There’s nothing like the first truly warm days of spring—the ones that free you from the confines of your trusty, weatherbeaten down coat. And in our household the arrival of the new season means many things: My husband breaks out his many sherbet-colored trousers, Jeni’s Buttercream Birthday Cake ice cream starts to make a regular appearance in our dessert rotation, and our thrice-weekly early morning walks get a mile longer.
Another thing that changes? My five o’clock cocktails. After months of drinking Charles Joly’s spiked hot chocolate and various iterations of the Irish coffee, my libations start to look (and taste) fresher and much more vibrant.
But admittedly, reemerging from this winter has left me a little rusty in the cocktail creation department. So I enlisted the help of 42 spirits professionals—from Guadalajara to London and beyond—to save me from my rut. Here’s what they’re drinking this spring.
Best Cocktails for Spring 2023
“While working on the opening menu at Glady’s Caribbean, I wanted to focus on tiki classics—in particular, those that are lesser-known or underappreciated, be they rum-based or otherwise. Enter the General Schley Punch, a bourbon serve that was popular in the 1860s. I served it frozen and it was a big hit. It was the first time I discovered how well bourbon stands up as a base for tropical cocktails, and I’ve since gone on to make a handful of recipes that are originals as well as riffs on existing classics such as this one. The Lei’d Back is inspired by the Halekulani, which was one of the most popular drinks at the iconic House Without A Key in 1950s Waikiki. The ingredients are all easy to find for most home bar enthusiasts, and it’s easy to scale up to a punch or batch application—perfect for entertaining and sharing with friends.” —Shannon Mustipher, mixology expert and author of Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails
1 ½ oz. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon
½ oz. pineapple juice
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. lime juice
¼ oz. demerara syrup
¼ oz. grenadine
2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and add ice. Hard shake and fine strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a dehydrated citrus wheel or dehydrated ginger garnish, then serve.
THE BOTANIST ELDER & TONIC
“The Botanist gin is the ideal spirit for creating unique and flavorful gin and tonic adaptations. Made with 22 hand-foraged botanicals from the Isle of Islay, The Botanist boasts a complex (yet delicate) aromatic flavor profile that perfectly balances with a high-quality tonic water. Its botanicals include herbs like mint, chamomile, thistle, and heather—as well as classic gin ingredients like juniper, coriander, and angelica root. Whether you prefer your gin and tonic with a slice of citrus, a sprig of rosemary, or a handful of berries, the Botanist is the perfect canvas for experimentation and creativity.” —Jason Cousins, national brand ambassador at The Botanist
1.5 oz. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
0.5 oz. elderflower liqueur
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. premium tonic
Lemon peel and sprig of lavender to garnish
Method: Combine The Botanist, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice in a highball glass. Fill with ice and top with premium tonic. Gently stir to incorporate. Garnish with a lemon peel and sprig of fresh lavender.
“In Brazil, when a Caipirinha is made with vodka instead of cachaça it’s called a Caipiroska. I love this cocktail for spring: It’s floral, refreshing, and tart. The neutrality of the vodka lets the spice of the Angostura and the hibiscus shine. But Caipirinhas are meant to be fun—not formal. So let’s not take ourselves too seriously while drinking them!” —Shannon Inouye, bar lead and partner at Nossa Caipirinha Bar, Los Angeles, CA
5 lime wedges (a little over half a lime’s worth)
A few good pieces of dried hibiscus flowers
¾ oz. hibiscus infused simple syrup (such as Floral Elixir Co. hibiscus syrup)
¼ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. Angostura Amaro
1.5 oz. vodka
Method: Muddle the limes with the hibiscus flowers, add the remaining ingredients, shake with ice, and dump it all into a glass. Finish by garnishing with a lemon peel.
“Voyageur Passionné is a true gem: a delicious vodka-based cocktail with bright and fruity flavors. After a long and cold winter, our favorite time of the year is knocking at the door. When the sun shines upon us with warmth and brightness we look forward to welcoming fresh, fruity, and floral flavors—and lighter, less intense spirits like vodka, gin, or tequila take over the lead role in cocktail menus. At 40% ABV, its creamy and silky texture, off-dry and grainy taste, vodka is a perfect match to floral and fragrant elderflower liqueur (St. Germain) and to citrusy and tropical passionfruit purée flavors. A dash of fresh-squeezed lime with light bittersweet orange and rhubarb rounds up the cocktail just right.” —Milos Zica, beverage director and partner of Fandi Mata, Brooklyn, NY
1 ¼ oz. Ketel One Vodka
¼ oz. Aperol
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Boiron passionfruit purée
¾ oz. St. Germain
¼ oz. agave syrup
Method: Combine ingredients and serve shaken in a coupe. Garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.
