Cocktail menus around town are beginning to change to welcome spring and Big Orange Midtown is no exception. The restaurant built its reputation on the combination of great chef inspired burgers and classic cocktails and the new spring menu shows off the creativity of the bartenders there. The menu maintains the Midtown classics – including the signature Velvet Orange, a strong Old Fashioned, daiquiris, and more – and the seasonal drinks. The five new seasonal cocktails for BOM evoke a sense of wonder and revival while rooting themselves in classic cocktail history. Big Orange did change up the Classics menu, giving the Mai Tai a little break and bringing in their own tweak on the Bobby Burns and proving that a scotch whiskey cocktail can be a spring drink.
Shake your Boochy (Luiggi Uzcategui)
Luiggi brought out all the best qualities of kombucha using a lavender & melon kombucha as the start for Shake your Boochy. The floral and tangy nose immediately wakes you up with the fermented tart, but also spicy, flavors at play. The kombucha strikes the right tone balancing both the lighter Citadelle gin used in the drink as well as the Maraschino liqueur and a hint of absinthe mixed in with the lemon juice and simple syrup. When you are drinking it, there are two things that may nag at the back of your mind that you can’t identify – the hint of a bright sweetness and a sudden realization of the spices in the drink. The former is thanks to the subtlemelon component of the kombucha while the latter is a highlight of what Maraschino liqueur can bring to a drink.
Delicate Little Things (Lara Ewald)
This is the most surprising cocktail of the menu – Delicate Little Things balances a bevy of powerful and complex flavors that makes you want to ease into a chair and sip on it slowly. Using Aquavit and Plymouth Gin as a base, the flavors are accented by a house made fennel syrup plus both pear and white chocolate liqueurs which are all balanced with a bit of salt and mineral acid. The nose itself transports you as the fennel syrup whets your appetite and palate before the initial sharpness of the drink hits. That sharpness unfolds as the thick drink coats your tongue and you taste a progression of strong to sweet to rich in a single sip.
Shameless Patio Pounder (Bennett Zerull)
As we head towards warmer months, any good cocktail bar will include a spritz or two – The Shameless Patio Pounder is that. Plantation Rum is paired with Avua Amburana Cachaca for a more complex drink that is shaken with lime juice and honey syrup before being topped with a sparkling grapefruit soda. Moreover, the Shameless Patio Pounder lives up to its name as it is an easy to drink and refreshing cocktail for an afternoon on the patio. The refreshing citrus of the grapefruit balances the rum without being overly sweet.
Currant Cobbler (Saxon Ridgell)
The Currant Cobbler is definitely a nod to the everpresent power of Tiki – built on a funky Jamaican rum, given a slight taming with the Mattei Quinquina Rouge, and brightened by the black currant liqueur, this vibrant drink does not hide its assertive flavors. The fresh mint garnish brings a lighter nose but it is the sesame syrup that adds a hint of mystery to the overall beverage. The sweetness of the fruit but without an overt sugary note means that the rum forward and tiki inspired drink should be one of your favorite options to close out a week.
The Myth of Amethyst and Dianthus (Merrick Fagan)
The beautiful hue of this drink bids you to come closer, and the sharp nose plays with your senses. Using tequila and the slightly sweetened Old Tom Gin, The Myth of Amethyst and Dianthus uses creme de violette and lychee liqueur to bring fruity flavors while a dash of rose water and an umami tincture lend it complexity. As you sip, the floral notes of the tequila come forward and you start to find more flavors you hadn’t even realized were there.