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 email@example.com.
The Drink: Smoked-whiskey cocktails
4305 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Ingredients: Jack Daniel’s whiskey, cherry wood, maple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, orange twist
Our take: Pick a whiskey, pick a wood and watch the bartender torch up your drink. This cocktail has the nose of a campfire but pulls a smooth smokiness onto the palate. The combination of the flamed orange twist and the maple syrup provides a fruity sweetness that contrasts well with light, woody flavors from the cherry. The finish provides a hint of menthol to round out the flavor profile.
4907 Penn Ave., Garfield
Drink: Jack & Smoke
Ingredients: Cherry/hickory/pecan wood smoked, Gentlemen Jack whiskey, cola syrup, soda water, lime wedge
Our take: This is classic Jack-and-Coke with an upscale twist. Three types of wood, delicately smoked on a blacksmith’s pitch plate, add just a hit of the outdoors to the otherwise fresh-tasting, bubbly sip. The cola syrup and soda water provide a less-sweet soda to play off the mellow flavor of the whiskey. This drink goes down easily and stays away from the more pungent profile of other smoked drinks. Squeeze in the lime for a touch of acidity.