It’s hard to believe but we’ve almost made it. We’ve turned our clocks ahead and now all that’s left is patiently waiting for the sun to come out… and stay out. In the meantime we can start drinking like it’s already spring on the occasional sunny day. Stock up on these springtime-worthy liquors that you’ll want for making cocktails with these next few months.
Marionberry Vodka | Eastside Distilling
If you’re looking for a nice laid back evening at home and want to sit outside to take in the springtime air, do it with a cocktail with Eastside’s marionberry vodka. Made with marionberries from the Willamette Valley Fruit Co. that are juiced in house and blended with Valencia orange peel, this vodka is simple but the natural flavors are strong. Unlike other fruit vodkas, this one is made with a potato distillate and fructose — a sweetness profile to balance everything out.
Lemoncello | Black Heron Spirits
Eastern Washington may be known as wine country but don’t forget the great distilleries over the mountains, too, including Black Heron in Richland. Originally started by winemaker Joel Tefft, Mark Williams now mans the small operation solo, from sales to distillation. His lemoncello — based on vodka, sugar and lemon zest — is perfect for spiking some iced tea with, pouring over some sorbet or making a delicious tasting (and lower proof) cocktails, like these.
Cucumber Gin | Long Table Distillery
There is nothing quite as refreshing as a cucumber which is why Long Table Distillery’s cucumber gin is perfect for beckoning in the spring with. The British Columbian distillery was started in 2010 by husband and wife team Charles and Rita Tremewen with a focus on gin. This bottling has nine botanicals in it giving the liquor hints of pine nuts, citrus zest and a peppery finish, plus fresh, BC-grown cucumbers. They recommend enjoying the liquor in a dry martini or a simple gin and tonic.
Amaro Amorino | Letterpress Distilling
One of the best parts of spring and good weather is the chance to eat outside. Wait for that day of clear skies and temperatures that don’t require multiple layers to dust off your patio furniture or pack up some food for the park — just be sure to grab a bottle of Letterpress’s Amaro Amorino. A solid base of Seville orange peel with baking spices gives this liqueur a nice floral quality perfect for your after-the-meal drinks and dessert so you can stretch the night just a little bit longer.
Xalapa| Cannon Beach Distillery
Nothing says “sunny day” or “I need a sunny day” more than a margarita. Oregon’s Cannon Beach Distillery takes agave — yes, the same thing that makes tequila — and distills it over deseeded jalapeños for Xalapa. You won’t have to worry about burning your lips off though, they do not extract the capsaicin from the jalapeño, making it smell more dangerous than it really is. Instead, it has a nice long and clean finish with a slightly “cooked” quality to it. Put it in a margarita or a Paloma, even some hot cocoa to give it a kick.