We've hit the end of The Great Cocktail Hunt - Decatur Edition! In this season of thanks, we're so thankful for the friends we made along the way who helped us along in our search. After dinner and some great cocktails at Kimball House, we decided to make one final stop. While on our hunt, multiple people commented "so you've been to Leon's?" We had not, so... duh!
The bar at Leon's has a dark color scheme and library feel that give off cozy, welcoming vibes. We asked, as usual, for a recommendation on the most popular, currently available cocktails. The bartender, Rebecca pointed us towards the Leaf Blower (which was already on Erica's short list - bourbon, pumpkin, maple, lemon, bitters and spices) and The Third One (mezcal, apple brandy, p.x. sherry, amari and bitters), among others. She said that the Leaf Blower is so popular that people come in year round looking for the cocktail! We decided to take her recommendations!
The Leaf Blower exceeded my expectations! When Rebecca told me people come in year round looking for it, I knew I had to try it. Unfortunately, it's only available in the fall due to the homemade pumpkin puree they use. It's made with fresh pumpkins that are roasted, steamed, spiced and mashed down to make a puree fit for a cocktail. The whole process takes 5-6 hours! It's topped with some cayenne pepper that may be too spicy for some, but I'm a huge fan of sweet and spicy cocktails. We ended up getting the entire bar to order a Leaf Blower and every single person was VERY impressed. A bar regular, Shawna, said she's not a huge fan of spicy and told me about a similar cocktail that's available year round - the Maple Leaf. (More on that later ;)) Adam gave the Leaf Blower a 10 and Erica gave it a 9.5! Definitely a top contender!
Mezcal is always a win, so The Third One seemed like a great cocktail to try! It was extremely spirit forward and definitely a "sipping" cocktail. The mezcal made it smokey, but it was still very smooth. Probably not my favorite cocktail, since I prefer drinks that are a little less spirit forward, but it was a good contrast to Erica's Leaf Blower. 8/10
While at the bar, we met a sweet couple - Luisa and Eddie. We had just gotten into some great conversation, so we decided to stay for one more cocktail. You know... research. Between the three of us, we tried three more cocktails on the menu - Dr. Nemesis (Georgia apple brandy, ginger, lemon, honey and cardamom), Lawless Drinker, suggested by bartender Jeremy (rye, cranberry grenadine, manzanilla, lime, fernet, bitters and spices) and ... The Maple Leaf (not officially on the menu, so I'm not 100% what's in it, but it was great!) Dr. Nemesis and the Maple Leaf were both extremely solid cocktails. All four of us loved both of them and would definitely order again. With the Leaf Blower being such a strong contender, but not always available, it's great to know that we'll always have the Maple Leaf!
The Verdict :
Leon's was probably our favorite overall for most consistently great, inventive cocktails. The Leaf Blower was the clear favorite for both of us - 9.75/10
That's the end of The Great Cocktail Hunt - Decatur Edition! Stay tuned for the final verdict tomorrow!