Photos courtesy of The Cure Lounge, Poquito's and Urban Farmer
We Dig: (Even More) Spring Sippers
by Margo Greenman

In case last week’s round-up wasn’t enough to went the back of your throat, here’s another grouping of some seasonally inspired cocktail recipes from a few of this region’s top bartenders. These refreshing elixirs are infused with flavors like citrus, sage and more, to awaken your tastebuds and help you make the transition from winter to spring.

Few things are as revitalizing as a refreshing plunge into a body of cool, clean water. While it’s still a little too chilly to jump into any Pacific Northwest waters, you can certainly achieve a similar sensation by sipping from a tumbler filled with the Cuke Nuke. Crafted by Jan Madsen at Whistler, BC’s, The Cure Lounge at Nita Lake Lodge, this cool and refreshing cocktail has “fiery” finish that is both unexpected and wildly satisfying.

Cuke Nuke
Muddled cucumber, cilantro and serrano pepper (amount based on personal preference)
2 ounces Beefeater gin or your favorite local London Dry style gin
½ ounces fresh lime juice
½ ounces simple syrup

In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber, cilantro and serrano pepper. Add gin, lime juice, simple syrup and ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a tumbler filled with ice, and garnish with a wedge of cucumber.

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Blooming botanicals are symbolic of spring, so when crafting the perfect spring cocktail, it’s no wonder that bartender Jessica Hubacher of Seattle’s Poquitos combined the flavors you would find growing in a garden into her seasonal take on a classic margarita. Strawberry-infused tequila and rhubarbe agave syrup make this cocktail slightly sweet and bursting with flavor.

The Garden Margarita
1 ½ ounces strawberry-infused tequila
1 ounce rhubarb agave syrup
¾ ounce lemon juice
2 dashes of Scrappy’s Celery Bitters

Pour ingredients into a pint glass, shake vigorously for 10 seconds, double strain and pour over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and a candied rhubarb stick.

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With a name like Urban Farmer, it seems only appropriate that the Portland restaurant and bar would boast a spring sipper worthy of this list. Simple in its form, this digestif blends the herbal flavor of Calisaya with vodka and Cocchi Americano to form a delightful cocktail perfect for spring. This cocktail is perfect for making large batches ahead of time, or make single servings to enjoy in a pinch.

Elixir Bianco
2 parts your favorite local vodka
1 part Calisaya
1 part Cocchi Americano

Stir with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh lemon peel.

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