Erick Castro, bartender, Polite Provisions (San Diego, CA)
Underrated booze: Olmeca Altos tequila
Why: "It's a kick-ass tequila" partially produced using the Tahona method -- the traditional process of crushing the roasted agave with a 2-ton millstone made of volcanic rock. The bourbon barrel-aged reposada mingles smokey wood flavors with citrus and ginger.
How to use it: Mayan Concubine
Combine 2oz Olmeca Altos reposado, .75oz lemon juice, .5oz simple syrup, .5oz Rothman & Winter Apricot Liqueur, and a dash of Angostura bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake and strain. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Neal Bodenheimer, co-owner, Cure (New Orleans, LA)
Underrated booze: Distillery Emile Pernot's Grande Liqueur de Sapins
Why: The piney-tasting liqueur is "a great alternative to Chartreuse", but was actually first created as a low-sugar, higher-alcohol version of the Sapins for confectioners to use in baking.
How to use it: Sutpen Sour
Dry shake .75oz fresh lime juice and egg white. Add 1.5oz Buffalo Trace bourbon, .5oz Liqueur de Sapins (55%), .25oz ginger syrup, and .25oz simple syrup, then give it a hard shake. Strain into a rocks-filled double old-fashioned glass. Float .5oz Lustau Moscatel Sherry on top.