Traditionally, steakhouse cocktails have veered toward the classics–an ice cold Martini, a classic Old Fashioned, perhaps a stiff Manhattan. These tried and true drinks are still deeply ingrained in the DNA of the steakhouse, but today’s modern chophouses offer an eclectic variety of cocktails that sometimes riff on the familiar and other times go in completely new directions. These are some of the best steakhouses cocktails you’ll find around the country—the perfect accompaniment to any cut of meat, however you like it cooked (medium rare, please).
1. Plank Smoked Old Fashioned (American Cut, New York City)
Chef Marc Forgione’s second outpost of his modern American steakhouse, a collaboration with LDV Hospitality, has a showstopping cocktail on the menu that’s made tableside for diners to gawk at. The Plank Smoked Old Fashioned is a classic Old Fashioned infused with smoke from a burning piece of maple wood captured in a glass as you watch. It’s probably best to pair this with the 52-ounce porterhouse on the menu that’s presented with a side of flaming bone marrow butter.
2. Rock N’ Rye (StripSteak, Las Vegas)
The Rock N’ Rye, basically an extra sweet Old Fashioned in a bottle, has been making a comeback recently thanks to versions from Mr. Katz’s Rock & Rye (from New York Distilling Company) and Hochstadter’s Slow & Low. Michael Mina’s Vegas steakhouse has its own take, curiously made with the humble Jim Beam rye that’s been infused for 30 days with real rock candy, citrus and aromatics. Then the whole thing is poured over a house-made, block-shaped, two-inch-by-two-inch ice cube designed specifically to melt at a slower rate so your drink doesn’t get watered down.
3. The Fun Guy (Stark’s Steak & Seafood, Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Jason Jorgensen was once the lead bartender at Stark’s, before leaving to pursue his dream of becoming a craft distiller, as one does. He opened Alley 6 in neighboring Healdsburg, where he distills small-batch rye and soon-to-be-released malt whiskey, as well as making bitters from foraged mushrooms. The Fun Guy combines Alley 6 rye whiskey, nocino (walnut liqueur), Bauchant orange liqueur and Alley 6 Candy Cap bitters, served in an Old Fashioned glass over one large rock.
4. The Dirty Bob’s (Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Dallas)
Fancy your Martini a little bit dirty? It’s okay if you do—no one will judge you, especially not the bartenders at Bob’s, which is located at various Omni Hotels & Resorts around the country. The Dirty Bob’s originated in Dallas and can be ordered at all 13 steakhouses nationwide. It’s made from Grey Goose vodka, olive juice, three hand-stuffed blue cheese olives and not a drop of vermouth. The drink is rightfully not shaken; instead, it’s “beaten” as it’s stirred, leaving chipped ice at the surface to make it an especially frigid affair.
5. Death & Taxes (Grill 23 & Bar, Boston)
If you like cigars but are worried about the ill effects of smoking (or your romantic partner just thinks they stink), Himmel Hospitality Group beverage director Brahm Callahan has you covered. For the Death & Taxes cocktail, Woodford Reserve bourbon is infused with cigar flavor by placing a sheet pan of the bourbon on a grill, lighting cut cigar pieces below and letting it smoke. The bourbon is then combined with lemon juice and peach syrup before being shaken and strained into a Fernet-Branca-rinsed glass.
6. Barrel Aged Old Fashioned and Manhattan (Strip House, New York City)
Strip House has two locations in New York City, one downtown and one in midtown. Both have two barrel-aged cocktails options, aged for six weeks in small barrels in-house. The Old Fashioned is made with McKenzie rye from Finger Lakes Distilling’s in upstate New York, Rhum Clément and Luxardo Maraschino and topped with “drunken” cherries and an orange peel. The Manhattan uses Maker’s Mark bourbon and Carpano Antica and is also garnished with “drunken” cherries. The barrel aging gives each classic cocktail a rich, oaky flavor and allows the flavors to muddle together, making them a perfect accompaniment for a gigantic, bloody steak.
7. Leatherette (Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, SLS Vegas)
Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, located at SLS Las Vegas hotel, serves meat in all its forms, from raw to cured to grilled. Forget barrel-aged—Andrés has a leather-pouch-aged cocktail on the menu that rests for one week in a Spanish leather bag called a botarrón. The cocktail is made from Lepanto Spanish brandy, Old Overholt rye whiskey, Emilio Lustau East India Solera sherry, and Yzaguirre Rojo vermouth.
8. Lost in Decadence (Bourbon Steak, Four Seasons, Washington, D.C.)
If you’re looking for something sweet, perhaps as an after-dinner libation, the appropriately named Lost in Decadence should satisfy. Bourbon Steak head bartender Torrence Swain has created a chocolate-heavy drink using an espuma made from Godiva white chocolate, Frangelico, maraschino liqueur and egg whites. This tops a mixture of Ketel One vodka, chocolate syrup and Galliano Ristretto that’s shaken and strained. To top it off, the drink is finished with some finely grated chocolate.
If all this talk of meat has you salivating, we have a grilled flank steak recipe for you.