Husband and wife duo Jason and Sonya Hedges have announced the release date for their first book, The Seasonal Cocktail: A Creative Guide To Drink Making, a simple, sophisticated guide that’s rooted in the green market philosophy available for pre-order now.
Jason, who spearheaded the recipe side of things, is a veteran bartender who led Michelin-rated beverage programs at Gotham Bar and Grill, Aldea, and L’Ecole, and now serves as the beverage director of Laurent Tourondel Hospitality and is co-founder of Bar-IQ.com. His wife Sonya, an award-winning art director, designer, and visual artist, is responsible for the book’s watercolor and pen illustrations.
The book explores the philosophy and methodology for making seasonally inspired cocktails, organized as two books that complement and complete each other. Part one, The Recipes, covers more than one hundred cocktails organized by season, including some of Jason’s favorites alongside classic libations from the global drink-making repertoire. He also shows the reader the formula for creating recipes, and how to use mood and available seasonal ingredients as guiding factors in creating recipes.
Part two, The Fundamentals, is a practical guide to building a cocktail. It discusses tools, techniques, spirits, mixers, and other technical aspects of the craft.
The book launches nationally on May 22nd. Here is a sneak peek at some of the recipes, just in time for your Memorial Day gatherings. All recipes are courtesy of The Seasonal Cocktail by Jason Hedges.
“Mint and cherry, flavors synonymous with scoops of summer ice cream, make for a strikingly vivid and herbaceous drink,” says Jason. “The Cherry Blossom is a crowd please. Shake up one—or a bunch!—at your next patio gathering.”
2 oz. mint and cherry infused Hendrick’s Gin*
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
La Marca Prosecco Rosé
Shake all ingredients except the sparkling rosé. Strain into a coupe and top with sparkling rosé. Garnish with mint leaf.
*Mint and cherry infused gin
Add 2 cups of ripe red cherries and a healthy handful of mint leaves to 1 liter of gin. Gently muddle the cherries to extract flavor and color. Let infuse for 1 to 2 days, stirring or agitating occasionally. Strain, gently pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and bottle liquid.
Bergamotto Blackberry Spritz
“The floral Italicus shines in this spritz, especially with the counter point of tangy blackberries and bright citrus. It’s a low ABV cocktail that begs to be refilled on a long, lazy summer afternoon.”
1½ oz. Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto
¾ oz. lemon juice
4 ripe blackberries
La Marca Prosecco
1 fresh thyme sprig
Muddle blackberries and lemon juice, then add Italicus. Shake with ice and fine strain into an ice-filled white wine glass. Top with prosecco and garnish with a blackberry, lemon peel, and thyme sprig.
“The Bergamotto Blackberry Spritz is sustainable because it features Italicus, a brand known for their commitment to sourcing sustainable and ethical ingredients and packaging,” says Jason. “In addition, the use of fresh, locally sourced blackberries and thyme helps to support local and seasonal agriculture practices and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food and ingredients from far away.
This cocktail would be a great accompaniment to light, fresh dishes such as a salad with citrus dressing, grilled fish, or bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and basil. The herbal and citrus notes in the cocktail would complement these flavors beautifully.”
“This bright, spicy, crisp, and refreshing drink packs plenty of complexity. It centers on the mezcal—the structured Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej, which is of supreme sipping quality. The citrus and agave notes of the mezcal are countered by the fresh cucumber and jalapeño concoction.”
2 oz. Los Siete Misterios Doba-Yej mezcal
¾ oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. fresh cucumber and jalapeño juice*
¼ oz. agave syrup
Shake all ingredients and strain into a salt and Tajín–rimmed rocks glass** with one piece of block ice.
*Fresh cucumber and jalapeño juice
Slice the ends off a few large cucumbers, roughly chop, and add to a juicer. Add 1 seeded and roughly chopped jalapeño to the juicer. Bottle and refrigerate.
**Salt and Tajín rim
Combine equal parts salt and Tajín in a pint container or mason jar. Cover with a lid and shake to combine.
“It’s next to impossible to improve on the classic whiskey sour. Instead, I took it in a different direction by adding stone fruit and tropical flavors along with a bitter, aromatic amaro float. This left turn earned the recipe recognition from Whisky Advocate a few years ago.”
2 oz. peach infused Brother’s Bond Bourbon*
¾ oz. Velvet Falernum
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. pineapple juice
¼ oz. Fernet Branca
Shake all ingredients except the Fernet Branca and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Float the Fernet Branca on top. Garnish with an orange crescent.
*Peach infused Bourbon
Combine 2 cups peeled and chopped ripe peaches with one liter of bourbon. Infuse for 1 to 2 days, stirring or agitating occasionally. Fine strain, pressing the peach to extract all the liquid, then bottle.
Pro Tip: The varying viscosity of liquids allows for layering of color and flavor: lighter liquids float on top of heavier ones. Frothy heads, produced from shaking ingredients like egg whites or pineapple juice, enable liquids to float atop the foam.
“This Paloma variation incorporates lemongrass syrup, which adds a fragrant and citrusy flavor and enriches the drink enough to eliminate the need for Squirt. Use fresh grapefruit juice and club soda instead.”
2 oz. Milagro Plata tequila
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz. pink grapefruit juice (strained)
½ oz. lemongrass syrup*
Q-Mixers club soda
Shake all ingredients except the club soda and strain into a half-salt-rimmed, stemless wine glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemongrass stalk.
In a saucepan, add 1 cup of chopped lemongrass for every quart of simple syrup. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for an additional 10 minutes. Fine strain, then bottle and refrigerate.
“Lemongrass Paloma uses natural and organic ingredients. The lemongrass syrup is made using fresh lemongrass stalks—known for their antibacterial properties that can promote healthy digestion and reduce inflammation. Additionally, the Q-Mixers club soda used in the cocktail is made with naturally sourced ingredients and carbonated water.
A good food pairing would be something light and refreshing that complements the flavors of the cocktail. I would recommend grilled seafood with lime and cilantro. The acidity and bright flavors of the cocktail would pair well with this type of dish, enhancing the overall taste experience.”