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.
The Drink: Vieux Carre
Meat & Potatoes
649 Penn Ave., Downtown
Ingredients: Bulleit rye, Hennessy, Benedictine, sweet vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters, lemon twist
Our take: The herbal profile of this cocktail makes it ideal for a chilly, rainy day. Anise notes from the Peychaud’s bitters and the Benedictine balance an otherwise sweet drink. The mouthfeel is pleasantly syrupy, while the lemon twist gives the the drink some lift.
124 S. Highland Ave., East Liberty
Ingredients: Dickel rye, cognac, Benedictine, sweet vermouth, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters
Our take: Livermore’s Vieux Carre delivered more anise flavor, but was lighter and less sweet overall. The spicy rye balanced well with the sweet vermouth and cognac, while still maintaining the herbaceous profile the cocktail is known for.