Drinking in Season

Putting the season’s perfect produce into your cocktail shaker.

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Drinking in Season: Basil Lime Cooler

A few weeks ago I found myself with a bushel of basil—I was in over my head with bunches of the herb and needed to use them up asap. After making the prerequisite pestos, I ventured into pizza and even a basil and lime sorbet, which got me thinking. Those two flavors are perfect summer partners—refreshing and full of flavor—so they can only get better with the addition of a little booze, right? More

Drinking in Season: Philly Smash

Created by Rob Gourlay at the Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, this cocktail takes a minimum amount of effort to produce maximum flavor—something we can all appreciate when the heat gets oppressive. I used black raspberries, red raspberries, and blueberries, but you can use any combination you like. More

Drinking in Season: Strawberry Rhubarb Fields

I have a rule when it comes to strawberries—I wait to buy them until they make their way to the farmers' market. Nothing compares to that first day when you see them, or more accurately, smell them. But the other day when I was in my local grocery, I smelled that scent of real, ripe, flavorful berries, then examined the berries to make sure I wasn't going crazy. I broke my rule. I just couldn't resist them. I immediately ate one as soon as I left, hoping that my nose didn't deceive me—the berry was flavorful. Of course I started plotting out what to do with my preseason score. More

Drinking in Season: Smoky Iced Tea and Whiskey Cooler

Since tea was going to be the star of this cocktail, I want to go with something that had a bit of complexity. I chose smoky Lapsang Souchong as my base ingredient. One whiff of this tea and there's no question what it will taste like: smoky, earthy, and intense. But that aggressive flavor can be shifted a bit when combined with other ingredients in a cocktail. More

Drinking in Season: Ramp Gibson

A few weeks ago a sign appeared at our local farmers' market. It read, "Ramps are coming next week!" The joy was palpable. As people walked by and read it, you could hear the excitement in their voices. All that for a little leafy wild onion. Of course, ramps aren't just any regular garlicky vegetable. They're the first new thing we've had at the market in months; a sign that spring is really here. More

Drinking in Season: Lavender French 75

Thank goodness spring is finally here. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, I mean, what more could you want? Perhaps a tasty cocktail, that's what. With all the action going on outside, I decided it was high time to create a floral-inspired cocktail. Lavender, a relative to the mint family, is the perfect starting point. More

Drinking in Season: Rhubarb Beer Cocktail

Somehow, flavored beers like pumpkin ale or raspberry beer seem more appropriate for the transitional seasons. With warm weather coming sooner than any of us anticipated, we've got a head start on rhubarb, as well as an early debut to one of my favorite warm weather activities, outdoor drinking. Sometimes there's no better way to relax than sitting at a table, soaking up the sun with a beer in hand. More

Drinking in Season: Cardamom and Mint Cocktail

Creating cocktails is all about experimenting and doing a little digging, especially when we're in between seasons like we are now. Without an abundance of new, exciting fruit and veggies popping up at the market each week, things can start to feel a little humdrum. But your drinks needn't suffer—during times like these, lean on fresh herbs and perhaps a spice or two to jazz up your libations. More

Drinking in Season: Rhubarb Sparkler

Because I'm often so eager to see rhubarb, I think it's only fair to let the flavor shine. A simple squeeze of lime paired with gin and seltzer provide a bright, slightly herbal base to let the rhubarb flavor come forward. The result is a light, effervescent cocktail that's the perfect way to usher in the beginning of a bountiful season. More

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