Slideshow: Ask a Bartender: What Are Your Favorite Spring Ingredients?

Lemon, Cherries, and Mint (Among Others)
Lemon, Cherries, and Mint (Among Others)
"The best mint and lemons usually come in the spring. Plus all the wonderful berries, cherries and grapefruit.  Smashes, margaritas and sours all do really well with all these. A preserved Buddha's Hand Lemon Drop... yeah." — Richard Woodruff (Chambers Eat + Drink)
Mint, Sour Cherries, and Apricots
Mint, Sour Cherries, and Apricots
"Anything I can grab fresh from the farmers' markets. Mint is in season this time of year, rhubarb and apricots towards the end of spring. And spring gets me really amped for the arrival of sour cherries in about a month or two. It's a short-lived product, so get them while they're hot! Also, many of the white spirits come back into the forefront of cocktail menus with the season change. I'm really excited to work with rum, mezcal and pisco this season." — Pamela Wiznitzer (Dead Rabbit)
Mint and Other Fresh Herbs
Mint and Other Fresh Herbs
"Fresh herbs, especially mint. Nothing beats a mint julep on a perfect spring day." — Jared Krauss (Catch)
Rhubarb, Strawberry, and Mint
Rhubarb, Strawberry, and Mint
"For me spring always means rhubarb, strawberry and mint. Plus citrus like lemons and limes are always really good at this time of year." — Bill Riley (Talde)
Mint
Mint
"Mint." — David Welch (Lincoln Restaurant & Sunshine Tavern)
Strawberries and Cherries
Strawberries and Cherries
"Strawberries and cherries!" — Carlos Yturria (E&O Asian Kitchen)
Berries
Berries
"Berries." — Michael Lay (Restaurant 1833)
Meyer Lemon, Grapefruit, and Cherries
Meyer Lemon, Grapefruit, and Cherries
"The Meyer lemons we are getting right now are so sweet and delicious. Grapefruit is probably my favorite spring item, and I count the days until the cherries roll in. We make pickled cherries, sweet preserved cherries and use them for juice and infusions. There’s nothing a cherry can’t do!" — Lauren Lathrop Williams (Jsix Restaurant)
Anything from the Market
Anything from the Market
"I just love the chance to work with fresh fruits and vegetables from the markets. The best cocktails are made with the freshest ingredients, and with spring and summer seasons coming up, the possibilities are endless." — Jesse Anholt (Wallsé)
Something Fresh to Pair with Gin
Something Fresh to Pair with Gin
"Probably looking toward to fresh local produce more than anything. I've got a few bottles of gin looking to make some new friends." — George Costa (Pub & Kitchen)
Kumquat, Chili, and Avocado
Kumquat, Chili, and Avocado
"I’m looking forward to pickling foods and adding them to cocktails, a new kumquat compote I’ve created, possibly utilizing carrot juice. Also, the other day I made an Avocado Flip. You can substitute the protein of the egg whites with that from the avocado. I’m also experimenting with chile blend bitters or tinctures, because you can’t always rely on muddling and it’s a great way to add different flavors to cocktails." — Jared Schmidt (Absinthe Brasserie & Bar)
Rhubarb
Rhubarb
"I love working with rhubarb, both in cooking and mixing. A quick, tart pucker, then a subtle vegetal sweetness. 'Dirt candy' at its best." — Dan Bronson (The Strand Smokehouse & Crescent & Vine)
Pavan
Pavan
"I'm really excited about Pavan. It's a fun floral product that is perfect for springtime." — Armand Rodriguez (Juvia)
Mint, Micro Cilantro, and Rosemary (with Gin)
Mint, Micro Cilantro, and Rosemary (with Gin)
"Gin is the quintessential spring spirit. But for produce, I really like fresh herbs such as mint, micro cilantro, and rosemary." — Nate Howell (Cusp Dining & Drinks)
Rhubarb
Rhubarb
"Rhubarb. Goes great with gin. Which is perfect for spring." — Robert Ferrera (Swine)
Fresh Berries
Fresh Berries
"Fresh berries. I really enjoy making from-scratch soft drinks, and homemade blueberry Sprite is the reason taste buds exist. Of course, add a little booze to it." — Chad Musick (Sip Tasting Room and Rooftop Lounge)
Sparking Rose and Mint
Sparking Rose and Mint
"Two ingredients I love working with in the spring are sparkling rosé and mint.  Both are available year-round, but there is something about spring that these two ingredients really seem to shine.  Mint Juleps for the derby, pink bubbles with brunches—awesome spring ingredients." — Joseph O'Connor (Big Night Entertainment Group)
Peach, Watermelon, and Coconut
Peach, Watermelon, and Coconut
"Peach. Watermelon. Coconut." — Greg Sorrell (The Patterson House)
Fresh Herbs
Fresh Herbs
"I love using fresh herbs. I'd love to use them with classic cocktails this summer like the gimlet, daiquiri, and margarita. These are classic drinks that I believe should never go away." — David Veis (Public Kitchen & Bar)
Rhubarb
Rhubarb
"Christian Jensen of Jensen’s Gin dropped us in one of his homemade infusions this spring, an unsweetened rhubarb gin. It spent a year on its fruits in a glass demijohn. On its own the fruit is really restrained, it's extraordinarily dry. As soon as you put it into a cocktail the fruit just explodes. I make a kind of Golden Daisy with it with an yolk and a tiny splash of soda. I’ve been calling it the Sunshine Daisy. Now the weather is finally here I’m planning to make several!" — Hannah Lanfear (Boisdale)