January: It was easier to pick the top 3 drinks of the month than to sort out the order. In the end, I gave the nod to the tempered Fernet Branca La Yapa crafted by Jamal Hassan from the Ox Restaurant and Whey Bar in Portland, Oregon. For runners up, the Hemingway Daiquiri and Creole Contentment-like Throw The Horns from Jeff Baumann of the beer Mecca the Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, Vermont, and the seasonal Tiki-inspired Winter Daiquiri by Mindy Kucan of Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon, get the mention.
February: For a winner, I opted for the beer cocktail version of his Michigander, namely Jason Schiffer's Detroiter from 320 Main in Seal Beach, California. For a runner up, I narrowed it down to one, the Kirkwood by Miles Macquarrie of Leon's Full Service in Decatur, Georgia; the recipe triggers thoughts of Evan Harrison's Peralta and Stephen Schellenberger's Alto Cucina.
April: Chris Hannah's amaro riff on the Martinez, the Amertinez, from Arnaud's French 75 in New Orleans captivated me with both Cynar and Averna variations. Also worth mentioning are Donato Alvarez's mezcal-cucumber Going Back to Mezcali from the Sixth Engine in Washington, D.C., and the lesser known Brown Derby from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933.
May: For a pick of the month, I selected Joaquín Simó's Mutiny Suppressor from Manhattan's Pouring Ribbons; a great complexity was generated with lesser used Galliano and Amaro Nardini ingredients. For runners up, both came from Gary Regan's The Negroni book, namely Joseph Boley of Paris' Red House's variation on Sam Ross' Left Hand called the Southpaw and Kevin Burke of Denver's Colt & Gray's salt-tempered amaro Bottecchia.
July: The quirky sherry-containing Pimm's Cup, the Moretta Cocktail, from The Mutineer Magazine's event at Tales of the Cocktail soothed the discomfort of not being in New Orleans for the event. For second honors, the refreshing aperitif, the Queen Elizabeth Cocktail, from The How and When, and the Scotch-Madeira 91st Division from Pioneers of Mixing at Elite Bars: 1903-1933 got selected.
August: For a pick, I went with Jacob Grier's Cognac, smoky tea, and spice Lion's Share at Metrovino. For support, there are the Honeymoon- and Scofflaw-esque Argentina from 1934 Boothby's World Drinks And How To Mix Them and the Genever-amaro-maple Western Front by Adam Robinson of Portland's Rum Club.
September: Another beer cocktail grabbed me, namely the End of Days from Saison in Richmond, Virginia, that I spotted in Beer Advocate. The Hurricane-like Wicked Wahine from Brice Ginardi of Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge in Hawaii and the soft Irish whiskey-honey-citrus-vermouth Copywriter from Steven Weiss of Craftbar in New York City share the supportive honors.
November: I guess this month was more of a go out for cocktails and stay home for beer type of month which might have had something to do with Thirst Boston occuring during this time period. The winner is the autumnal Manhattan variation, the Autumn Sunset, from Sanctuaria: The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars.
December: Timothy Miner of the Long Island Bar in Manhattan's Sherry Duval caught my eye on the ShakeStir website with the sherry, Cynar, and maple elements. Another one from ShakeStir gets honorable mention -- the Tiki Stranger than Paradise by Jade Brown Godfrey of Manhattan's Pouring Ribbons. In addition, there was the rum-sherry-bitters Act of Faith by Dan Greenbaum of Manhattan's The Beagle and Attaboy.