An essential part of building a balanced cocktail is understanding the purpose of each ingredient. Liqueurs are unique in that they can have multiple functions in a cocktail, which makes them both challenging and exciting to mixologists. “I like using liqueurs because they add a sweet or savory element to cocktails without sacrificing the overall proof of the drink,” says Adam Kamin, head bartender at Bottlefork in Chicago. When working with sweeter fruit liqueurs, he adds spices and citrus to create balance. His Baysic cocktail ($14) features bay leaf–infused Aylesbury Duck vodka, Giffard Banane du Brésil banana liqueur, house-made ginger syrup and lemon juice.
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