DB SPANISH G&T
“When you’ve created a perfectly balanced gin that exhibits what makes gin beautiful, just the right hint of citrus and a dry finish makes you want to come back for more. And with a perfectly smooth sip, why complicate it? Celebrate it for what it is in its truest form. The gin bubble goblet presentation gives your eyes a preview of how delicious this drink is on the palate.” —Sarah Clark, beverage director at The Dearborn, Chicago, IL
2 oz. DB gin (alternative gin: Sipsmith London Dry Gin)
⅔ bottle Fever-Tree tonic
Method: Build in classic gin bubble goblet. Add 1x1x1 ice cubes. Stir and garnish with 5–6 whole floating juniper berries and 3 sliced lemon and lime wheels (floating against the side of the glass), and a thyme sprig.
THE TESORO ROSA
“It was such a blast to collaborate with Gladys Tamez on the Tesoro Rosa cocktail! Perfect with first-of-the-season spring strawberries, it’s a savory and crushable alternative to a Paloma or Ranch Water cocktail. It’s simple and invigorating. The white pepper and subtle green notes of El Tesoro blanco blends perfectly with salted citrus and jalapeño. Delicious strawberries come as an added bonus.” —Shawn Lickliter, director of bar operations at Republique, Los Angeles, CA
1.5 part El Tesoro blanco
0.5 part lemon juice
0.5 part lime juice
0.75 part simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
1.5 parts premium soda water
2 pinches of salt
3 jalapeño slices
Edible pansy flower, garnish
Method: In a shaker, muddle the jalapeño slices, strawberry, salt, and citrus. Add the tequila, simple syrup, and ice. Shake and double strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with the soda and garnish with a pansy flower.
“Garibaldi originates as a drink from Italy—a combination of Campari and fresh OJ. At Torrisi we wanted to look at the Garibaldi as its own category of cocktail: something that should not be defined as a single cocktail. So we researched the best juices available for it, and we found pineapple to be one of the freshest—well-balanced and when ripe, full of sweetness. We paired this with a jalapeño-infused tequila, a touch of Aperol (we always try to include a touch of bitterness in our Garibaldi recipes to keep it true to its origin), and it’s rounded out with Dimmi Liquore di Milano, which is a grappa infused with peach blossoms. We add pineapple and lemon juice to really bring the drink to life. The drink is made very simply: We recommend building it in a large Boston shaker, then using a hand blender, immersion blender, or blender, you blend the ingredients for 15–20 seconds. This creates a beautiful foam once air is added to the pineapple. This helps the cocktail produce a beautiful texture, which is then poured directly into a Collins or highball glass over ice and garnished with a pineapple slice. The drink is a beautiful bright yellow, which when can be enjoyed in spring—and prepares everyone for the summer months ahead!” —Nathan McCarley O’Neill, beverage director and master mixologist at Torrisi Bar and Restaurant, New York City, NY
1.5 oz. jalapeño-infused Cazadores blanco tequila*
750 ml. or 1000 ml. good-quality blanco tequila
250 g. green jalapeño
1 oz. Dimmi Liquore di Milano
1 oz. Aperol
5 oz. pineapple juice blend
1 oz. lemon juice
*Jalapeño-Infused Tequila: Slice jalapeños into thin slices, add the slices and seeds into a non-reactive container, pouring the blanco tequila over the top. Allow to infuse for 2 hours (we recommend tasting every 30 minutes for the desired spice level). Once spice level has been reached, strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour back into the bottle using a funnel. Refrigerate. The infusion will keep for up to 6 weeks.
Method: Add all ingredients into a Boston shaker, blend using an immersion blender for 5 seconds, and fine strain into glass into a Garibaldi glass with a Collins ice cube. Garnish with a pineapple triangle slice on the rim.
CAMUS V.S.O.P SIDECAR
“The Camus V.S.O.P Sidecar is a classic sour cocktail that’s perfect as the weather warms up. The Sidecar is one of the most iconic Cognac-based cocktails in the history of mixology: Its name credits the motorcycle sidecar of an American army captain in Paris during World War I. Cited first at the Harry’s New York Bar menu in 1919, today it is one of the 50 most popular cocktails in the world. The connoisseurs enjoy this classic cocktail made with an intensely aromatic cognac like Camus’ V.S.O.P, a blend distinguished by its elegant yet deep notes of white flowers and citrus blossoms. There’s a reason classics never go out of style and this aromatic, perfectly balanced cocktail proves why.” —Aria Wright, U.S. brand ambassador at Camus
2 oz. Camus V.S.O.P
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. triple sec
Fresh or dehydrated lemon peel
Method: Add all ingredients into a shaker, top with ice, shake and strain into a glass of your choice. Garnish with a fresh or dehydrated lemon peel.
CITRUS SAFARI SPRITZ
“Citrus Safari is always down for an adventure—whether you’re looking to try new ingredients, get into a new type of beverage, or just mixing it up from your usual! Refreshing, tangy, and bright, the Citrus Safari Spritz is what you’ll want to take on every expedition from here on out.” —Larry Haertel Jr., cofounder of Jiant
5 oz. Citrus Safari Hard Kombucha
2 oz. coconut water
1.5 oz. vodka
2 oz. mango purée
Method: Rim your favorite glass with Osmo mango-chili salt. Combine all ingredients in the glass and stir. Enjoy!
