Barrel-Aged Mai Tai ($13)
One of seven barrel-aged cocktails available at Sassafras, the Mai Tai version is a mix of Diplomatica Reserva Rum, Clemente Creole Shrub, housemade orgeat, and fresh lime juice combined and aged in oak barrels. Topped with crushed ice, doused with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, and garnished with fresh mint, the aged Mai Tai is noticeably smooth with a very faint hint of oak, yet still retaining its sweet and citrusy Tiki flavors.
Sassafras Royale ($12)
Templeton Rye, malted milk powder, and a whole egg are shaken together with housemade root liqueur and sassafras bitters, poured into a Collins glass, and then topped with house brewed sarsaparilla. Despite the richness provided by the milk powder and egg, the spiciness of the rye and the herbal notes of the sarsaparilla come forward in this creamy cocktail.
"The sassafras and sarsaparilla are the flavors of root beer," said Mort. "So along with the creaminess from the egg and malted milk, this cocktail is like a deconstructed root beer float."
Toasted Pecan Julep ($12)
A classic Southern drink with an additional Southern twist, this julep features Dos Maderas 5x3 rum, Tores 10-year old Imperial Brandy, fresh mint, and a housemade pecan liqueur that provides a nutty sweetness to this refreshing, slow-sipping drink.
"Pecans are beloved in the South, so we knew we wanted to do a pecan drink," said Mort. "So we made our own pecan liqueur by chopping and toasting pecans, and then steeping them with brown sugar in 107-proof bourbon."
Pimm's No. 1933 ($12)
"We wanted to do a bigger, more over-the-top version" of a Pimm's Cup, said Mort. To make the Pimm's No. 1933, a homemade Pimm's liqueur is first concocted from gin and Cynar. The house recipe Pimm's is then shaken with a macerated strawberry syrup and lightly brined salted cucumbers, strained into an ice-filled Collins glass, topped with soda and garnished with an edible flower and another slice of salted cucumber. The effervescent concoction is simultaneously tangy and sweet, briny and savory.
Grilled Peach Punch ($12)
A riff on the Southern favorite, Brandy Milk Punch, the punch at Sassafras is a mixture of grilled peaches, cinnamon, and coriander that is steeped in rum, brandy, and milk. Served in an ice-filled rocks glass and garnished with a cinnamon stick, the Grilled Peach Punch tastes a bit like a smooth, yet potent, peach-infused eggnog.
"After I steep the peaches and spices in the booze for a few hours, I add the milk and a little bit of lemon juice to the mixture," explained Mort. "The lemon juice causes the milk to curdle, and then I'm able to strain everything with a chinois and cheesecloth, but still leaving behind that milky flavor to smooth everything out."