Slideshow: Bartender's Choice: What to Order at Botanica in Brooklyn

Otro Clavo ($11)
Otro Clavo ($11)
The name of this cocktail, explains Carlson, “comes from a Dominican expression, ‘un clavo saca otro clavo,’ which translates to ‘raise one nail with another’—basically in the same vein as ‘hair of the dog that bit you.’” This spirited remedy (of sorts) is a juicy combination of Hendrick’s gin, Aperol, St. Germain, pineapple juice, and almond tincture. "It's a play on a Riviera," says Carlson. "but the main thing is that it's carbonated. We batch up to seven at a time, inject CO2, and that way you get a great fizzy texture but none of the dilution you would if you just added soda water.”
Dune Grass ($11)
Dune Grass ($11)
According to Carlson, the key to this glow-in-the-dark green refresher is the fleur de sel. “These days using fleur de sel is like a no-brainer, it brings out citrus and really brightens those flavors.” But you won’t find it rimming the glass. Instead, Carlson makes a salt water solution that gets added to the mix of El Dorado white rum from Guyana (“it smells coconutty like white rum but drinks like cachaça”), Clement Creole shrubb, shiso, cucumber, and housemade lemongrass syrup. “Adding the salt this way makes it more balanced because it really gets incorporated into the drink," says Carlson.
Amaro Cobbler ($11)
Amaro Cobbler ($11)
Carlson describes this combination of Amaro Nonino, sherry, lemon, and Don Esteban chocolate liqueur as a “cocktail geek kind of drink: you taste a lot of things but it’s not overpoweringly boozy—you could have three and be totally fine.” It's herbaceous from the amaro, and nutty and caramelly from the sherry and chocolate liqueur. “I’m comfortable enough to admit it," says Carlson. "I’m OK with sweeter drinks. If it’s done well, if it's balanced, why not? I think that whole stigma against sweet drinks needs to go away.”
Stiletto ($11)
Stiletto ($11)
Don’t let the pink hue and name fool you, this is no girly sipper. “It kind of just looks like a glass of sparkling rosé so it might appeal to the more feminine side bit it’s boozy as all hell,” says Carlson with a laugh. This hat trick of a cocktail gets its kick from a healthy absinthe rinse, Lunazul blanco tequila, and Campari—a bracing combination complemented by a balsamic-laced strawberry shrub and fiercely bubbly prosecco.