THE CINCO DE MAYO
“Most people associate the Cinco de Mayo holiday with Mexican independence and that is simply not the case. This cocktail is named after the famous battle of Puebla, since this cocktail is made with two great French liquors like Suze and Lillet and, of course, tequila. Two words to describe this cocktail are bright and fruity: The El Tequileño Reposado harmonizes beautifully with the extremely floral Suze liqueur and the more mellowed-out Lillet Blanc. The maraschino brings a touch of nutty sweetness that is complemented by cardamom bitters. This will be perfect on a chilly spring day or paired with a nice outdoor brunch.” —Lucas Assis, content creator
0.75 oz. El Tequileño Reposado
0.75 oz. Suze liqueur
0.75 oz. Lillet Blanc
0.75 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
0.5 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes of cardamom bitters
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with a big ice cube. Shake vigorously and double strain neat into a frozen coupe. Garnish with orange twist.
“I always reach for a Grand Margarita in the spring. The recipe uses Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge as the key ingredient to help enhance the cocktail with deep layers of complexity that complement the fresh citrus in a margarita. With its exceptional blend of fine Cognac and exotic bitter orange liqueur, the Grand Margarita instantly elevates the cocktail experience, making it a perfect and refreshing serve for the season.” —Xavier Herit, national brand ambassador at Grand Marnier
1 part Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
1 part tequila
0.5 part fresh lime juice
Method: Fill a wide, shallow dish with 2–3 mm. of fine salt. Cut a lime in half at the width and rub around half of the rim of a margarita glass. Cut a thin, crosswise slice from one of the lime halves for garnish. Holding glass upside down, dip wet half delicately into the salt. Shake Grand Marnier, tequila, and lime juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into glass and apply lime garnish to the rim.
“La Frenchie is a modern take on the ’80s and ’90s popular cocktail, the French Martini. We wanted to do an adventurous and unique take on the original, while keeping the fun and playful spirit of the drink intact. La Frenchie uses a made-in-house lacto-fermented raspberry liqueur in place of Chambord, which amplifies the raspberry flavor in a funky, sour way that has a richer mouthfeel. Combined with Midwest vodka from 45th Parallel Distillery, the freshest pineapple juice, and a pop of lime, La Frenchie leans on the drier side than its predecessor. Bonjour!” —Megan Luedtke, beverage director at DDP Restaurant Group, Minneapolis, MN
40 ml. Midwest Vodka
25 ml. fermented raspberry liqueur
30 ml. pineapple juice
10 ml. lime juice
Method: Combine ingredients, shake well, double strain into chilled long-stemmed coupe glass. Garnish with a raspberry.
“This cocktail is inspired by T.S Elliot’s poem of the same name: the fourth and final poem of his Four Quartets, a series of poems that discuss time, perspective, humanity, and salvation. I get a lot of inspiration for my cocktails from poetry. One of the main themes in Little Gidding is spiritual renewal. Rhubarb is one of the first edible delicacies to appear in spring—the season that most represents renewal and transition. It’s also very sour but can be made sweet with the addition of sugar, and therefore has the ability to mutate and change, just like the seasons.” —Ektoras Binikos, cofounder of Sugar Monk, New York City, NY
3 small pieces of rhubarb
0.5 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes old fashioned bitters
1.5 oz. Uncle Vols Botanical Gin
1 oz. Aperol
1 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. egg whites
Method: In a shaker, muddle together the rhubarb, simple syrup, and old fashioned bitters. Add the remaining ingredients and dry shake. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into a coupe. Top with old fashioned bitters, creating a line across the top of the foam.
“I love that time each year when spring slowly slinks its way back into town and a smattering of early buds begin to bloom. And in the season before any juicy fruits are yet ripe and ready, preserved flavors are what we focus on here at Brother Wolf, our Italian Aperitivo cocktail bar in Knoxville, TN. We hoard crisp apple cider in the late fall and freeze it until we are ready to drink it, and apple juice is always available when the cider is all gone. Both are a great way to extend the life of the previous apple harvest through to the spring. In this cocktail, Mela Fumo, we contrast the sweet honeyed apple with the bite of mezcal, as well as aromatized Cocchi Rosa for a balance between worlds. As a garnish, ginger crystals pack a punch of tangy flavor while complementing the other elements and may also help ward off the springtime sniffles.” —Jessica King, founder of Brother Wolf, Knoxville, TN
2 oz. Del Maguey single village mezcal pechuga
1 oz. Cocchi Americano Rosa
4 oz. unsweetened apple cider (or juice)
Method: Wet the edge of a rocks glass and then dip into Prince of Peace ginger-honey crystals for garnish. Combine the remaining ingredients over ice and gently stir to combine.
