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Three Spring Cocktails to Try

From marigold syrup to strange fruit, these drinks will lighten your spirits

By Kelly Davis

Three Spring Cocktails to Try

spring cocktails Buddha’s Dream

Buddha’s Dream at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

In Southern California, “seasonal” cocktails can usually be divided into two categories: cool-weather cocktails that tend to be spirit-forward, with nods to holiday flavors, and warm-weather cocktails, which feature floral spirits, lots of citrus, and lighter fruits. Here are three cocktails that hit all the right warm-weather notes.

Three Spring Cocktails to Try

spring cocktails Hundred Proof old fashioned

Hundred Proof’s Seasonal Old Fashioned | Photo: Stephen Kurpinsky

Seasonal Old-Fashioned @ Hundred Proof:

What’s in it: Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, Chareau aloe liqueur, marigold syrup, and lavender bitters

You can’t go wrong with Hundred Proof’s seasonal old-fashioned. They honor the classic, but always with an interesting twist. Here, it’s marigold syrup—simple syrup infused with marigold petals (Yes! They’re edible!)—which pairs perfectly with Chareau’s soft floral notes.

Buddha’s Dream @ Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

What’s in it: White rum, French Caribbean rum, Alpine liqueur, Buddha’s Hand, jasmine, and lemon

Lead bartender Liz Farrell is a also a certified herbalist, and she’s brought that expertise to Bankers Hill’s latest cocktail menu. What caught my attention with this cocktail was the Buddha’s Hand. Known as a citron (think ancient citrus), this creepy-looking fruit has a subtle, blossom-like flavor that makes it a magical ingredient.

Three Spring Cocktails to Try

Spring cocktails Earth Sermon

Kindred’s Earth Sermon | Photo: Arlene Ibarra

Earth Sermon @ Kindred

What’s in it: Gin, apricot-thyme liqueur, makrut lime, and lemon

Gin is my favorite spirit, and thyme and apricot two of my favorite cocktail flavors. But if you’re in the mood for something more out-there—a category of cocktails Kindred excels at—you might try the Hanging Garden: gin, Belizean rum, melon liqueur, rice nectar, dill, cucumber, almond yogurt, and celery bitters. Bar manager David Kinsey says the idea for the cocktail “was somewhere between a lassi and tzatziki.” He describes it as refreshing with a tangy, savory kick.

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