Slideshow: The Best Drinks We Drank in April

Salep from Fazıl Bey'in Türk Kahvesi in Istanbul
Salep from Fazıl Bey'in Türk Kahvesi in Istanbul

"Fazıl Bey'in Türk Kahvesi is primarily a coffeeshop, but if you're like me and are more into sweets than coffee, try their salep. (I'll note that I also drank a cup of coffee there and was pretty happy with it...because I asked for it to be made with the maximum amount of sugar.) It tastes more like rich and creamy cinnamon-vanilla pudding than a drink, thanks to the thickening power of its namesake ingredient, orchid bulb powder."—Robyn Lee, AHT editor and photographer

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Cendol at the Indonesian Bazaar in Astoria, Queens
Cendol at the Indonesian Bazaar in Astoria, Queens
"The year's first Indonesian Bazaar fell on a chilly day, but that didn't stop me from ordering a cold up of my favorite cendol in New York, a dessert that you sip, slurp, and chew all at once. The contents of the cup, from bottom to top: smoky, butterscotch-y palm sugar, chewy, wobbly noodles, some ice, and a splash of coconut milk. Check Chowhound for updates on the bazaar's next appearance."—Max Falkowitz, SENY Editor

[Photo: Max Falkowitz]

High West Campfire Old Fashioned at Hard Water, San Francisco
High West Campfire Old Fashioned at Hard Water, San Francisco
"San Francisco's Hard Water has one of the most impressive American whiskey lists I've seen—including flights of rare out-of-production bourbons and ryes. But my favorite cocktail on the menu...isn't on the menu. You can order any of their whiskies in an Old Fashioned, and I highly recommend you do just that with High West's crazy Campfire Whiskey, a wacky, delicious blend of bourbon, rye, and Scotch. The cocktail is made with a dash of orange bitters plus two of Angostura, and the final concoction is orangey and rich, with a tantalizing edge of smoke."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor
French 75 at Arnaud's French 75, New Orleans
French 75 at Arnaud's French 75, New Orleans

"I had a serious cocktail itinerary planned for New Orleans, mostly based on recommendations from this handy guide. But as soon as I stepped into Arnaud's French 75 in the French Quarter, I didn't want to go anywhere else. Sure, the quiet and cozy room helped, but it was was the flawless version of the namesake cocktail—unfussy, confident—that really did something for me. I should note that the experience is immeasurably helped if Chris Hannah is behind the small bar making the drink for you. He'll even dish out a suggestion or twelve. But, then again, you'd have to leave."—Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor

[Photo: Goodies First on Flickr]

California Ribolla Gialla
California Ribolla Gialla
"I went to the coolest wine tasting at Arlequin Wine Merchant in San Francisco this month. A group of California winemakers (including Arnot-Roberts, Ryme, Massican, Forlorn Hope, and Matthiasson) gathered together to pour each of their wines made with Ribolla Gialla, a Friulian wine grape that is grown small quantities in Napa's Vare Vineyard. It was a great tribute to the grape, and to George Vare, who passed away this month. It was fascinating to see the range of expressions: there were bright, fresh wines, richer, amazingly mineral versions, and some with awesome texture from extended skin contact. Getting to chat with the winemakers about their winemaking choices while tasting each wine made me very, very happy to be living in California."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor
Cider at the Breizh Cafe in Paris
Cider at the Breizh Cafe in Paris
"The Breizh Cafe in Paris specializes in all things Breton (hailing from the Brittany region of France). Thus the main draw are the lace-edged buckwheat crepes, but a full third of the menu is devoted to cider. Only the "Cider of the Month" was offered by the glass—er, bowl—so my options were limited, but it was a wonderfully soft cider, bubbling about throughout my brunch, lacking both the sweetness of American ciders and the bitterness of British versions. Gentle and inviting, it was like the friendly grandmother of ciders."—Naomi Bishop, Seattle columnist
Founders Dirty Bastard
Founders Dirty Bastard

"I was born and raised in Boston and still live just south of the city in Quincy. To say that April hasn't been a great month for my city would be an understatement. I was driving on 93 South heading home around 11 p.m. on the 18th and saw about 7 police cruisers hauling ass in the direction of Boston (they were likely headed for Cambridge, the site of the MIT shooting). The next 24 hours were spent with my ear pressed against a police scanner, pushing back tears and doing something I don't do often: praying. When the whole ordeal finally ended on Friday night I had a few drinks to celebrate (Backlash Brewing's excellent Salute among them), but my drink of the month is Founders Dirty Bastard (an 8.5% ABV, 50 IBU Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy). This beer marked a return to normalcy for me. The Red Sox and Bruins were on my TV, my girlfriend, my younger brother, and my friend Greg all stopped by while I homebrewed. It was—in stark contrast to the previous 24 hours—a perfect day. Maybe Founders Dirty Bastard isn't the perfect beer (it is excellent), but it certainly tasted like it that Saturday."—Vinny Mannering, Drinking Game columnist

[Photo: Vinny Mannering]

Bourbon and Basil from Orbit Room, San Francisco
Bourbon and Basil from Orbit Room, San Francisco
"Orbit Room is an unassuming cafe oddly perched on a no-man's-land corner of mid-Market. Which makes their expansive, seasonally-influenced, and overall awesome cocktail list all the more surprising. I fell in love with the Bourbon and Basil ($10) on a recent Tuesday evening—the mix of Four Roses, Punt e Mes, cucumber juice, and housemade ginger syrup was a well-blended, perfectly balanced drink. I loved how the deep, rich sweetness of the bourbon and ginger was cut by the clean freshness of cucumber juice and basil (the cocktail is shaken with basil, in addition to being topped with an aromatic leaf for garnish). The best surprise, though, was the slow-building spice of the drink, thanks to some cayenne in the ginger syrup."—Lauren Sloss, San Francisco columnist
Fresh Squeezed Juices at Ballymaloe in Ireland
Fresh Squeezed Juices at Ballymaloe in Ireland
"If you ever find yourself in Ireland, get ye to Ballymaloe in County Cork. It's a cookery school and farm with a restaurant inside the country house hotel just up the road. For breakfast we enjoyed the freshest-squeezed grapefruit and orange juices with our porridge and yogurt made from the Ballymaloe cows' milk."—Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor
Cayrum
Cayrum
"Made in the Dominican Republic, the ginger- and honey-flavored Cayrum is smooth and sweet—but not cloying so. It plays well with spicy flavors, but I prefer mine on the rocks, with just a hint of citrus and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top."—Jaclyn Einis, NY cocktail contributor