Seasonal sourcing is as much a trend on the beverage menu as it is on the food side. Right now, bartenders are making the most of in-season produce, herbs and even flowers to revamp cocktails for spring. But boozy drinks are not the only ones getting the seasonal treatment: Operators are also offering lemonades, iced teas and other nonalcohol options that show off spring flavors and colors. Here’s a look at some of the seasonal sips currently refreshing the menu.
1. Celebrating cherry blossoms
Blossoming cherry trees, one of the first signs of spring, may have shed their flowers, but Zuma New York is extending the season with a special menu of cocktails. In Japan, the cherry blossom festival is called Sakura Hanami (viewing cherry blossoms), and Zuma is offering a Hanami-inspired drink list infused with floral touches and spring flavors. The Sakura Sour is a blend of plum wine, peach liqueur, almond syrup, yuzu and egg whites, garnished with a cherry blossom. Also on the menu is the Sakura Bellini, a combination of pear puree, Sakura syrup, prosecco and toasted bread. Many of the drinks are tinted pink, just like the flowers.
2. Multihued lemonades
Using the hashtag #drinkcolorfully, emerging fast casual Lemonade introduced a new menu of colorful lemonade fusions, including cold-pressed watermelon-rosemary lemonade and frozen dark cherry-infused pink lemonade. It’s also rolling out several lemonade-tea blends, featuring blood orange with blue butterfly flower tea, peach ginger with red hibiscus flower, and tangerine with green tea. The rainbow-colored drinks go for about $3.95, and guests can add blueberry boba for another 45 cents.
3. Spiked to refresh
The Salt Line in Washington, D.C., sports an outdoor bar, and Beverage Director Donato Alvarez has revamped the cocktail menu to take advantage of its al fresco setting. New additions include the Seedless Sour, made with gin, an herbal apertif, watermelon, lime and sour beer; the French Tourist, a margarita variation composed of tequila, yellow chartreuse, lemon and mint; and the Mint Condition, a mint julep meets Arnold Palmer, with a combo of bourbon, brandy, aloe liqueur and Moroccan tea.
4. Spring cocktails and mocktails
Bright ingredients and herbal flavors are refreshing both hard and soft drinks at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. The purple Huckleberry Mule is made with vodka, rose wine, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, sugar cane, elderflower liqueur and elderflower foam. Fresh herbs highlight the Honey Thyme Old Fashioned, made with bourbon, orange liqueur, amaro, honey and thyme, garnished with an orange peel. New nonalcohol options include housemade sparkling sodas in ginger-lime and tropical orange flavors.
5. The color purple
Purple is a trending color for spring, showing up in the Purple Rain cocktail at Brabo, the restaurant in the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va. Bartender Niko Chauvet created the drink as a tribute to his grandmother, who was a huge fan of Prince. The cocktail is a riff on the margarita, featuring basil-infused tequila, elderflower liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and muddled blackberries.
6. Coolers layered with color
Starbucks might have started the candy-colored drink trend with its Unicorn Frappuccino, but other chains are jumping on the bandwagon. Dunkin’ Donuts expanded its Coolatta line with two new multicolored drinks. The Cosmic Cotton Candy Coolatta features cotton candy-flavored slushy topped with a blue raspberry flavor, while the Cosmic Pineapple Coolatta brings together a pineapple flavored Coolatta with blue raspberry.