LIVE AT THE SANDS
“Although gin and pistachio may not scream spring, this cocktail was inspired by a stunning spring afternoon in my backyard here in San Diego. While sipping a 50/50 gin martini and noshing on a bag of salted pistachios, I was struck by the harmonious and accidental pairing. Much rumination about how to recreate this experience led to this viscous, brightly acidic pleasure we feature in all of our restaurants. The addition of lemon juice transforms the aforementioned pairing into a spring pleasure I want to experience again and again.” —Colin Berger, bar manager at Rare Society, San Diego, CA
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. pistachio orgeat*
2 lb. pistachios
2 qt. white sugar
0.75 oz. rose water
0.25 oz. orange blossom water
2 oz. London dry gin
Healthy pinch of salt
*Pistachio Orgeat: Place pistachios in a Vitamix and cover with piping hot water. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Blend to a rough paste and pass paste through a nut milk bag. Combine white sugar and the resulting nut milk in a clean Vitamix and blend until steaming hot. Add orange blossom and rose water. Blend until fully incorporated.
Method: Add all but the salt to shaker tin and shake vigorously. Salt cocktail in the tin before straining. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a freshly sliced lemon wheel.
“It’s refreshing and makes for a great walking drink, which is essential for the French Quarter. Nick’s decision to use the bright, grassy Cheramie Rum with the rich fruit from the Fassionola makes this my favorite Hurricane in the French Quarter. Often when I say ‘You should try our hurricane,’ I’m met with a suspicious look—and I know what that means. They’ve tried it before and it wasn’t good. I’ve converted many non-believers with this one.” —Katie Firestone, head bartender at Peychaud’s Bar, New Orleans, LA
4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.25 oz. demerara syrup
0.75 oz. Cocktail & Sons Fassionola
0.5 oz. Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum
1.5 oz. Cheramie Rum
Fresh strawberry, garnish
Method: Combine ingredients in a shaker. Whip shake on cobble ice. Pour, with ice, into Collins glass. Top to rim with more cobble ice. Garnish with strawberry.
PEAK SEASON STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI
“We like to make really unique, intricate cocktails at Kingfisher, but we also like to let peak season ingredients shine when they arrive every season! Peak season strawberries are the epitome of the type of ingredient that just shine. We produce an easy, beautiful syrup in the blender and then infuse the rum to double down on the strawberry. We also love reclaiming a maligned drink (like the strawberry daiquiri) from the realm of the overly sweet, frozen drink style. This just screams spring in Durham, which I think grows the best strawberries in the world. At the bar we produce an easy, beautiful strawberry simple syrup in the blender and infuse the rum with the leftover pulp and fresh strawberries to double down on the strawberry flavor. For this version we’ve simplified it a little, but if you plan on making this cocktail regularly or for a large group, up the strawberry ante like we do at the bar by infusing a whole bottle of Don Q for two days with the leftover strawberry pulp from making the syrup and 5 oz. of additional fresh strawberries.” —Sean Umstead, co-owner of Kingfisher, Durham, NC
0.75 oz. strawberry syrup*
16 oz. water
16 oz. sugar
4 oz. fresh strawberries
1.75 oz. Don Q Cristal rum
0.25 oz. overproof Jamaican rum
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
*Strawberry Syrup: combine sugar, strawberries, and water in blender. Blend on high for 1 minute and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Method: Combine 0.75 oz. of the strawberry syrup and remaining ingredients in a shaking tin. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a lime shell.
“This is a delicious spring cocktail that allows us to get excited about soon-to-ripen strawberries. And it uses up the last of those winter preserves! The jam saves the need for any syrup and the sage adds a bit of light herbal tones against the sweet strawberries.” —Amy Racine, beverage director at JF Restaurants
1.5 oz. Sipsmith gin
0.5 oz. lemon juice
4 sage leaves
2 drops balsamic vinegar
2 barspoons strawberry jam
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with sage leaf with stem
SACRED SPRING SOUR
“Growing up, nothing was better than homemade lemonade on a hot day—and our Sacred Spring Sour is the perfect adult version. With some freshly squeezed lemon juice, this cocktail is easy to put together and guaranteed to hit the spot on a sunny spring day.” —Christian Smith, food and beverage manager at Castle & Key Distillery, Frankfort, KY.
1.5 oz. Sacred Spring Vodka
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
1.0 oz. pomegranate juice
Top with prosecco
Method: Add all ingredients to a shaking tin with ice. Stir and strain into a glass over ice. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a lime wheel and pomegranate seeds.
