Spring-approved liqueurs will lend flexibility to your bar and—more importantly—can be used as the base for less boozy cocktails, so you can sip an afternoon away without passing out over the BBQ. As you might have noticed from the recipes, Aperol (orange flavored Italian aperitif) is a hit with bartenders this time of year. (The natives will prepare it with prosecco and sparkling water and call it a Spritz). We’ve heard St. Germain (the elderflower liqueur) called “bartender’s ketchup,” meaning it will make anything taste good. Plymouth Sloe Gin arrived from the UK a few years back, saving us all from the undrinkable sticky syrup that had stolen its name. The real McCoy, gin infused with fresh sloe berries, is a revelation. English tradition dictates a tipple after Christmas dinner, but we love it in thirst quenching cocktails.
Go To Cocktail: The Sloe-Gin Fizz
Here’s a riff on what this classic cocktail is actually supposed to taste like, courtesy of Simon Ford, Pernod Ricard Brand Ambassador (and veteran bartender), with further refinement by Audrey Saunders, of Pegu Club fame.
1 oz Gin
1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup
½ oz Egg White (Optional)
In a mixing class, combine all ingredients (except soda). Add ice, shake, and strain over ice into a Collins glass. Top with soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel. Bonus pro tip: if you’re using egg white, add it first, and give it a “dry” shake—without ice—to emulsify the egg. Then, add the other ingredients, ice, and shake as normal.
Collins (Tall) Glass