Slideshow: The Best Drinks We Drank in February

Quick 'Horchata'
Quick 'Horchata'

"I was never really a fan of soy milk, but I've discovered that I really love Silk's almond milk. It's creamy and rich with just a touch of sweetness, and a nice nutty flavor that tastes almost like unsweetened horchata (which makes sense). Normally, making horchata is a relatively involved process. So I thought to myself, could I make a quick cheaty version with store-bought almond milk? I tried it out, blending a cup of almond milk with a tablespoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and vanilla extract, using a hand blender to froth it up. The results were deliciously creamy. I'll be doing a lot more of this."—J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

[Photo: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Smokehouse Cider at North End Grill, NYC
Smokehouse Cider at North End Grill, NYC

"There's a lot of hand-wringing from Scotch fans about 'wasting' good single malts by using them in cocktails—and plenty of rebuttals about why that's not the case. Here's my new favorite reply: the Smokehouse Cider at North End Grill, which yes, is served long, and it's a touch sweet, and sure it even has bubbles, but it's a serious Scotchtail regardless. The base is oaky, peaty Springbank 10 whisky mixed with American apple cider vermouth and French sparkling cider, which makes for a good balance of smoke, sweetness, and effervescence. The kicker is a bit of Fernet Branca; its medicinal notes contribute a smoldering depth to a drink that's totally smooth but undeniably Scotch-y."—Max Falkowitz, SENY editor

[Photo: Max Falkowitz]

Tom Yum Inspired Drink in Thailand
Tom Yum Inspired Drink in Thailand

"I've had 'Thai martinis' before, but this tom yum-inspired cocktail, at a bar called Mixology (yes, really) in Chiang Mai, beat them all. I'd never order this on a menu in the States—I like my spirits brown and/or smoky&nmdash;but I trusted a Thai bar to nail these flavors and they really came through: vodka infused with kaffir lime, lemongrass, and galangal, shaken with lime juice, coconut liqueur, and a palm sugar syrup. The chili on top means that the drink grows steadily spicier as you sip—use that as an excuse to put it back or savor it, whatever your style."—Carey Jones, 'Ask a Bartender'

[Photo: Carey Jones]

The Player at Lolo, San Francisco
The Player at Lolo, San Francisco

"I'm a little obsessed with this beer cocktail at the relocated Lolo on Valencia. It's made with rye and bittersweet Cynar, fresh lime, agave, and grapefruit bitters, topped off with local Anchor Steam beer. Super bright and thirst-quenching."—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks editor

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Cucumber-Spinach Agua Fresca at at Ricky's Fish Tacos in Los Angeles
Cucumber-Spinach Agua Fresca at at Ricky's Fish Tacos in Los Angeles
"When I first saw 'cucumber-spinach agua fresca' on the menu at Ricky's Fish Tacos, I rolled my eyes, thinking it was a concession to juice-obsessed Angelenos (why juice-obsessed Angelenos would be at a deep-fried fish taco stand, I don't know—just roll with me here). But after one sip of the alarmingly green concoction (which, as its name implies, is more of a flavored water than a full-on juice), I knew Ricky's wasn't ceding anything to anyone—they're just perfecting the art of making the absolute most refreshing drink possible. It tastes like someone squeezed a cucumber through a rainbow, and that's nothing to roll your eyes at."—Jamie Feldmar, Managing Editor

[Photo: Jamie Feldmar]

Rose Paloma
Rose Paloma

"I'm not usually one for floral cocktails, so I hesitated when some friends suggested we try out this Lavender Paloma from Saveur. At the last minute, we couldn't get our hands on any lavender, so we substituted it with dried rose petals instead. Infused in a simple syrup, they brought a gentle herbal sweetness to the drink that partnered well with the mezcal and grapefruit juice. Served with a lightly salted rim, the cocktail was remarkably well-balanced—tart, smoky, bitter, subtly floral, and super refreshing."—Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

[Photograph: Laura Sant/Saveur]

Tröegs Nugget Nectar
Tröegs Nugget Nectar

"I've been anxiously awaiting Tröegs Nugget Nectar to make its annual appearance (in NYC), repeatedly checking beer menus and stalking bars on Twitter to no avail, when I almost walked directly into a giant display of the stuff at the new Whole Foods in Gowanus. It's HERE and it's just as delicious as it was last year."—Paul Cline, Developer

[Photo: Paul Cline]

Lima Llama at Tanta, Chicago
Lima Llama at Tanta, Chicago

As you’d expect at a Peruvian restaurant, Tanta serves a pretty solid Pisco Sour. But the drink that really surprised me was the Lima Llama. Served in a nice copper mug, the Moscow Mule riff features Barsol Quebranta pisco, lime, and ginger beer. One could call it refreshing. All I know is that I drank half of my wife’s, before giving up and ordering my own."—Nick Kindelsperger, SE Chicago editor

[Photo: Nick Kindelsperger]

Hopslam by Bell's Brewery at Top Hops NYC
Hopslam by Bell's Brewery at Top Hops NYC

"Bell's took over like 10 of the taps at Top Hops and when I went the first night, the place was packed! I think they were even a little surprised at how many people were there. Hopslam is slightly sweet, very bitter and wonderfully complex. This is a BOLD beer, and a strong one. I wanted more than one, but wisely restrained myself."—Leandra Palermo, Ad Sales Account Executive

[Photo: Bell's Brewery]

Happy Jack from Jack's Stir Brew, NYC
Happy Jack from Jack's Stir Brew, NYC

"When I was in NYC over President's Day weekend, I made more than a few stops at Jack's Stir Brew in the West Village. See I've gotten hooked on the Tupelo Honey Latte from Blue Bottle back home in SF, so I was delighted to see their version of a honey latte, the Happy Jack, on the menu. If you're skeptical about espresso+honey, I urge you to give it a try. I normally take my lattes unsweetened, but the honey adds a surprisingly complex flavor which complements, not clashes, with the espresso."—Carrie Vasios Mullins, Sweets editor

[Photo: Kathy YL Chan]

Cocchi Americano
Cocchi Americano

"I am loving Cocchi Americano, served neat, but cold, with an orange twist. Great as an aperitif or just to sip after my shift. Gets me excited for warmer weather!"—Stacey Gibson, wine contributor

Revolution from Public Espresso in Buffalo
Revolution from Public Espresso in Buffalo

"All month, I've been brewing Public Espresso's Revolution roast. Strong enough to get me going in the morning, it has an incredibly smooth, yet complex, flavor. There's some nuttiness and sweetness, all coming together to form a really delicious cup of coffee."—Nick Guy, cocktail contributor

[Photo: Nick Guy]