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Spirits in Bloom: 4 Spring Cocktails

Spring is the prime time to explore refreshing and vibrant cocktail creations, especially when using locally sourced spirits. Keep reading for four delightful cocktail recipes that showcase the unique flavors and craftsmanship of our region’s best distilleries. Let’s raise a glass to the art of mixology and the spirit of spring!

The Showers
Submitted by J.J. Pfister Distilling Co., 9819 Business Park Drive, Suite 3, Sacramento, 916-672-9662,

The Showers


●    1.5 oz. Pacific Rails American Gin
●    3 cucumber slices
●    1 strawberry
●    1 sprig thyme
●    .75 oz. fresh lime juice
●    .75 oz. agave

Pacific Rails American Gin


Add strawberry, cucumbers, and thyme into a cocktail shaker with the lime juice and agave. Muddle to a pulp and add Pacific Rails American Gin. Add a scoop of ice and shake until tins are frosted. Strain into a rocks glass with ice, and garnish with more fresh fruit and herbs.

›› Pacific Rails American Gin is part of J.J. Pfister Distillery’s new spirits line, entitled “Pacific Rails.” This unique gin presents a sophisticated, layered palate infused with juniper, fennel, lavender, and cubeb pepper.

Simply Spring
Submitted by Amador & Dry Diggings Distillery, 5050 Robert J Mathews Pkwy, El Dorado Hills, 530-313-4000,

Simply Spring


●    1.5 oz. Botanica Gin
●    3 oz. lemonade
●    3 fresh strawberries
●    *Pinch of salt
●    Sparkling wine (optional)

Botanica Gin


In the base of a shaker, gently muddle the strawberries. Add the gin, pinch of salt, and lemonade, then shake with ice. Strain into a glass, garnish with a lemon peel, and enjoy! If you’re feeling adventurous, top with your choice of local sparkling wine.

*Salt is used to enhance sweetness and balance bitterness. It enhances the citrus in sours and can add depth and texture in carbonated drinks as well.

›› Dry Diggings Distillery’s Botanica Gin defies the typical gin experience. While juniper remains the foundation, expect a symphony of other botanicals to unfold on the palate too, including earthy notes from black and rooibos teas, delicate florals, and light pops of citrus. A subtle hint of vanilla adds a touch of natural sweetness, further elevating the experience.

Super Bloom
Submitted by New Alchemy Distilling, 5050 Robert J Mathews Pkwy, Suite 250, El Dorado Hills, 209-283-1382,

Super Bloom


●    1.25 oz. Vermilion Hibiscus Gin
●    .75 oz. fresh lime juice
●    .75 oz. Cocchi Rosa
●    .75 oz. Aperol
●    .25 oz. St-Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
●    Lime wheel, to garnish

Vermilion Hibiscus Gin


Shake all ingredients and double strain into a lowball glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lime wheel.

›› Vermilion Hibiscus Gin is a reference to all the spirit’s floral ingredients: hibiscus, elderflower, violets, chamomile, iris, etc., in hopes that this year’s flower season is abundant. The cocktail itself has a bright acidity with a complex tannic structure, a hibiscus kick (kind of like agua de Jamaica), and floral undertones.

Bourbon Strawberry Smash
Submitted by California Distilled Spirits, 12205 Locksley Lane, Suite 11, Auburn, 916-599-6541,

Bourbon Strawberry Smash


●    2 oz. Young Prince Bourbon
●    2-3 large strawberries, diced
●    1 tsp. sugar
●    2 sprigs mint
●    Sparkling mineral water
Muddle the strawberries in a rocks glass with the sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes, then muddle in the leaves from one mint sprig. Add bourbon, ice, and sparkling mineral water to taste. Garnish with remaining mint sprig.

›› Young Prince Bourbon is low in corn but high in barley and rye, giving it a rich midrange and spicy finish. Layered with complex flavors, it’s excellent neat, on ice, or mixed in a good cocktail.

by Bella Nolen
Dry Diggings drink photo by Lyda Lee from Go Gold Media. Dry Diggings bottle photo by Ryan Racz. American Gin photo by Kim Oliver from Oliver’s Captured Moments. J.J. Pfister drink photo by Laura Bruce. New Alchemy Distilling  photo s by Jason Somerby. Photo by Taylor Allred ©stylemediagroup.