Savory cocktails are a unique twist on the classic cocktail that brings a new dimension of flavor to your glass. Instead of the usual sweet and fruity mixtures, savory cocktails incorporate ingredients like fresh herbs, vegetables, and even spices to create a more complex and satisfying taste.
These cocktails are perfect for those who want to explore new flavor profiles and enjoy a more sophisticated drinking experience. They are also a great option for those who prefer savory flavors over sweet ones. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking for a new drink to try, savory cocktails are a great option that will impress your guests and tantalize your taste buds.
Barbacoa may be barbecued meat in Mexico, but it’s also a Mexican-inspired mezcal cocktail. You essentially create a spicy vegetable marinade starting with muddled bell pepper with lime. Chipotle puree creates a spicy kick that gets neutralized with ginger syrup and agave, which also complements the smokiness of mezcal. The best part, however, is the beef jerky garnish!
Another savory twist on a Mexican favorite, Salsa Sunset is a savory margarita that combines spicy chili peppers and cilantro with Anejo tequila. You create your own fresh-pressed bell pepper juice to muddle with cilantro and lime juice, creating a liquefied salsa base for tequila. This recipe makes one margarita, but the juice yields enough servings to make a round for your next Taco Tuesday.
The most famous savory cocktail of all is the Bloody Mary, a tomato and tabasco sauce-based vodka cocktail with a salad bar’s worth of garnishes. The Bloody Derby swaps vodka for whiskey in the classic Bloody Mary combination of hot sauces, tomato juice, seasonings, and horseradish. This recipe uses smokey bourbon, adding even more depth of flavor.
Pineapple may sound like the sweetest mixer of all, but this Pineapple Heart Cocktail uses it as a complement for a celeriac infusion, consisting of celery root-infused gin or vodka. I recommend gin for a botanical savory flavor. The celeriac infusion is so overpowering, that this cocktail requires pineapple juice, honey, and lime juice to balance the flavors.
There’s no flavor more savory than bacon, which happens to be the star of the show in this smoky whiskey mule cocktail. Cajun chili powder and brown sugar offer a sweet and spicy coating to candy bacon which you add to Jack Daniels, creating a candied-bacon-flavored whisky. This bacon-flavored cocktail makes two servings, each with a whole strip of candied bacon for garnish.
Whether they’re fruit, seafood, or drinks, Mexican cocktail recipes entail a heaping portion of chili, lime, and salt to everything! Such is the case with the famous beer cocktail, the Michelada. This recipe combines a refreshing and mild Mexican lager with hot sauce, lime, pepper, and meaty Worcestershire sauce. It’s the perfect savory cocktail to accompany a plate of Mexican street tacos.
Not only does this carnivorous cocktail call for bacon-infused bourbon, but it also uses bone broth as a mixer. It’s a simple three-ingredient cocktail that combines bacon-flavored bourbon with Amaro and walnut bitters. The final touch is a stirring in a few bone broth ice cubes that infuse a rich, meaty finish.
True to its name, this magic mushroom cocktail has both mushrooms and hallucinogenic absinthe. It is a vodka cocktail that combines aromatic amaro and dill tincture with earthy truffle oil and botanical absinthe. This cocktail makes one serving, and while one might not make you hallucinate, the magic still occurs for your tastebuds.
Carrots are versatile vegetables that lend well to sweet and savory recipes. In this savory carrot cocktail, fresh-pressed carrot juice blends with lime and mezcal for a smokey and sour mixed drink. The dash of sparkling water helps to water down the inherent sweetness of carrot juice, so you’re left with a smokey, tangy carrot beverage.
This highly alcoholic beverage from Grey Goose Vodka mixes vodka and mezcal with lime juice and simple syrup in a lowball glass. Grey Goose is one of the smoothest vodkas, camouflaging with simple syrup and lime. It’s essentially a mezcal margarita with extra alcohol. This is a good cocktail to gradually introduce skeptics to savory cocktails.
This savory Thai-inspired cocktail reminds me of a spiked Tom Ka soup. It uses all the ingredients you’d expect from a soup broth including fish sauce, cream of coconut, Thai chilies, and cilantro. The piece de resistance is lemongrass and makrut-infused gin. Gin’s inherent botanical flavors pair perfectly with lemongrass and makrut.
One of the most savory flavors on the spectrum is umami, a flavor founded and developed in Japanese cuisine. Miso paste is the height of umami flavor, adding a unique meatiness to broths, sauces, dressings, and now, cocktails. This Miso Old Fashioned requires you to make miso butter and tahini-infused cognac to mix with Angostura bitters.
This gin-spiked green tea cocktail is on the earthy side of savory. It makes a pitcher’s worth of Gimlets, infusing gin with two green tea bags. The earthy green tea pairs perfectly with the flowery notes inherent in gin. After you’ve seeped the tea bags for a few hours, the cocktail gets a sweet and citrusy boost from lime juice and citrus syrup.
If you can’t decide between a gin or vodka martini, you can have both with The Dirty 50/50 cocktail. As its name implies, it adds equal parts gin and vodka to a blend of olive brine and dry vermouth. Olive juice is a salty, umami flavor that “dirties” a martini.
This flavorful gin cocktail spans the flavor spectrum with scratch-made miso-ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, and Campari adding a trifecta of spicy, tangy, and bitter flavors. Ginger and grapefruit are a refreshing and spicy mixture that hits the tongue first, with the miso providing an umami finish.
Not to be confused with the dry gin brand, The Botanist cocktail is a tequila cocktail served inside a hollowed-out red bell pepper. The rest of the recipe involves throwing veggies and cilantro into a shaker to muddle with lime juice before adding the tequila and shaking it all up.
Another twist on the classic Bloody Mary, this cocktail is essentially a bloody Mary with beef broth. The beef adds a savory heft to the cocktail that tastes wonderful with the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. I would trade a simple lemon wedge garnish for a skewer of beef jerky, celery, and pearl onions.
Fennel Rickey is a fennel-flavored cocktail consisting of scratch-made fennel syrup, lemon juice, and Cappelletti. Cappelletti is a wine-based bitter liqueur from Italy. If you can’t find it, Campari is a worthy substitute. Fennel is an aromatic flavor with a licorice flavor that’s often used in Italian savory dishes, most notably sausage. It works well with the bitter, earthy Cappalletti in this easy-to-make single-serving cocktail.
Beet juice is an exceedingly sweet vegetable juice, but this beet gin cocktail has a unique ingredient that adds a savory punch. This sophisticated, botanical cocktail infuses gin with beet juice to combine with the Italian bitter known as cynar which has an unmistakable artichoke flavor. You’ll feel like you’re at a juice bar with each sip of this vegetable-forward cocktail.
Negronis are usually gin cocktails, but this Savory mezcal negroni swaps botanical for smokey. As a classic cocktail, this three-ingredient Negroni is the easiest drink to make while still offering a sophisticated and complex flavor profile. Mezcal’s smokiness with bitter Campari and sweet vermouth completely changes the flavor profile.
20 Savory Cocktail Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Get a taste of something different with these savory cocktails that pack a punch of flavor.