The arrival of our favorite season means more than the addition of asparagus and peas to new menus — creative spring cocktails aplenty are shaking things up with fresh produce and funky-fresh ingredient combos, too! Quite possibly the only thing that’s more fun than drinking them is picking your favorite play on words to raise a glass to.
Providence, Los Angeles, California
If you thought drinking a cocktail felt good, imagine doing your part for the environment while sipping it, too! The sustainable seafood-focused fine dining restaurant Providence also has a zero-waste cocktail policy, which means bartenders like Kim Stodel get to employ creative methods to re-use leftover produce from the kitchen instead of buying new fruits or veggies. Drink yours with the Peas and Thank you, a new cocktail made with mezcal, bonal, lemon, pea tendril, and mint. Make a reservation at Providence.
CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
Put a little “sprig” in your step with Tea Thyme, featuring housemade thyme-infused gin, French amer, gentian liqueur, lemons, and thyme. Bar manager Eric Brooks infuses his own spirits and chose the herb for spring to give an earthy balance to the bright citrus of the lemon and bitterness of the liqueur. Make a reservation at CBD Provisions.
Tanuki, Miami Beach, Florida
In Japan, the fox-like dog Tanuki has mystical powers, but those who’ve tried anything on bar manager Thomas Latosone’s list will say you don’t need a trip to the island nation for some magic. His latest concoction includes the Shichigosan, combining fresh spring produce including housemade cucumber and celery soda and strawberry-infused Tio Pepe sherry, in addition to grappa, Asian pear puree, housemade grenadine, and lemon. Make a reservation at Tanuki.
Coquette, New Orleans, Louisiana
It’s apropos that Coquette’s “beer and booze guy” Christopher Brian’s latest concoction combines corn with spirits — the NoLo hot spot is located in the Garden District, after all. The Cancha Con Pisco uses corn cob-infused Pisco Portón Mosto Verde, corn milk, lime juice, fennel oil, and lightly dusted roasted corn salt for a savory refreshment that evokes summertime BBQs. Make a reservation at Coquette.
Arbella, Chicago, Illinois
What good is indulging without a little flourish? Arbella takes all the work out of classic Peruvian bottle service for the Chilcano. In South America, it’s assembled by guests who are given small amounts of pisco, ginger ale, bitters, lime, simple syrup, and ice. In the Windy City, diners are presented with a bottle to be poured over verdant green cubes of housemade kiwi-cucumber ice. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors combined with fresh herbal notes. Make a reservation at Arbella.
Steak 954, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
It’s not your $1 lemonade stand treat, but it’s easy to get into the summer spirit early with the Thames Lemonade at Steak 954. The fresh blend is made with gin, Italian herbal liqueur genepy, lemon juice, simple syrup, and lemon bitters — with whole floating blackberries punctuating the tartness. Make a reservation at Steak 954.
Bastille Kitchen, Boston, Massachusetts
Crushed ice, bright strawberries, verdant limes, and succulent oranges all paint a pretty picture in La Voile Rouge, a superstar on Bastille’s new large-format cocktail list. The four-person extravaganza features tequila, housemade simple syrup, strawberry puree, and fresh lime juice with a rainbow of seasonal garnishes (including basil sprigs and featured apple). There’s no better way to come out of the hibernation of winter in Boston than by grabbing three of your closest friends for a celebration! Make a reservation at Bastille Kitchen.
Guard & Grace, Denver, Colorado
What else is more seasonal than a pop of color? The Garden Grace has it in spades — and a good dose of vitamins, too. Beverage director Michael Cerretani’s brightly hued libation is made with Denver dry gin, fresh carrot-apple juice, honey-ginger shrub, and it’s topped with sparkling cider for a bubbly finish. Make a reservation at Guard & Grace.
Who’s shaking the most creative spring cocktails you’ve been sipping? Let us know here or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Carley Thornell is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credits: TAG Restaurant Group (Guard & Grace); Kyle Deven (Providence);