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The Rise of Flavored Spirits

How should you incorporate these flavor bombs in a sophisticated cocktail?

The last year showed an uptick in the release of flavored spirits with relatively normal combos like Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey and Crown Royal Peach to out-there blends like Oreo-flavored red wine and Arby’s French-fry vodka. There’s clearly a glut of flavored products (which isn’t necessarily a good thing), but one spirit has found its way into bartender Matt Baumgartner’s heart.

The co-owner of Colorado Springs’ Shame & Regret uses Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey in his Shameover cocktail, a delightful riff on the Penicillin. While generally not a fan of flavored spirits, Baumgartner chose Misunderstood because of “the quality, price, and big, but not overpowering, ginger flavor.” The cocktail was one of the bar’s biggest sellers last summer and sales remain consistent.

Bottle of flavored spirit labeled Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey against a slate gray background.
Is Misunderstood the sullen teenager of spirits? / Courtesy Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey

Shameover

2 ounces Misunderstood Ginger Spiced Whiskey

1 ounce honeysuckle simple syrup

2 dashes peach bitters

spritz of Laphroaig

Add all ingredients (minus the Laphroaig) to shaker, stir, strain, and serve over a large cube. Top with spritz of Laphroaig.

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