Best Of 2019

Best Curious Cocktail Ingredients: Branch

The day after Christmas, folks from Northside’s The Littlefield opened Branch, a global-inspired restaurant situated in the 1920s-era Central Trust Bank in East Walnut Hills. Their cocktails are named after financial terms, like Reverse Mortgage and Preferred Risk. Downstairs lurks a speakeasy-like bar, Night Drop. It has the same cocktail menu as upstairs, but the vibe is more chill. Accelerated Depreciation, one of several draft drinks, contains bourbon, orange bitters and a curious ingredient: Dr. Pepper syrup, which is extracted from a box of fountain soda Dr. Pepper (without carbonation). The sweet syrup offsets the strong bourbon flavor; then, the bartender adds smoke into the drink by torching a piece of wood. To make things even weirder, for weekend brunch they add the syrup to their super boozy Bloody Sunday Mary, which also contains vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon, lemon and a housemade bloody mix. Other creations include habanero-infused Green Chartreuse, fennel shrub and house-spiced gin. While you’re at Branch, make sure to snap a selfie in the owl-wallpapered bathroom. Branch/Night Drop, 1535 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, eatatbranch.com.