One of the wonderful things about growing up in Washington, DC was the spring: cherry blossoms around the tidal basin and Jefferson memorial are something to see. Here, we get a foot of snow March 19th, or as I well remember 16 years ago a foot and a half April 1st- no joke. But the warmer weather will eventually come (we're getting there) so let's get prepared with some Spring libations from around the city.
Idlewild by Sean Frederick, Citizen
2 oz St. George Botanivore Gin, .75 oz rhubarb syrup, .75 oz lemon juice, .5 oz Salers Gentiane, 8-10 tarragon leaves.
Add the rhubarb syrup and tarragon to a mixing glass and muddle.
Add everything else, then shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Top with 1 oz. Champagne Brut. Garnish with a mint sprig and slice of rhubarb.
"Fresh, tart rhubarb is one of my favorite seasonal ingredients. Botanivore, one of a trio of fantastic new gins from St. George Spirits, provides a perfect base for it. Packed with 20 botanicals (including zippy flavors like peppercorn and citra hops), the aptly-named gin complements rhubarb and the gentle anise notes of fresh tarragon. A splash of bubbles lends a light effervescence, letting the drinker know spring has sprung."
Warmer weather cocktails seem perfect for a trifecta between Bully Boy Distillers, Bonnie's Jams and a great bartender (or in this case two). These jam cocktails are made with pure ingredients without the use of pectin and less than half the sugar of commercial jams, letting bartenders can show off bright spring flavors such as peach, strawberry and rhubarb without artificial flavorings or heavy syrups.
Toast & Jam by Kevin Martin, Bar Manager, Eastern Standard
Leave it up to Kevin with a perfect double entendre- the cocktail has toasted bread with jam notes from Bully Boy’s White Rum, bitters and Bonnie’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam but add champagne and you're (thanks Jen!) giving a toast.
1 oz room temperature Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam, 1 oz Bully Boy White Rum, .5 oz fresh lemon juice, .5 oz Bauchant Orange Liqueur, 1 dash Peychauds Bitters.
Mount ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake until properly diluted. Double strain into a champagne flute and top with 2 ounces of cava.
Franklin’s Ghost by Vikram Hegde, Head Bartender, ICOB
"Bully Boy White Whiskey and Bonnie’s Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, the name Franklin’s Ghost pays homage to the rumor that Benjamin Franklin first introduced rhubarb seeds to the American East Coast, while white whiskey delivers an ethereal, ghost-like quality to the cocktail with nuttiness from Benedictine and Orgeat (almond syrup). The small pinch of salt integrates the flavors while masking any underlying bitterness, resulting in a bright, smooth cocktail."
1 oz Bully Boy White Whiskey, .5 oz Benedictine Liqueur, .5 oz Orgeat syrup, .5 oz fresh lime juice, 1 dash Peychaud's Bitters, 1 pinch of salt, 2 barspoons Bonnie's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
Mount all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and shake. Strain into a lowball over ice. Mint sprig garnish.
Ratonita by Noon Inthasuwan, Moksa
2 oz of Lunazul Reposado Tequila, .75 oz of Mariposa Agave liqueur, .75 oz of Cynar, 1 oz lemon juice, .5 oz of simple syrup.
Topped with a preserved lemon foam.
"This is the fun play on the Margarita. Instead of rimming the glass with salt, we use a salty & sweet preserved lemon foam to top the drink. This adds the salty note as well as the texture to the cocktail. When, I think of spring, I think of Tequila because of the grassy herbaciousness. The Cynar adds an earthy vegetal note, which reminds me of potting soil and new seeds to be sown. The foam is just fun, because Easter is in March and I think of the fluffy marshmallows that is abundant around this time of the year."
Old friend and superb bartender Domingo (only first name is really necessary- yup, he's a star) offers up a simple, an elegant refreshing drink for the Culinary Concepts Sring Menu changes. He does spectacular stuff- go check him out at the W.
Lavender Gin Fizz by Domingo-Martin Barreres, Market
1.25 oz Bombay Sapphire gin, .75 oz. house made lavender syrup, .75 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice, soda water, thin lemon wheel
This drink gets built in highball glass; put gin and lavender syrup into a highball glass then fill 1/2 way with ice, place the lemon wheel midway on inside wall of glass for garnish and effect then fill the glass with ice. Fill most of the way with club soda then top off with the lemon juice, mix thoroughly before drinking to combine flavors.
