The Ringside Fish House has revamped its cocktail menu, which isn’t something I’d usually be that bothered about except that the drinks are very, very good. They've been created by Daniel Shoemaker and Sean Hoard of the Teardrop Lounge and the Commissary, a juice and syrup business whose products play a key part in the cocktails.

The new menu features 16 seasonally-driven drinks and the ones I tasted all utilized carefully chosen ingredients and had complex, but balanced flavors. The Nor’wester (vodka, brandy, lemon juice, honey and a Thai chili tincture) was crisp and tart but was leveled out by the heat from the chili that lingered in the throat. Similarly, the Marabou Jig (gin, orange, black pepper caraway shrub, bitters and soda) was balanced and had a wonderful long finish that kept on giving, while the Sweet & Surprises received its base flavor from Ransom sweet vermouth which, with its intricate play of herbs and the added vodka and crème cacao, tasted like Christmas morning. The Sporting Life, on the other hand, was more like Thanksgiving with its cranberry-sage ambrosia, black walnut bitters and bourbon. These were all drinks to savor, with flavors ready to be teased out.

On the way back from the tasting I stopped off at a bar that does a nice cocktail and ordered a house special. It was good, but felt drab compared to what I had just tasted, lacking depth and complexity as well as the care that had been taken at the Ringside: The difference between good and the best. Ringside Fish House, 838 SW Park Avenue