The martini knows no season, but the special botanical charms of gin are perhaps most apparent in the spring. And with such a diverse selection of good gin out there, you can hunt for brands that sing with bright, citrusy, aromatic notes. Pennsylvania’s Bluecoat claims a classification we’d never heard of (American Dry Gin), but to judge by its own example, it refers to a delicately smooth customer, flavored with lemon and coriander. Hendrick’s is everywhere these days, so you probably know that signature rose petal and cucumber jubilee, and how invigorating it is with muddled cucumber and fresh tonic. Finally, the Holland-based distillers behind Ketel One have released Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin, a distinctive, category-busting gin distilled with Turkish rose, peach, and raspberry. It might be spring’s new mascot. None of these are traditional, juniper heavy gins. This time of year, that’s just the way we like ‘em.
Go-To Cocktail: Leapfrog
This cooling libation, courtesy of Jim Meehan—the man behind the trick phone booth at Please Don’t Tell, in the East Village—will make excellent use of the extra mint laying around after Derby Day. (Bonus pro tip: Jim normally uses Plymouth here, so we’d go with Bluecoat, the least floral of your spring gins).
2 oz Gin
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
¼ oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
6 Mint Leaves
In a mixing glass, muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup, then add the rest of the ingredients. Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled coupe. No garnish.
Double Mesh Strainer
To make simple syrup: Stir and heat equal parts water and fine sugar in a saucepan. Allow the syrup to cool before using.