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Mushroom Cocktail

Mushrooms Are Popping Up in Our Cocktails

Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms are a type of fungi with an array of possibilities. In addition to the suite of healing and calming properties found in reishi, chaga, lion’s mane, and other mushrooms used in centuries-old practices like ayurvedic medicine, mushrooms are culinary powerhouses. You may already cook with baby bellas or cremini caps to add a hit of umami, earthy flavors, and rich mouthfeel to your stir-fries and stews.

Recently, bartenders and drink professionals across the U.S. have started using mushrooms to add rich, savory flavors to cocktails made with and without alcohol. Some highlight the sweet taste of candy cap mushrooms in their drinks. Others prefer the smooth, deep flavor of creminis. With more than 10,000 varieties to choose from, mushrooms’ drinks potential is vast.

“As cocktail culture continues to progress I think that more and more people are looking for something creative and unexpected. Something they haven’t seen before or tasted in a cocktail,” says Nathan McCullough, the bar director at The Wolves DTLA.

Six years ago, the first time McCullough created a mushroom cocktail, “it definitely didn’t go over as well as it does today,” he says. “People are at that point now where they are ready for something different, and bartenders are realizing this and beginning to incorporate interesting ingredients, like mushrooms, to showcase their creativity and give people what they want—something out of the ordinary.”

The Let Them Talk cocktail at The Wolves combines mushrooms with lavender, celery, and the Bolivian brandy Singani 63. To create it, McCullough thought a lot about balance, which he believes to be the hardest aspect of adding savory components to a craft cocktail.

“I did a lot of research into flavors that compliment mushrooms, and from that list pieced together the ingredients that would compliment a cocktail format best,” says McCullough. Read more:

Anand Vaid

Sempera Organics' staff writer seeks out all the latest mushroom news to keep you informed and up-to-date.