Shingo Gokan won International Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail this summer hot on the heels of his Stray Dog: gin, tree-resin liqueur, dill and olive oil. More botanical than gin, earthier than fernet and more complicated than mescal, Gokan’s drink builds off recent revivals of those three spirits. And it is not alone. How big is bartending’s savory boom? Even salty, meaty 2nd Ave Deli has developed a cocktail bar that pours leafy Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda cocktails. We flagged some favorites—apologies to your sweet tooth.
The Dirty Healer at GENUINE Liquorette
Echinacea and valerian root-infused tequila joins turmeric, ginger root, agave, lemon and cucumber juice. For a quarter (taped to the bottle), you can buy an activated charcoal tablet from the bar’s gumball machine and throw it in as you would a bath bomb. 191 Grand St (646-726-4633, eatgenuine.com). $12.86.
Bull Shot at the Wren
Vodka with house-made oxtail broth meets burly tastes like Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Barbecue rub lines the rim, and beef jerky caps off the meaty cocktail from bar director Krissy Harris. 344 Bowery (212-388-0148, thewrennyc.com). $12.
Beet-On at Miss Ada
For a pretty-in-purple cocktail, head bartender Ruben Hernandez adds beet juice to arak—an anise-flavored Mediterranean spirit—for a creamy texture with earthy undertones and a touch of licorice. 184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn (917-909-1023, missadanyc.com). $13.
Staff Meal at Suffolk Arms
When your own staff creates a nightcap from the day’s leftovers, that cocktail is worth putting on the menu. The Staff Meal is made from the kitchen’s fresh-squeezed carrot juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and horseradish. Co-owner Giuseppe González made it an anchor of his menu’s savory drinks section. 269 E Houston St (929-274-2380, suffolkarms .com) $15.
Tomato/Clam at ROKC
“Like a gazpacho soup” is how owner and beverage director Shigefumi Kabashima describes his mescal creation with Clamato juice, wasabi and a house vinaigrette of rice vinegar, black pepper, shallots, sake, sesame oil and shio koji (the same one used for the oysters on the food menu). The thick cocktail is served in a fresh-off-the-shore conch shell, a presentation inspired by the brackish ingredients that work swimmingly well with the bar’s many seafood options. 3452 Broadway (rokcnyc.com). $13.