I have made it no secret that I love this next guy, his Spring drink maybe driven by bee tattoos on his right arm?
Cassiopeia in Bloom by Tony Iamunno, Stoddard's
2 oz St. George Spirits Terroir Gin, .75 oz brandy, .75 oz saffron simple, .75 oz orange juice, 1 dash ango.
Cocktail glass, flower garnish.
Fiore by Brendan Pratt, Lineage
1.5 oz Deaths Door Gin, .75 oz St Germain, .75oz fresh lime, .5 oz Hum Botanical Liqueur, .75 of an eye dropper of Bittermens Boston Bittahs (chamomile and citrus bitters).
Shake and serve up with a lime twist.
Brendan mentions "I came up with it for a regular of mine that wanted something tart and floral. The drink is surprisingly grapefruit-like, although there's no grapefruit in it."
Soon enough, patios will be open, and you'll want to check out 75 on Liberty Wharf; it's a little neighborhood bar down on the water, a modern version of its Beacon Hill big brother- I'll meet you there.
Kombucha Sparkler by Markus Ripperger, Chef, 75 on Liberty Wharf
(Organic and Raw grape Kombucha (Japanese tea), Chia seeds topped with St. Germain and Prosecco)
1 oz of St. Germain, 2 oz Kombucha with Chia seeds, 3 oz of Prosecco.
In a Champagne Flute add first the Prosecco, then St. Germain. Top with the Kombucha.
Grand Ten Distilling, right here in South Boston, makes some delicious products, I particularly like Wire Works Gin. So much, in fact, I persuaded staff member (and longtime bartender in his own right) Lonnie Newburn, to add the following refreshing rich cocktail which he notes "has a nice dry finish that leaves you wanting more!" Coincidentally, great photographer, Tom Kates, was on hand at the distillery to snap a photo of it.
The Grapefruit Spoon by Lonnie Newburn, GTD
1.5 oz Wire Works Gin, .5 oz grapefruit juice, .5 oz Apricot Brandy, .5 oz Cynar, 2 dashes Fee's Grapefruit Bitters
Out in Jamica Plain, perhaps after a stroll around the pond, head over to Canary Square for a taste of the season.
The Green Street by Bryce Mack, Canary Square
2 oz Bombay, .5 oz St. Germain, .5 oz lemon juice, .5 oz simple syrup, 4 basil leaves, 1 dash Peychaud's bitters, 1 dash Regan's orange bitters
Gently muddle basil and lemon juice, add remainder of ingredients, shake and strain over ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and a bail leaf.
Punchy's First Strike by John Henderson, Tavern Road
.75 oz Becherovka, .75 oz Cherry Heering, .75 oz Creole Shrubb, .75 oz lemon, .25 oz Allspice Dram.
Dry shake, pour over crushed ice. Garnish with 5 dashes of Peychaud's.
"Named for an early Hawaiian Punch ad campaign, where the mascot named Punchy, punches everything he can find. Dogs, fire hydrants, kindergarteners....
It's an adult version of Hawaiian Punch. Fruity and tropical, but not overly sweet due to the addition of allspice dram and peychauds. Goes down way too easily."
Yes, Spring means Kentucky Derby time is getting closer, so when at Foundry in Davis Square a julep variation seems in order.
I'll Have Another (named after last year's winner of the Kentucky Derby jockeyed by Mario Guiterrez) by Manny Gonzalez, Foundry on Elm
2 oz of Bulleit Bourbon, 2 dashes of Aztec chocolate bitters, muddled mint and sugar,
topped with a float of Mejor Anejo tequila and garnished with mint sprigs and powdered sugar.
Josh Taylor always has wonerful seasonal menus, Spring is no exception. His cocktail "was inspired by the delicious new rosé quinato from the Cocchi house. It is allowed to shine alongside two other bright and clean products to create a light and beautiful stirred cocktail for Spring. The name El Niño refers to the Pacific weather pattern that occurs every 2 to 12 years."
El Niño by Josh Tayor, Westbridge
1 oz Bauza Pisco, 1 oz Cocchi Americano Rose, 1 oz Dimmi.
Stir and serve down with no garnish.
The author is solely responsible for the content.