15 Unique Cocktails for the Adventurous Drinker

Unusual Flavor Combinations That Actually Work in Drinks

Smoked Rose Scotch Whisky Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Cocktails come in a variety of flavors, but the majority have a familiar flavor profile. They use ingredients and flavors that are common in the bar, so you have some idea of what to expect. While those are often extraordinary drinks, these unique cocktail recipes defy the norm and offer the adventurous drinker an entirely new taste.

Several of these unusual cocktails rely on an ingredient not typically found in drinks, including squash, eucalyptus, and peas. Others are an experiment in flavor pairings that create fascinating new beverages. It's an exciting collection of well-crafted cocktails, and—whether you're a gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, or vodka drinker—there's something for everyone.

  • 01 of 15

    Ruby Queen

    Ruby Queen Scotch Whisky and Beet Juice Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Fresh beet juice is not the most common cocktail ingredient, but it works rather well. In the ruby queen recipe, it takes on an even more unusual partner. While you might not think to mix scotch and beets, the duo is fascinating, especially when married with a bit of honey syrup and lemon juice. A sprig of dill or tarragon as the garnish rounds out the garden-fresh drink wonderfully.

  • 02 of 15

    Butternut Old Fashioned

    Little Dom's butternut old fashioned recipe

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    What about infusing bourbon with butternut squash and cinnamon? It's a fun project for autumn, and the homemade infusion is ready in about a week. The whiskey is the star of the butternut old-fashioned where it's joined by maple syrup, two types of bitters, and an orange peel.

  • 03 of 15

    Bacon Me Angry

    Angry Orchard Hard Cider's Bacon Me Angry Cocktail with Bacon-infused Vodka

    Angry Orchard

    Bacon cocktails are an interesting lot, and the bacon me angry recipe starts by making bacon fat-washed vodka from scratch. It's ready the same day and is an interesting base for this autumn-inspired cocktail, which includes maple syrup and your favorite hard cider.

  • 04 of 15

    The Marriage of Figaro

    Judy Bronson's The Marriage of Figaro Cocktail
    Sheri L Giblin / Photodisc / Getty Images

    Figs occasionally appear in cocktails, though it's not often enough to make most people notice. A fig-infused bourbon is the spirit of choice for The Marriage of Figaro recipe and is mixed with a shot of straight bourbon, an amaro, and allspice dram. The drink has a fascinating flavor and can quickly become a new favorite.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Smoked Rose

    Smoked Rose Scotch Whisky Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Rosemary brings a piney-floral flavor to drinks, and it's excellent for herbal infusions. While the smoked rose does use a rosemary-infused syrup, this whisky and Chartreuse cocktail also employs the herb in a more unusual way. The drink is served in a rosemary-smoked glass for a subtle touch that transforms the scotch cocktail into an aromatic sipper.

  • 06 of 15

    Green Giant Cocktail

    Prairie Organic Vodka's Green Giant Cocktail Recipe

    Pawel Zoneff / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If you're willing to get creative, summer gardens offer a bounty of cocktail ingredients. The green giant cocktail is a tasty recipe that uses sugar snap peas and tarragon. Muddle those with honey, then add vodka, dry vermouth, and lemon juice to create this irresistible drink.

  • 07 of 15

    Eucalyptus Martini

    Humberto Marques' Eucalyptus Martini

    Humberto Marques

    When you're looking for the most refreshing cocktail you'll ever taste, take the time to enjoy a eucalyptus martini. A mix of homemade eucalyptus syrup, lime juice, and egg white, this gin cocktail is definitely a showstopper.

  • 08 of 15

    The Beer, Bourbon & Barbecue Cocktail

    Beer, Bourbon, and Barbecue Cocktail by Tom Fischer and Steven Dennison

    Carin Krasner / Stockbyte / Getty Images

    The beer, bourbon, and barbecue cocktail does indeed include those three ingredients. The "barbecue" is a watered-down barbecue sauce, which is mixed with bourbon, honey whiskey liqueur, fresh orange juice, and hefeweizen beer. It's the ultimate grilling cocktail and, as you might expect, a good companion for your favorite barbecued foods.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Cucumber Wasabi Martini

    Cucumber Wasabi Martini
    Bill Boch / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    The cooling taste of cucumber does a fantastic job of quieting the spice of wasabi. It's a perfect match of contrasting flavors, and the cucumber wasabi martini puts the duo against a gin base. The spirit's botanicals ensure this cocktail is anything but boring.

  • 10 of 15

    Rhubarb-Rosemary Daiquiri

    Rhubarb Rosemary Daiquiri
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    While it's used all the time for spring desserts, you can juice rhubarb for drinks. It's a delicious mixer that's paired with light rum and lemon juice in the rhubarb-rosemary daiquiri. Sweetened with rosemary syrup, this is a beautiful cocktail for warm-weather parties.

  • 11 of 15

    Aura in Me Cocktail

    Aura in Me Cocktail With Cardamom and Pink Peppercorn

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    A muddle of pink peppercorns and cardamom seeds kicks off the aura in me cocktail. Rather than a dry gin, this recipe features the malty richness of genever. A combination of elderflower syrup and pine honey sweeten the cocktail while adding egg white to the shaker gives it a luscious foam top.

  • 12 of 15

    Old Thyme Sour

    Old Thyme Sour Cocktail With Irish Whiskey

    Westend64 / Getty Images

    For the old thyme sour, you'll light Chartreuse-soaked thyme on fire, then strain a shaken Irish whiskey mix into the glass to extinguish the flames. Sweetened with elderflower liqueur and cinnamon-thyme syrup, then accented with lemon, bitters, and egg white, this whiskey cocktail is not only fun to make, but it also tastes amazing.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Gunpowder Gimlet

    Gunpowder Gimlet Cocktail
    alejandrophotography / Getty Images

    You'll have to make two unique ingredients to pull off the gunpowder gimlet. The first is a quick infusion of green tea in gin, and the other is a stunning salted pistachio honey syrup. Once they're ready, shake them with lemon juice and chamomile bitters for a delightful tea cocktail.

  • 14 of 15

    Fall Spice Cordial

    Kara Newman's Fall Spice Cordial Cocktail
    Steve Brown Photography / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Chipotle-orange syrup adds a sweet citrus spice to the fall spice cordial. It's a bourbon cocktail with a subtle heat, and the vanilla liqueur is a wonderful companion that marries the whiskey and syrup. Serve this one at an autumn dinner party, and you're sure to impress anyone.

  • 15 of 15

    French Quarter Smash

    Jason Rogers' French Quarter Smash Cocktail

    Jason Rogers

    Moonshine isn't just for drinking straight out of the jug! The unaged whiskey is actually a good cocktail base, and the French Quarter smash is sure to inspire its use more often. The recipe teams moonshine up with brandy, almond syrup, fresh mint, and blueberry preserves.