Fall Flavor

Benjamin Tozser isn't shy to admit he used to sling drinks at Velvet Dog. But the cocktails the Zinc Bistro bar manager crafts now are a far cry from Red Bull and vodka. "I want to open people's palates in Cleveland," says Tozser, who carries only the liquor needed to make one of his tasty handcrafted cocktails. For this one, he muddles Granny Smith apples with pumpkin spice and cinnamon sugar and adds Bulleit bourbon he's washed with duck confit, maple syrup and honey to bring out the liquor's natural earth tones. Add a splash of Grand Marnier and bitters, and you've got the First Point of Libra. "That's autumn in a glass," says Tozser, whose bartending career includes stints in Chicago and Bangkok. He's brought knowledge from his travels to Zinc, adding the restaurant to a short list of Cleveland spots serving complex handcrafted cocktails that look as stunning as they are potent. His next project? Capturing a flavor near and dear to Cleveland. The Muni Lot will feature vodka infused with hot dog, sauerkraut and mustard seed in a glass rimmed with Stadium Mustard and crushed pretzels. 668 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216-583-9462, zinccleveland.com

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