Whether you always choose something from the house cocktail menu, or you never stray from the exact ratio of vermouth you like in your gin martini, these six Philly mixologists have something to please any spirit-ual person.
Kieth Ramondi – Townsend — We’ve already told you how much we like the bar at Townsend, and Ramondi’s big personality and line-up of inventive drinks mean that this small bar in Townsend Wentz’s elegant French restaurant on East Passyunk is worth planning a trip south for. One drink not to miss? Broken Garden Tools, a bright green vegetal number marrying the flavor of fresh parsley with black pepper.
Phoebe Esmon & Christian Gaal – Emmanuelle — Emmanuelle’s menu is a book, not a single sheet of paper, and the volume represents the work of this dynamic duo. Gaal does the research, pulling historical influences and crafting fanciful names, while Esmon builds the exhaustive array of house-made syrups, shrubs, preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, and tinctures that contribute to the finished flavors in each drink. The canonical nature of their accumulated work means that there’s literally something for everyone.
Sara Justice – The Franklin – This Lancaster County-born upstart cut her teeth at Please Don’t Tell and earned a Best New Mixologist mention from Food & Wine magazine while at Holeman & Finch in Atlanta. Now, closer to home behind the bar at The Franklin, she offers a list of inventive cocktails including a themed cocktail tasting menu.
Jesse Cornell – Neuf – Though seasoned bar flies will know Cornell as the man behind the bar at Philadelphia speakeasy Vesper, he’s recently left to launch the beverage program at the Joncarl Lachman’s soon-to-open Italian Market restaurant, Neuf. Expect the cocktail menu to include riffs on the restaurant’s French and North African inspirations.
Guy Smith – The Good King Tavern – From 1999 until 2015, Smith held down the bar at Old City’s Fork and High Street on Market. Now, he delights guests from behind the bar at Monk’s Cafe and The Good King Tavern where he offers up drinks with inventive additions and infusions such as strawberry-Lambrusco syrup, pineapple gum syrup, coffee chocolate chili-infused tequila, and a series of stirred rye cocktails named after neighborhoods in Philly.