The best places to find exotic Boise cocktails
Written by Beau Eastes
Best known for its charming basque district, innovative college football team and easy access to the outdoors, Boise is also earning a well-deserved reputation as a place to get one hell of a cocktail. Planning a trip to Treefort? Heading over for the first rounds of the NCAA tournament? Just looking for a great food and drink scene that’s not a pretentious mess? Hello Boise.
Here’s our list of the City of Trees’ wildest, most-creative drinks:
Due Diligence, from The Modern Hotel & Bar: A great way to start any night – or afternoon, we’re not judging – this gin and Averna concoction is made with wild hyssops from just outside of town. (Note, The Modern Hotel & Bar does an annual foraging collaboration with local brewery Woodland Empire. It’s always good to ask what’s their most recent love child. It’s usually delicious.)
Denim Blazer, from Press & Pony: Think of the Flaming Moe, but delicious and highly drinkable. The craftsmen and craftswomen at the Press & Pony caramelize bitters with Bulleit Bourbon and a coffee simple syrup to create the perfect warm pick-me-up drink on a cold day.
Basil Instinct, from Bardenay: Is it a mojito? A margarita? A basil gin & tonic? Who cares, it’s fantastic. Made with Bardenay’s own gin – Bardenay claims fame as the nation’s first restaurant-distillery concept – the Basil Instinct includes Patron Citronge, pressed margarita and sour mixes, and of course, fresh basil.
Natural Remedy, from the Red Feather Lounge: You’re getting two glorious tips in one here. First, eat brunch at the Red Feather. Their fried chicken on a biscuit is pretty much a cure-all for all of life’s problems AND there’s not much of a wait yet because it’s more of a cocktail lounge than a breakfast joint in most folks’ eyes. Two, order the Natural Remedy – Hello bourbon, ginger, strawberry, honey, lemon, cayenne and turmeric! – and get ready to rock the day.
Smoke & Thyme, from The Gas Lantern Drinking Company: Great name, great drinks. One of Boise’s newer dens dedicated to the dark arts of cocktail making, the Gas Lantern expertly uses a food smoker and wood chips to add just a hint of smoky deliciousness. The Gas Lantern’s signature drink, the Smoke & Thyme incorporates smoked lemons, fresh thyme, Elijah Craig bourbon and sugar, all briefly smoked with oak chips.
Man in the Yellow Hat, from the Wylder: Why it took this long for craft cocktails to go with craft pizza is beyond us. The Wylder, Boise’s newest – and arguably hippest – pizza joint also offers up some stunning cocktails. Case in point, a rye whiskey drink that’s mixed subtly with banana tea and walnut bitters. Simple, creative and wholly original. It pretty much sums up Boise’s burgeoning food and drink scene.