Americano. The bright and bold flavors are balanced off by honey and Cocchi Americano's subtle sweetness. The glass arrived full but I forgot to snap a photo until I took several sips, naturally."—Melody Fury, Austin Drinks contributor
Golden Gate at Park Tavern, San Francisco
Golden Gate at Park Tavern, San Francisco
"I finally made it over to Park Tavern in SF for dinner. We got there a little early so I ordered a Golden Gate at the bar. It was an unusual but lovely mix of green tea-infused bourbon, lemon, tart cherry liqueur, and cherry bitters. It's wasn't at all sweet, but had a subtle fruitiness with bright notes of lemon that made it a nice light precursor to the meal."—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor
Txakolina rosé
Txakolina rosé
"Right now I'm pretty obsessed with Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina, a rosé from Spain's Basque country, which I had first from Astor Wines and then at Tertulia (both in NYC). A blend of white Hondarribi Zuri and red Hondarribi Beltza grapes, it's a low-alcohol, slightly effervescent, super-mineral wine that's intended to be poured in a long, 2-3 foot arm-stretching stream, which creates a distinctive fizzy head. Crisp and puckery-tart with a little salinity, it's easy to drink on its own (and at 10.5%, easy to drink a lot of on its own), but I really loved it with shellfish."—Carey Jones, Senior Managing Editor
Bourbon Maple Bacon Milkshake at 8oz Burger Bar in Seattle
Bourbon Maple Bacon Milkshake at 8oz Burger Bar in Seattle
"As dessert approached, our server leaned in conspiratorially and offered to make an off-menu special: adding bourbon to the Maple & Bacon Milkshake. Sure enough, the Bluebird ice cream blended in with the menu's ubiquitous bacon (want a plate? it's right there on the app menu, 'Plate of Bacon') made for a post-dinner treat that tasted like breakfast and cocktails had a happy accident in my glass."—Naomi Bishop, Seattle contributor
Riesling from Donnhoff in Germany
Riesling from Donnhoff in Germany
"My recent trip to Germany was full of some of the most delicious sips I've ever tried, so I'm torn choosing a favorite. I was lucky to get to taste a number of older wines and see firsthand how deliciously off-dry and sweet wines can develop over 10 years or 20. But in terms of what you can find right now, I have to recommend the riesling from Donnhoff in the Nahe. These are pure, clear, crystalline wines that beautifully demonstrate what wine folks mean when they say a wine has 'mineral' flavors."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor