Spring is in the air — and in our drinks. That’s because bartenders across town are matching up blooming things with booze by way of syrups, garnishes, and tinctures, resulting in cocktails that are as gorgeous to gaze at as they are delightful to throw back. Here are five floral-driven drams to check out now.
THE PAIRS WELL at PIORA
Floral aromas meet woodsy ones in this cocktail, which calls for crème de violette and Gran Centenario Plata blanco tequila that’s been aged in French oak for 28 days. Head bartender Shinya Yamao shakes those with Campari, grapefruit, Calpico soda, and sudachi before serving it up in a coupe glass. As for the name? “I wanted to create a cocktail with ingredients that would pair well with sudachi — a Japanese citrus similar to lime juice — and tequila was a great complement,” he says.
THE ROSALITA MARGARITA at FONDA
Over at Fonda, margaritas pack health benefits — thanks to one special flower. “A well-made hibiscus infusion is also charged with tons of vitamin C and lots of other good antioxidants, so I say drink on!” says chef and owner Roberto Santibañez. For a spin on the classic he creates a hibiscus syrup of dried hibiscus flowers and sugar, which he then stirs with silver tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice and ice for at least one minute before filling a salt-rimmed glass.
THE BEER STORE BOUQUET at LIONSBEERSTORE
Flowers shine through in two components of this beer cocktail: lavender syrup and the sugar-dusted orchid that head bartender David Thigpen reaches for to adorn the glass. The former meets fresh lime juice, byrrh and Weiss beer in a snifter for a complex and aromatic step-up from the average brew.
THE LYCHEE COOLER at SUSHISAMBA NYC
Head bartender Richard Woods set out to create a pina colada, but one that would take things up a notch. “I was unsatisfied with a straightforward recreation, so I looked at how I could improve the drink by making it lighter, fresher, and more complex,” he says. He followed through with a shaken concoction of Grey Goose, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lychee juice, vanilla syrup, and coconut cream, which he tops with bitter lemon and a bamboo leaf. Spring break, here we come.
THE BEE’S TEAS at REDFARM
Chamomile shows up twice in this cocktail from head bartender Shawn Chen, who incorporates the daisy-esque flower in both honey and tincture form. Those ingredients are shaken with muddled basil, muddled fig, and lemon juice before being strained into a rocks glass, which Chen tops off with a pansy flower and a sliced fig.
By Nicole Schnitzler
(Photos from left: The Beer Store Bouquet; Bee's Teas; Lychee Cooler by Rachel Harrison; Rosalita Margarita)