“Passionfruit and jalapeño flavors can’t go wrong. This is the successor to the famous and delicious cocktail, ‘the Amante Picante.’ Spicy, exotic, and with a lingering heat. The more you drink, the better the chance of you having another spicy encounter.” —Francesco Lafranconi, beverage director at Carver Road Hospitality
0.75 oz. El Tequileño blanco tequila
0.75 oz. Tanteo jalapeño
0.75 oz. Ancho Reyes Verde
1.5 oz. passionfruit agave
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
Method: Combine all ingredients, shake, and serve on the rocks with a spicy Tajín-salted rim and a mezcal float
THE MACALLAN GARDEN OF LEGACY
“If you’re searching for a serve that embodies spring, then The Macallan Garden of Legacy is the perfect selection. The harmonious partnership of sweet and citrusy flavors allows the characteristics of The Macallan Double Cask 12 to take center stage, while notes of sherry and wood spice provide a reassuringly familiar backdrop. It’s a beautiful cocktail for those who are new to the world of whisky as well!” —Katie Nahat, brand ambassador at The Macallan
40 ml. The Macallan Double Cask 12 Year
30 ml. pink grapefruit juice
10 ml. sugar syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Method: Combine all ingredients in a tall glass. Add ice. Top up with soda or tonic. Garnish with a pink grapefruit wedge.
“It seems like a natural pairing to mix honey with floral ingredients such as the chamomile and St. Germain elderflower liqueur—so the inspiration for this cocktail came naturally because nothing says spring more than bees buzzing around and flowers coming into bloom. Having grown up in Vermont I have a very special place in my heart for Barr Hill Gin. Their gin is made in Vermont, very close to my hometown and is incredibly unique with a rich mouthfeel and strong honey notes.” —Sean Patrick McClure, beverage director at Ploume, New York City, NY
1.5 oz. Barr Hill Gin
0.5 oz. chamomile honey*
0.5 oz. St. Germain
0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 egg white
*Chamomile Honey: To make the chamomile honey, simply make a double-concentrated chamomile tea (use twice as much chamomile than you would for a normal cup of tea). And mix that at a 2:1 ratio of honey to the tea.
Method: Combine all the ingredients with 4 cubes of ice in a shaker. (You don’t want to pack it full of ice because you want to leave room for the ice to emulsify the egg white while shaking). Shake the cocktail vigorously for a good 20 seconds to ensure a solid egg white head. Fine strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe and let the egg white set. Once set, sprinkle a few pinches of fennel pollen on top and enjoy!
“Spring is one of my favorite times of the year because it means baseball is back. This drink is inspired by the two leagues that make up spring training: cactus and grapefruit. Seeing what the teams are made of those first weeks always feels like a bright spot after a long winter. This citrusy refresher has a touch of herbaceous aloe that mixes with subtle vanilla notes of the tequila. Couldn’t forget the thing that’s synonymous with baseball, an effervescent beer transforms this to the perfect opening day cocktail.”—Brooke Toscano, general manager and bar lead at The Spare Room, Hollywood, CA
1.5 oz. reposado tequila
0.5 oz. Giffard Pamplemousse
0.5 oz. grapefruit juice
0.25 oz. lime juice
1 tsp. Chareau Aloe Liqueur
Method: Half rim a Collins glass with Tajín and fill the bottom with 2 oz of Modelo Especial beer and ice. Add all ingredients to a shaking tin with ice and whip shake. Strain into prepared glass.
“L.A. is an agave town: a tequila-and-mezcal town—so we had to create a banger of a tequila cocktail, but it also had to fit the narrative of the restaurant. Angler is defined by everything being super fresh and seafood-forward. So we decided to use daily cold-pressed cucumber juice, fresh lime juice, aloe vera, and tequila #becauseLA. And to help with the nautical and sea theme I made cucumber air but added salt, so it smells and tastes like sea spray.” —Yanni Pediatitis, bar and dining room manager at Angler Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
0.5 oz. agave 2:1 ratio
0.5 oz. lime juice
1 oz. cold-pressed cucumber juice
0.75 oz. Chareau Aloe Vera
1.25 oz. Blanco Tequila
*Cucumber Air: Use a kitchen scale to measure 200 g. of cucumber juice and 1.4 g. of sucrose esters. Froth the top and skim the foam to garnish (you could also use a handheld milk frother or immersion blender).
Method: Light shake everything and strain into a glass with a twisted cucumber ribbon inside and fill ⅞ of the way with crushed ice. Top with 1 scoop of cucumber air.
“The Bewitched is a complex spritz. It doesn’t scream summer quite as much as the omnipresent Aperol version, yet it’s still refreshing and bright, with a wider palette of flavors that make this libation perfectly suited for a breezier afternoon. The elegant amaro and bitter Campari balance the minty, herbaceous and slightly sweet liqueur. And with today’s unstoppable amaro renaissance, all these ingredients are easy to gather. I love to mix with ingredients from my homeland, with Amaro Lucano being produced 15 mins away from my childhood home, and Strega being omnipresent in Southern Italian pastries during the spring—especially Eastertime.” —Giuseppe Santochirico, beverage director at Midnight Theatre, Hidden Leaf & Midnight Cafe, New York City, NY
0.25 oz. Amaro Lucano
0.75 oz. Campari
1 oz. Liquore Strega
3 oz. sparkling brut
Method: Pour all the ingredients in a highball glass, add cubed ice, and gently pour brut to the top. Finish with a quick stir.
