"First and foremost, we have a focus on seasonality, not only in terms of ingredients but also in the general feel of each drink," says Gotham Bar and Grill's Rick Pitcher, who says he often starts his cocktails with flavor combinations that happen in the kitchen. For example, his Garden Party cocktail began with the pairing of fresh, vivid carrot juice and ginger, and then Pitcher began to look at possible spirits for the drink before settling on Double Cross Vodka from Slovakia.
The bar at Gotham is stocked with at least 150 bottles, focusing on handcrafted products from small producers. "We have definitely embraced both local and domestic microdistilleries...We have an ungodly amount of stuff to work with, from New York state, California, Wisconsin, and Colorado, to name a few," says Pitcher. His play on a white Manhattan features 1512 Barbershop Rye from San Francisco, which was named for barbershops that served as fronts for liquor sales during Prohibition.
Pitcher is also a confessed amari obsessive. "I love to sneak amari into drinks, sometimes as a big component, and sometimes as a more minor player. His Savoy Spritz was inspired by the recipe on the back of the Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro label—a recipe that dates back to the late 1800s—that lightens the deep amaro with soda and a splash of grapefruit. "This is not something I would just drink one of," says Pitcher after a sip.
Want to see all of Gotham's signature spring drinks? Check out the slideshow for a peek.