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  • Brian Maxwell

Spring forward with bright floral cocktails.


"Spring is nature's way of saying let's party!" -Robin Williams

When I first decided to write this blog, it was upon the suggestion of my girlfriend about a week before daylight savings. I felt this was a perfect opportunity to start out with the vibrant flavors or Spring. These bright, herbal, and floral notes bring to mind running through fields of flowers, bees buzzing, and a feeling of renewal.

When the images of Spring begin coming to my mind, certain spirits and modifiers start becoming appealing.

For example: Agave Spirits, Gin, Pisco, Aquavit, Thyme,Teas, Cardamon, Mint, etc. These flavors tend to flow from a bartender's mind, whether intentionally or by accident. It's the nature of the season.

Below, I included a few examples of Spring cocktails with varying base spirits and modifiers to highlight the feeling of Spring and to help us move into the season. Enjoy.

Wakai Sakura

2 ounces Chivas Regal Extra

.25 ounces Luxardo Marischino Liqueur

.5 ounces Orgeat (for this recipe I used El Quapo, found on Amazon.com)

.75 ounces Fresh Lemon Juice

1.5 ounces Cherry Blossom Tea

3 drops Vanilla Extract

This cocktail draws inspiration from Japanese style cocktails, combining bright Spring flavors with the richness of Scotch Whisky. I wanted to create a cocktail which represented growth and renewal in the time of Spring.

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and strain into an ice filled collins glass.

Garnish with cherry blossoms and a fresh thyme sprig

The flavors of the cherry and vanilla combined with the aroma of the thyme should create a bright, refreshing mouthfeel. The idea behind the cocktail is a representation of our growth as individuals through the seasons. Each Spring, we have a chance to renew ourselves and reset.

"Today's cherry blossoms were buds until yesterday." -unknown

No Rain

1 ounce Pisco Porton Mosto Verde

.75 ounces Fresh Lemon Juice

.5 ounces Honey Syrup

2 ounces Chamomile Tea

The first time I took a sip of this cocktail, I just kept picturing bees, honey, and an open field of flowers on a Spring day. The image in my head was that of the music video for Blind Melon's No Rain.

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish with Chamomile flowers.

I know what you're thinking.... "Where is all of the alcohol?" Relax, put down the bat, and let me explain. Sometimes on the earliest warm days of the year, we can get a little carried away in the joy of the ice thawing. This cocktail is meant to relax you, not incapacitate you. Let the refreshing notes of the chamomile, citrus, and honey mingle with the Peruvian Pisco while you relax and take in the aromas of Spring. We have plenty of time for warm weather imbibing ahead of us, so don't be in such a hurry. Maybe I'm right, or maybe I'm just crazy....

"And all I can do is just pour some tea for two and speak my point of view, but it's not sane."

-Blind Melon

Artemis

1.5 ounces Earl Gray and Lavender infused Gin (I used Four Peel Gin from Watershed)

.75 ounces Genepy des Alpes

1 ounce Bianco Vermouth (I used Carpano)

2 dashes Orange Bitters (Regan's)

Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt. This cocktail holds a special place in my heart. Genepy is usually referred to when speaking of Chartreuse, as it's the primary flavoring herb used in production. This alpine herb is also in the artemesia family, much like wordwood. The botanicals in the gin combined with the lavender and tea compliment the genepy quite well.

Combine all ingedients in a mixing glass with ice.

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish with a thyme sprig and nasturtium petal.

This cocktail is the Spring cousin the the Martini. Where gin is once found to be dry and sharp, the herbal flavors are balanced together to bring out the essence of nature.

#food #bread #cooking

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