“This drink is an elevated Paloma that will impress both the at-home bartender and guests. It’s got easy-to-find ingredients in any market during the spring, and it’s something that one can also easily batch out. Additionally, the Chinola and grapefruit add a vibrant color that welcomes changes in the weather.”—Julio Xoxocotla, beverage director at Bar Lula, New York City, NY
1.5 oz. reposado tequila
1.5 oz. grapefruit juice
1.5 oz. Chinola
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
Method: Rim grapefruit slice in Tajín. Mix all ingredients in a mixing tin, add cold ice, and shake. Fine strain into Collins glass with ice and top with club soda. Garnish with the grapefruit slice from earlier.
“Deceptively simple, the addition of Champagne vinegar weaves a floral acidity into the fresh watermelon. Be careful about bringing a batch for picnics or parties because in my experience, once tasted, you’ll be forced by your friends into making it for every outing!” —Erin Davey, beverage manager at Sake No Hana, New York City, NY
Ingredients (Makes 20 Cocktails)
30 oz. Roku Gin
25 oz. fresh watermelon juice
10 oz. Champagne vinegar
10 oz. sugar
5 oz. lime juice
Method: Stir all ingredients in a large container until sugar dissolves. Strain in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and fresh flowers (optional). Makes 20 cocktails.
“A bracing and bubbly combination of a French 75 and a Jungle Bird create the sensation of indulging in an upscale Piña Colada.” —Alec Kass, beverage manager at Rosevale Cocktail Room at Civilian Hotel, New York City, NY
1 oz. Ambrosia Aperitivo
1.5 oz. fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.25 oz. cane syrup
1 oz. brut Champagne
Method: Shake all ingredients over ice, strain into glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with a pineapple slice.
“This cocktail was designed to be made at home and honor the sakura (cherry blossom) flowers and leaves that are Roku’s spring botanicals. Apricot is another tree that blossoms around this time, so incorporating this flavor nods to the name ‘oubaitori.’ The blanc vermouth, raspberries, and yuzu keeps the drink light and crisp. And when it’s all together you can’t help but think about the beauty of the cherry blossom season.” —Trevor Rosetta, bar manager at Mecha Noodle Bar in Stamford, CT
1.5 parts Roku gin
0.5 parts Dolin Blanc vermouth
0.75 parts fresh lemon juice
0.5 parts agave simple syrup
3 dashes yuzu juice
2 bar spoons raspberry & apricot jam
Cherry blossom, garnish
Method: In a shaker, muddle 3 raspberries. Add remaining ingredients, top with ice, shake vigorously, strain into a coupe. Top with cherry blossom or edible flower.
“The Salt Washed was created for Select’s New Year’s Eve tasting menu to pair with an oyster for the first course. We wanted to come up with something off-dry and refreshing that had savory, vegetal notes to complement those in the oyster. Pairing cocktails with oysters can be tricky, but this worked so well we put it on the menu, and it’s never come off! Citadelle Jardin d’Été works beautifully in this drink because of its brightness and its perfect personality for pairing with green, from-the-garden type flavors.”—Gina Richard Sargeant, bar manager at Select Oyster Bar, Boston, MA
1.5 oz. Citadelle Gin Jardin d’Été
0.75 oz. Lustau Manzanilla Sherry
0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. simple syrup
2 slices diced cucumber
3 grinds black pepper (fine)
1 dash celery bitters
Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing tin, add ice, and shake thoroughly. Double strain into a martini glass.
WHEN HARRY MET MEGHAN
“A fun variation on the G&T, we incorporated hibiscus-infused London gin with house tonic syrup, sparkling water, and seasonal berries. The deep red color from the hibiscus for the new love birds; the sparkling water for the bubbling romance; the berries for picking each other; and the slightly bitter tonic for the well, we all know the rest of the story.” —Gabe Sanchez, general manager and cocktail expert at Midnight Rambler at The Joule, Dallas, TX
2 oz. hibiscus-infused gin
0.5 oz. house tonic syrup
4 oz. Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water
4–6 seasonal berries
Method: Add hibiscus-infused gin to a highball glass filled with pebble ice then add Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water. Top with seasonal berries.
“Here we have a cocktail that combines the dry, floral flavor profile of WeSake with the earthen spice you find in a good blanco tequila. The Sakura flower (cherry blossom) has a deep significance in Japan’s culture. The beautiful, but short-lived nature of the cherry blossom is seen as a reflection of life itself. This was the inspiration for the daiquiri style build of the drink. I wanted to bring the experience of sitting under a cherry blossom tree in the spring into a cocktail; it’s short, sweet, and beautiful—like all good things in life.” —Matthew Merlino, Owner of Paperplane Cocktail Club, New York City, NY
1.5 oz. WeSake
1 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. Sakura Syrup
200 g. sugar
200 g. water
*Sakura Syrup: Simmer 200 g. sugar and 200 g. water blended with 50 g. Sakura cherry blossom powder.
