We all know that custom cocktails are exploding. It’s almost impossible to find a restaurant or bar that doesn’t feature a house cocktail these days, but what really sets the best of these creations apart? Increasingly, bartenders and mixologists are turning to the subtlety and complexity of herbal elements to give their cocktails that je ne sais quoi -- that subtle element which truly sets each new drink apart from the crowd.

Apropos of very little, and simply because I can, let me just throw something out there. Do I really have to say bartenders and mixologists? This is an annoying turn of a phrase that makes a distinction where there is none! I’ve got to stop doing this.

But back to the point. Not only have bartenders increasingly turned to fresh herbs to flavor their drinks, but they are also finding new and creative uses for some old standbys: Herbal liqueurs.