How to Make Mushroom Cocktails

different types of mushrooms

It may sound like the most recent fad, but making cocktails with mushrooms is not a new thing. True, there has been a recent spike in popularity (HBO’s smash hit “The Last of Us”?), but adventurous and talented mixologists have, in fact, been crafting cocktails with mushroom elements for years now.

Mushrooms are a versatile and varied ingredient for all sorts of culinary endeavors. Mushrooms provide an especially unique mix of characteristics for the art of cocktail-making. With more than 10,000 varieties to choose from (most, but not all, well-suited to spirits) mushrooms can add umami-rich, savory, earthy notes to all sorts of drinks. Their minerality, aromas, and varying levels of sweetness add surprising complexity to even the most run-of-the-mill classics. In an article published in September 2022, Nathan McCullough, bar director at The Wolves DTLA, said, “As cocktail culture continues to progress, I think that more and more people are looking for something creative and unexpected. Something they haven’t seen before or tasted in a cocktail.” A demand for gins infused with everything from red ants to elephant dung, whiskies aged in IPA casks, and cocktails smoked bar-side attest to the fact that adventurous cocktail drinkers are always on the lookout for the next new thing.

Making cocktails with mushrooms is not difficult. The R&D for this article included various experiments with cremini, portobello, porcini, morel, and shiitake mushrooms. There are scads of other varieties we’re dying to play with, most specifically white truffles, lion’s mane, candy caps, and maitakes (aka Hen of the Woods). The possibilities are truly endless.

Our initial recipe development indicated that—of the varieties we tried— shiitakes and porcinis were the most satisfying flavor-wise for infusions. We created mushroom-infused batches of Batch 22 and simple syrups made with dried mushrooms and agave and found that the flavors stood up best with shiitakes and porcinis. The more subtle flavors of morels, portobello, and creminis got lost in the other ingredients when mixed. Bear in mind, however, that these experiments only scratched the surface of what you can do with mushrooms and cocktails. It’s very likely that, when we go back and—say—double the amount of morels in the infusion (and perhaps increase the number of days it sits) the end result will be spectacular.

We also played around with a wide variety of ingredients with which to mix the mushroom infusions and found that aquavit, gin, tequila, and mezcal blend with the flavor components of the mushrooms exceedingly well. We didn’t try any brown spirits in this round, but word on the street has it that a nice, earthy mushroom component marries beautifully with a peat-forward scotch. Stay tuned on that one.

Other ingredients that seem perfect in making mushroom cocktails? We had great success with lavender, rosemary, celery, lemon juice, honey, thyme, orange bitters, sage simple syrup, lime juice, and agave.

Here are a few recipes to get you started on your exploration of the best mushroom drinks.

We’ll keep experimenting and hope you’ll send us any of the great cocktail recipes you come up with as well.

Porcini Infused Batch 22

300 ml Batch 22 Classic Gold

17g Dried Porcini mushrooms

Shiitake Infused Batch 22

300 ml Batch 22 Classic Gold

25g Dried Shiitakes

For either recipe: In a small pot, combine the Batch and mushrooms on low heat. Warm to just below a simmer and take off the heat. Allow to cool completely before transferring to a jar and placing in the refrigerator. Infusion can sit for 1-7 days before straining. Try it as you go to see how flavor evolves. Keep refrigerated.

Shiitake Simple Syrup

In a small pot, combine:

50g Dried Shiitake mushrooms

10 oz. Agave (by weight)

100 ml Water

Bring mixture to a low simmer, stirring to make sure agave is completely dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain into a bowl and press out remaining liquid from shiitakes. Place in a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until needed. Will last at least a month in the fridge.


We loved the earthy flavors the Porcini Batch imparted to our riff on a margarita.

in a mixing glass combine:

1.5 oz. Porcini Batch 22

. 5 oz. Tequila Blanco

1 oz. Fresh lemon juice

.5 oz. Shiitake simple syrup

Stir to combine. Add ice and stir to chill. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Smokey Take

Here’s another riff on a classic margarita; this one pairs a small bit of smokey mezcal with earthy, smoky, meaty shiitake infused Batch 22.

In a mixing glass combine:

1.5 oz. Shiitake infused Batch 22

.25 oz. Mezcal

.75 oz. Fresh lime juice

.5 oz. Shiitake simple syrup

Stir to combine. Add ice and stir to chill. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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