Method: Add ingredients to shaker tin filled with ice. Shake vigorously for ten seconds. Fine strain into a coupe. Garnish with half cherry blossom salt rim.
“The cocktail Hibiscus Rising is almost a complete step up from your regular margarita. Although a classic, sometimes you need a little something different. What’s great about this cocktail is it meets a balance of flavors. The tartness from the passionfruit and lime, plus the sweetness from the guava, orange liqueur, and Tequila Cazadores reposado, are held together with the backbone of the blanco and softness of the hibiscus. That being said, it’s just a good drink that’s going to make you say ‘yum.’ What more could you ask for?” —Adriana Ramos, bar manager at Employees Only, Los Angeles, CA
2.50 oz. Cazadores Tequila Mix (3:1 ratio of Cazadores blanco, Cazadores reposado, orange liqueur)
1.50 oz. Tequila Cazadores blanco
0.50 oz. Tequila Cazadores reposado
0.50 oz. orange liqueur
1 oz. guava and passionfruit purée mix (2 parts guava to 1 part passionfruit)
0.75 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. hibiscus tea
½ cup dried hibiscus flower
4 cups water
Splash of soda water
Method: Boil water and steep the flowers for 15 minutes. Strain the flowers from the water. Let tea cool. Combine all ingredients excluding hibiscus tea and soda into a shaker tin and shake with ice. Strain over Collins glass. Add ice and a splash of soda, then float the hibiscus tea on top. Garnish with lime wheel and hibiscus flower if on hand.
PATRÓN SILVER COOL BREEZE
“The Patrón Silver Cool Breeze is the perfect cocktail for spring. It combines both citric and sweet flavors for a light, refreshing, and sparkling drink that’s as easy breezy to make as it is to enjoy. Nothing beats this combination for brunch on a nice spring day!” —Stephen Halpin, manager of trade education and mixology at Patrón Tequila
1.5 oz. Patrón Silver
2 oz. sparkling water
1 oz. grapefruit juice
0.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz. Martini & Rossi bitter liqueur
0.5 oz. agave syrup
Lemon wheel for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Strain onto fresh ice in a Collins glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
TRADER VIC MAI TAI
“Trader Vic’s 1944 recipe for the mai tai is a familiar balance of strong character-forward rum, tart fresh lime, and sweetness almond orgeat. Orange curaçao complements the lime with a contrasting citrus element. The quality of the almond orgeat is an important component, as is the choice of a good quality curaçao ideally on the drier end of the spectrum.” —Kevin Breary, beverage director at Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, IL
1 oz. aged Jamaican rum
1 oz. 100-proof blanc rhum agricole
½ oz. dry curaçao
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. almond orgeat
Jamaican overproof rum float (optional)
Method: Build the cocktail in a double rocks glass; add crushed ice until the drink fills the glass. Swizzle the cocktail until it’s homogeneous (becomes opaque). Garnish with a bouquet of mint. Add a float of funky Jamaican overproof rum (optional as it’s not considered traditional, but it adds extra aromatics).
“This is a refreshing take on a classic margarita and it incorporates the vibrant and refreshing flavors of spring without being too sweet. By making your own simple syrup with fresh strawberries, you can control the layers of flavor in each cocktail, all of which perfectly complement the smokiness of the mezcal.” —Holly Tripp, Head Bartender at Figaro Café, New York City, NY
0.75 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. strawberry syrup* (approx. 1 case of strawberries)
0.25 oz. Cointreau
0.5 oz. Ancho Reyes liqueur
1.5 oz. Vida Mezcal
*Strawberry Syrup: Soak washed strawberries in salt water 5–10 mins, rinse under cold water. Stem a case of strawberries and blend in a blender. Strain out seeds using a mesh strainer (chinois or cocktail fine strainer). This will yield about 500–550 g. strawberry juice. Combine 500–550 g. strained strawberries with 500–550 g. sugar (equal parts strained strawberry blend yield to equal parts sugar). Note: Simply put, it’s equal parts strawberry “juice” (seeds and pulp strained out) to sugar.
Method: Shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with half rim of Tajín and 2–3 dehydrated (or freshly cut) strawberry slices.
PRETTY IN PINK
“The Pretty in Pink cocktail takes the classic margarita to new heights with the addition of pink lemonade and club soda for a fresh and bubbly take on the quintessential tequila cocktail. Fresh ingredients and garden-inspired garnishes like raspberries, edible flowers, and a cucumber ribbon make this the perfect springtime sip.” —Abraham Delgado, co-owner at Barra Matilde Mi Amor, Guadalajara, Mexico
2 oz. El Tequileño Platinum
0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. pink lemonade
1 barspoon agave syrup
0.75 oz. triple sec
Top with soda
Edible flowers, garnish
Cucumber ribbon, garnish
Method: Add all ingredients except soda to a shaker over cubed ice. Shake until ice cold. Strain into a highball glass over cubed ice and top with soda. Garnish with raspberries, edible flowers, and a cucumber ribbon.
