New drink ingredient: tobacco
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Bartender Todd Thrasher—owner of PX in Alexandria, Virginia, and partner with Cathal Armstrong in Restaurant Eve and several other properties—turned to an unconventional local crop for some farm-to-glass inspiration: tobacco.
“I’ve never been a smoker, but I love the smell of tobacco,” he says. When Armstrong was trying to quit smoking, Thrasher created a drink flavored with tobacco, thinking it would help. “I make a tea with the tobacco leaves, steeping them in a boiling hot water-sugar mixture,” he explains. “Then I strain the tea, reduce it by one-third and blend it with local honey, lemon and bourbon.” Tobacco and bourbon is an old Southern pairing that’s very complementary, Thrasher adds. The Smoker’s Delight ($13) became a favorite.