Spring is finally upon us and all of the New Yorkers are coming out of the woodwork. This past weekend of clear skies and sunny weather had the rooftops and open air restaurants buzzing. Many of the New York bars and restaurants are premiering their new Spring cocktail menus with a fantastic array of refreshing elixirs.
But New York isn’t the only city breaking out springtime drinks, across the country new creations and classics are being put forth to eager consumers. This season, I did some exploration down in Nashville, TN to see what Southern goods they were coming up with this Spring.
It can sometimes be overwhelming choosing from the many varieties of cocktails, so I often default to asking the opinions of the masterminds that create these complex and artful drinks. My dear friend Brice Hoffman is the beverage director at Nashville restaurant Rolf and Daughters, which was recently listed as the third best restaurant in the nation by Bon Appétit.
Brice always knows how to mix and match the best ingredients to deliver some of the tastiest cocktails. Since I’m far away from home and can’t experience the concoctions first hand, I reached out to see what was new on the menu at Rolf and Daughters. Brice generally asks me to chose a liquor and a mood and than whips up a creation to fit the criteria.
This time I asked him for a refreshing gin cocktail that would be fit for springtime. With no hesitation he responded that I need to try none other than their new drink “Don’t Want No Shrubs.”
“Don’t Want No Shrubs”
The name sold me (any TLC reference is an automatic stamp of approval). Luckily the drink exceeded my expectations. The citrus and juniper from the gin mingle with the berries and fruit from the Pimms in this bright and refreshing take on a Pimms Cup. Candied strawberries and rich acidity finish off the drink from the citrus and strawberry shrub. The drink concludes with sharp ginger notes to round out a flavorful but not overbearing cocktail.
1 ounce Martin Miller’s Gin
1 ounce Pimms No. 1
.75 ounce fresh lemon juice
.75 oz strawberry shrub
Shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass over ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig.
New York is unmatched for it’s diverse and innovative restaurant and bar scene. While there are cities across the nation that are building up their own collection of cocktails, I am excited to explore the NYC springtime menus. This season calls for a treasure hunt of the best Spring cocktails that the city has to offer. There is certainly no shortage of originality in these menus, whether it is a spin on a classic or a brand new concoction. So let the exploration begin!