“The Sage Margarita is one of my favorite cocktails because it can be enjoyed at any time of the day, whether it be in the afternoon, as an aperitif, or as a digestif. The sage gives a fresh balsamic taste to the spirit, creating a strong and rich flavor.” —Emanuele Balestra, bar manager at Bar du Fouquet’s, Paris, France
4 sage leaves
0.25 oz. fresh lime juice
0.75 oz. Grand Marnier
2 oz. infused tequila
½ barspoon icing sugar
Method: Add everything to a shaker, shake with ice cubes so that they crush the sage, filter through both a sieve and a chinois strainer. Slide the rim of the glass along a quarter of lime, turning it gently, then place the glass in a bowl of sage salt. Using a serviette, remove the salt from the inner side of the glass, making sure that you clean it from the inside out to prevent the salt from falling into the cocktail. Place a few leaves on the surface of the liquid.
TWO BY TWO
“As winter fades into spring, I’ve noticed that we as humans crave color and life in our food and drinks. I’ve always found myself reaching for tequila when that first sunny and windy day finally hits. Of course, Palomas and Margaritas are some of the easiest placements for this liquor. But what if we were to combine the two and create something a little more rebellious. I was adopted by Filipinos when I was almost five and on my adoption day they made me grapefruit juice to celebrate. Pairing it with the rosemary herb I’ve grown to love as an adult seemed so natural, I wondered why I hadn’t thought about it before. So here’s a cocktail I call Two by Two.” —Wyna Vida, beverage director at Toshokan, Austin, TX
2 oz. Dulce Vida grapefruit-infused tequila
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. rosemary-infused simple syrup
0.5 oz. grapefruit juice
Rosemary sprig, garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish and enjoy.
GLENDALOUGH ROSE FROSÉ
“You can truly experience the freshness and love that goes into each bottle of Glendalough gin with every sip. I have to say that the Glendalough Rose Gin is my favorite because I developed it to honor my mum, whose name was Rose. And each bottle contains roses from my late mother’s garden.” —Ciarán “Rowdy” Rooney, head distiller at Glendalough Distillery
1 oz. Glendalough Rose Gin
1 oz. strawberry purée
1 oz. Aperol
4 oz. rosé wine
1 oz. sugar syrup
Method: Blend all ingredients with ice for approximately 30 seconds (until the ice is broken down into the liquid). Pour into a tall glass, then garnish with a freshly torn and slapped sprig of mint.
OAXACAN OLD FASHIONED
“When we were creating this drink, we really wanted to lean into the richness of the flavors we were playing with, especially the spice and oaky tones that can come from palo santo and reposado tequila. The use of Pineau de Charentes was vital here as it rounded out the drink perfectly—and brought lushness and body to the cocktail.” —Liana Oster, bar director at NoMad London, London, UK
3 drops saline
0.25 oz. Amontillado
0.5 oz. honey syrup
0.5 oz. palo santo añejo
0.5 oz. Ocho reposado
0.75 oz. Pineau de Charentes
1 pinch Maldon salt
Method: Build in mixing glass, pour into large rocks glass, and give it one stir.
TEQUILA DON JULIO ROSADO SPRITZ
“As spritz cocktails are becoming more popular across all types of spirits, consumers are looking for premium and inventive serves perfect for any daytime occasion. This spritz is made with the new Tequila Don Julio Rosado, a splash of sparkling water, and a lemon garnish. It’s a simple cocktail that lets all of the exquisite notes and balance of flavors of this premium reposado tequila be the focus of this deliciously smooth drink. You will taste the notes of creamy strawberry, ripe raspberry, dried plum, roasted caramel, and a touch of rich cocoa that makes this cocktail perfect for moments like sipping poolside with friends or celebrating at a beach club.” —Karina Sanchez, global brand ambassador at Tequila Don Julio
1.5 oz. Tequila Don Julio Rosado
Splash of sparkling water
Method: Add 1.5 oz. of Tequila Don Julio Rosado to an ice-filled coupe glass. Top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with lemon wedge.
DIAMOND DANCER SPRITZ
“The Diamond Dancer Spritz is a more complex take on the classic white wine spritz. This cocktail combines Vara’s dry vermouth with Vara’s Malvasia—an aromatic and acidic white wine, and a super easy-to-make lemon syrup. Together these ingredients make for a delicious, lightly herbaceous, and refreshing drink that’ll make you want to book a trip to the Mediterranean asap.” —Jared Reeder, manager and mixologist at Vara Vinoteca, Santa Fe, NM
5 oz. lemon syrup*
1 part water
1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part sugar
0.5 oz. lime juice
1 oz. Vara Vermut Seco
1.25 oz. Vara Malvasia
*Lemon Syrup: Combine equal parts fresh squeezed lemon juice (pulp strained off) and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved completely.
Method: Shake, double strain into a chilled Collins glass, top with 2 oz. of soda, fill with ice and garnish with grapefruit twist.