Desired for its age-old ingredients and winelike consistency, the Widow's Kiss is not as deadly as the name suggests. Find the coveted cocktail ($12) at Society Lounge where the semisweet apple tartness of the drink is created by blending Boulard Calvados — a brandy made from fermented apples and pears — with bitters and liqueurs such as Benedictine and Green Chartreuse, whose secretive recipes are several centuries old and carried out by a long line of monks. "Green Chartreuse has more than 130 herbs and botanicals and was originally believed to be a cure-all," says Joseph Fredrickson, Society Lounge's director of operations. And while this cocktail wastes no time with sweeteners or sodas, its bite is surprisingly smooth. "It's kind of a graduated barman's Manhattan," says Fredrickson. "You get a nice fruit undertone with that herbaceous spice of the Chartreuse, but you also get a nice clove and allspice from the Benedictine, which really helps the other flavors jibe."
2063 E. Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-781-9050, societycleveland.com
Three more drinks that prove classics never go out of style.
Urban Farmer infuses Buffalo Trace bourbon for 10 days with barrel staves, dried apricots, cardamom, ginger root and local honey before pouring it over a single ice cube to create a revamp of an Old-Fashioned.
Creme Yvette, a wild berry liqueur, takes this drink to unseen heights. It sneaks up on you the more you dive in to the Bombay Sapphire gin and Luxardo maraschino liqueur that make up the rest of this Grovewood Tavern and Wine Bar cocktail.
Blackberry brandy and a house-made pomegranate reduction takes this Oak Barrel version into bold new territory with lemon bitters, fresh squeezed lemons and Cointreau along for the ride.
$12, 5975 Canal Road, Valley View, 216-520-3640, theoakbarrel.com