Bartenders trace trendy bone broth’s boozy backstory
Author Lanee Lee Photography Scott Suchman
Step aside, green juice: Bone broth has been embraced as a hip new magic-bullet cure-all—a paleo-approved sipper that draws on the nose-to-tail philosophy of no-
waste cooking. As evidence of the trend, dedicated broth shops have opened on both coasts, from New York’s Brodo to the Broth Bar in Portland, Oregon. Bartenders, too, are getting in on the trend.
At Midnight Rambler in Dallas, mixologist Chad Solomon serves up a globetrotting spin on the classic Bullshot, the ’50s-era riff on the Bloody Mary, which trades tomato juice for canned broth. His Pho-King Champ combines overproof wheat vodka, oloroso sherry, and lime juice with Vietnamese pho beef broth.
“The idea was to take a look at the classic Bullshot and create a new, forward-thinking drink through the lens of Vietnamese pho,” says Solomon. “We start with beef broth, then roast onions and ginger and use star anise, cassia bark, green cardamom, black cardamom, and black pepper to aromatize the broth, which is then enhanced with sriracha, hoisin sauce, MSG, and Maggi Seasoning to boost the umami quality.”
At LA’s Pistola, Aaron Melendrez spikes lamb consommé with Glenlivet 15 for the off-menu From the Kitchen With Love. “I came to chef with the concept, and he thought I was sort of crazy,” says Melendrez. “It took a few days of explaining to get him on board. He then prepared me his best consommé, we paired it, and we knew we had a winner.”
At Top Chef finalist Bryan Voltaggio’s D.C. restaurant Range, broth appears on the cocktail menu in the form of “meat ice”—a frozen pop made with a Bloody Mary–inspired consommé that includes roasted bones, meat scraps, San Marzano tomato juice, herbs, vegetables, and bacon and other smoked meats. Beverage director Dane Nakamura then slides the pop into Scotch for his Vegan Sacrifice.
“Drinkers can stir their drink with the meat pop and slowly enjoy the cocktail as the ratio of broth to booze switches, or take a bite of the popsicle and chase the drink,” says Nakamura. “Learning what they do in the kitchen on a daily basis is an incredible way to expand the spectrum of knowledge that can be applied behind the bar.”
Vegan Sacrifice (Yields 1 drink)
2½ oz. Scotch • ¾ oz. ginger cayenne honey syrup (see recipe below) • 4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters • 1 meat ice pop or cube
Make meat ice by freezing beef or veal broth (store bought or homemade) in an ice pop or cube tray. Stir ingredients in a shaker glass, strain into a rocks glass, and garnish with meat ice.
Ginger cayenne honey syrup
1 cup honey • 1 cup water • 3 oz. fresh ginger juice • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, then strain.