Each week, we order the same cocktail at two different bars for a friendly head-to-head battle. Go to the bars, taste them both and tell us what you like about each by tagging @pghcitypaper on Twitter or Instagram and using #CPBoozeBattles. If you want to be a part of Booze Battles, send an email to food-and-beverage writer Celine Roberts, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATEGORY: Sake and Herbs
1708 Shady Ave., Squirrel Hill
Drink: Tokyo Drift
Ingredients: Sake, gin, lemon, ginger, passion fruit, burnt-orange chai, jasmine tea, bitters
Our take: Passion fruit “juice balls,” perched inside a lime rind above the drink, provide a fun texture element and a contrast to the pure, slightly perfumed taste of the sake, gin and jasmine. The ginger adds nuance and heat. Taking a sip embodies a quick dip in cool waters.
Plum Pan Asian Kitchen
5996 Centre Ave., East Liberty
Drink: Thai Basil Sake Mojito
Ingredients: Thai basil, St. Germain, sake, lime, soda
Our take: Sake as a replacement for the traditional white rum makes this version less sweet, while still harnessing the bright notes of lime. The herbaceous combination of elderflower and Thai basil dominates the drink, creating a lingering licorice finish.