Slideshow: The Best Drinks We Drank in October

Moscow Mule From Pitfire Pizza on Fairfax in Los Angeles
Moscow Mule From Pitfire Pizza on Fairfax in Los Angeles

"Pitfire Pizza's new cocktail program includes a Moscow Mule straight from the tap. With a lot of ginger bite and the perfect squeeze of lemon, this is a slightly re-imagined bar classic that doesn't need a copper mug to feel familiar."—Farley Elliott, Los Angeles contributor

[Photo: Farley Elliott]

Quite a Scorpion Bowl
Quite a Scorpion Bowl
"It has to be the scorpion bowl I shared with Jamie, Max, and Niki last Friday at Tropical Bar on Elizabeth Street. It had more than an umbrella—it had a bowl of fire in the middle. It was made with peach, cranberry, pineapple, and plenty of vodka, but, per Jamie, no banana."—Ed Levine, Serious Eats Overlord
Oh, You'll See...
Oh, You'll See...

"Almost everything I drank this month was in preparation for a few big articles I'm writing—all wine recommendations for Thanksgiving. Stay tuned: I've tasted some seriously delicious stuff, and I'm excited to share it all soon."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Pappy
Pappy

"I know I’m late to the game here, but I finally got to try Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 Year bourbon while visiting Portland’s Multnomah Whiskey Library during Portland Cocktail Week. Thankfully, it lives up to the hype. I normally take my bourbon on the rocks, but this is so smooth and flavorful that adulterating it at all just seems wrong. It simply tastes old, in the best possible way. Oak and leather are the big flavor notes here. Needless to say, if you like bourbon and happen to stumble upon a bar stocking Pappy, give it a try."—Nick Guy, cocktail contributor

[Photo: Nick Guy]

'Tea of a Thousand Daggers'
'Tea of a Thousand Daggers'

Like most of the SE office, I spent a chunk of October feeling miserably sick. Enter Kuding Cha to the rescue. This Chinese herbal tea translates as 'bitter nail tea,' or as I like to call it, 'tea of a thousand daggers.' It's an aggressively, alarmingly bitter tea that's used more for its alleged medicinal properties of soothing throats and the like, but I've gotten addicted to its mellow sweetness and clean flavor, something almost like an amaro. And hey, placebo effect or no, it does wonders for my throat and gives me a little boost of energy (the tea is mildly caffeinated). If you plan to brew it at home, just stick one needle in a mug and cover with boiling water. The leaf will unfurl and be fully steeped in a minute or two. You can resteep the tea several times."—Max Falkowitz, SENY Editor

[Photo: Robyn Lee]

'Wear and Tear' at Piora, NYC
'Wear and Tear' at Piora, NYC

"I loved the "Wear and Tear" at Piora in New York's West Village, an Old Pal variant with Old Overholt rye, vermouth, Aperol, and Yellow Chartreuse. It's served from a small oak barrel that sits atop the bar, and I love Piora's whimsical garnishes."—Carey Jones, NYC cocktail contributor

[Photograph: Ben Jay]

The Garden Bloody Mary at Tandem, Brooklyn
The Garden Bloody Mary at Tandem, Brooklyn

I have brunch at Tandem on a near-weekly basis, and while the food is quite good, it's the excellent Bloody Mary selection that ensures my fidelity. The Garden Bloody Mary is my favorite of the lot, coupling horseradish-packed heat with the subtle, vegetal sweetness of beet-infused vodka. A rim of paprika rounds it out with some smoky warmth, and a generous serving of pickled vegetables—most recently carrot, green bean, and cauliflower—adds a bright, spicy, hangover-shattering slap to the whole shebang.—Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

[Photo: Niki Achitoff-Gray]

Hot Toddy with Cinnamon
Hot Toddy with Cinnamon

"I've been sick as a dog with the flu, but when it was in its early stages, I mistook it for a cold and attempted to self-medicate with some hot toddies. Granted they didn't work, but they did taste great. I put one jigger of whisky in my teacup along with 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 squeeze of fresh lemon, and 1 cinnamon stick, then filled it up with hot water. Inhaling the cinnamon and feeling the hot, sweet drink on my sore throat made me feel better, if only for the moment."—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor

[Photo: Carrie Vasios]

Red Bean Milk Tea from Chatime in NYC
Red Bean Milk Tea from Chatime in NYC

"I'm not sure how I got this far in life without trying red bean milk tea earlier. It is, as the name suggests, milk tea with the add-in of sweet red beans, giving it an extra layer of sweet, starchy flavor. I'd go back to Chatime for more." —Robyn Lee, AHT editor and staff photographer

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Five Dollar Shake at Radio Bean in Burlington VT
Five Dollar Shake at Radio Bean in Burlington VT

"Radio Bean in Burlington has taken three of my favorite things and combined them into one delicious drink. The bartender pours a pint of Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout and dumps in a shot of espresso. He drizzles the frothy head with maple syrup for a kick of sweetness to balance out the acidic coffee. The result? A smooth, umami-based drink with a hint of woodsy sweetness and a whole lot of personality. Oh, and caffeine. What more could a person want?"—Lizz Schumer, cocktail contributor

[Photo: Lizz Schumer]

Pisco Sours in Chile
Pisco Sours in Chile

"This month I got to travel through the wine regions of Chile with a press gorup. The national drink of the country turns out to be the Pisco Sour. Bonus! We visited a different venue each day to try a slightly different rendition of the cocktail at the end of each wine tasting blitz. Divertimento, a Santiago restaurant near San Cristobal Hill made this Peruvian version that I preferred. It relied on the traditional Pisco with citrus and egg white, but the bartender used a local citrus half way between a lemon and lime, brought the perfect froth to the drink to soften the flavor a touch, and then sprinkled bitters on top for counterbalance. I've been obsessed with Pisco cocktails since."—Elaine Brown, wine columnist

[Photo: Elaine Brown]