I heard it from the birds and the bees: Spring menus are popping up fresh as daisies around SLO County! Not only does that mean homegrown sweet spring onions, tender asparagus, and lots of baby artichokes, but also a bounty of garden-fresh cocktails that shine with locally sourced produce ripened in our mild microclimate.
Over at Granada Bistro in SLO, sip on local spirits combined with fresh ingredients like the No Thyme to say Hello, featuring Re:Find Gin & Kumquat Liquor, carrot juice, and thyme; Vote for Cedro featuring LIT Vermouth by KROBR, Pisco, and orange juice; and the Lona & KU, absinthe and mint combined with Calivore Spirits’ Blonde Rum.
Over at The Spoon Trade in Grover Beach, you can pair your fried bologna sandwich (a local brunch fave) with a splash of the freshest, just-squeezed seasonal fruit juice and regional sparkling wine; and at Sidecar Cocktail Company in SLO, their already luscious drink menu is now overflowing with creative new twists on your favorite martinis (check out their steak and martini Sundays) as well as a bushel of sun-ripened offerings imbued with rosewater, house-made syrups, local bitters, and spring herbs galore.
Not far down the road at Novo and Thomas Hill Organics, new spring drinks are designed to pair expertly with your multi-course locavore dinner.
Over the grade, ice is dancing in the sunshine, too: Paso Robles’ Hatch Rotisserie and Bar recently hired on Robin Kirk Wolf as its new “cocktail czar,” and you can bet her new Silky Rabbit cocktail, featuring Central Coast grown carrots, will make us all exclaim, “What’s up, Doc?” Same goes for new drink offerings over at neighbor La Cosecha Bar + Restaurant, where The Answer to all your problems can be solved with lemon, charred rosemary, and wine simple syrup. Seriously.
If you want to know what’s shaking in these scene-making cocktail shakers, you’ll have to stop by and sip for yourself. Remember, spring goes by quick on the Central Coast, and—just like those pretty green hills—these mixed masterpieces full of petals, pollen, and local honey won’t last forever. Take it from the bees, and get your buzz on quick!
Hayley Thomas Cain is all about that charred rosemary cocktail. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.