Spring brings warmth, flowers and seasonal Long Island cocktails that fuse a host of fresh ingredients. The menu at Copperhill in Williston Park delivers just that with bright florals, spirited fruits and ripe veggies that reflect the kitchen’s emphasis on seasonality. Pulse caught up with head bartender Dave Ebert to get the low down on three delicious spring cocktails that will pull your palate out of hibernation.
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemongrass infused dry vermouth
1oz lemon juice
3/4 oz simple
6 mint leaves
Lightly bruise mint, add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Garnish with mint bouquet.
Ebert’s Take: Mint is a wonderful and easily accessible ingredient to build a drink around. It’s light, clean and refreshing, and here it really opens up the graininess and oak of the bourbon. I think bourbon is the perfect contrast to mint, but I wanted to bridge the gap between the two ingredients…I incorporated dry vermouth that we infuse with lemongrass, which is woody, herbal and very floral. Adding the dry vermouth allows me to double down on the oak in the bourbon and the floral aroma of the mint and simultaneously create balance and harmony. Some lemon is used for acidity and simple syrup for sweetness and body, and the result is a light and refreshing drink that can be enjoyed by itself or paired with our loin of lamb dish.
2oz lavender infused El Jimador tequila
1oz lemon juice
1oz agave simple (equal parts agave and water)
2 dashes Hella citrus bitters
Combine all ingredients, shake and strain into coupe glassware. Garnish is a sugar, salt and black pepper rim with a lemon wheel.
Ebert’s Take: At its core, Cracked Up is a daiquiri made with tequila instead of rum, lemon instead of lime and agave syrup instead of simple syrup. The interplay of layering flavors at different levels of the drink really creates a delicious and balanced cocktail. The infusion of lavender into the tequila adds a lot of beautiful aromatics and was largely influenced by my love of that sweet smell. Growing up I always got my mom a lavender-scented Yankee Candle for the holidays and to this day the smell still reminds me of a simpler time.
1 1/2 oz gin
1oz Lillet Rose
3/4 oz Cynar
2 dashes Hella orange bitters
Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, stir and strain into a double rocks glass with block ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Ebert’s Take: Artichokes might not seem so blaringly obvious for a seasonal ingredient and I thought it’d be fun to design a cocktail with a spirit made from them. Here I reach for Cynar, a bittersweet liqueur that is the perfect stand in for the bitter component of a Manhattan-inspired cocktail. I chose gin as the base spirit because it’s a complex and fun ingredient to start with, and Lillet Rose because the citrus and quinine flavors are a match made in heaven when paired with a dry gin. Even if someone isn’t familiar with Lillet or Cynar I’m sure they’re familiar with a Manhattan, and that opens up a dialogue about how the drink follows the same formula and all of a sudden people are open to trying and discovering new tastes.