We have covered dozens of seasonal cocktail menus at this point, and hands down Spring menus are always the most interesting. Between strong aromatics that come in through clever use of floral accents to the diversity of flavors using various fruits, Spring cocktails are the best.
When you are faced with the best cocktail season, you have to hit some of the best cocktail bars in the city to enjoy it properly. Few bars come close to Big Orange Midtown‘s quality. It has often been described as a bad ass bar that just happens to have a quality restaurant built around it.
The new menu (out now) has everything you look for in a seasonal cocktail menu. There are some great seasonal flavors and some relatively new to market spirits like Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum and La Venenosa Raicilla in the mix.
Perhaps the most spring sipping drink of all is the Slatey Ford Shrub. The gin based drink is light like you expect a spring cocktail to be, with a lot of flavor coming from the Vermouth and the house made blueberry shrub. It keeps a spring botanical aroma thanks to the Amaro Montenegro. It really is a great afternoon drink.
Another one that jumps out quick, and brings back old memories of childhood, is the High Sea Punch.
“It is sort of a double play on words,” bartender Luiggi Uzcategui says. “We use both a Navy strength Gin and Rum in the drink, but it also looks and taste a bit like an old Hi-C drink. We love doing nostalgic drinks like this.”
If floral is your thing then be sure to grab the Tennessee Wildflower. It is another light drink, this time using prosecco and apricot brandy along with honey and lemon. The addition of Adelaide Liqueur brings a nice rose flavor to finish out the drink.
The Alpine Belle is also another interesting use of summer flavors. It starts with a Mezcal base and incorporates a red bell pepper syrup for something completely different from the traditional sweet fruit based spring and summer cocktails. It is still an extremely bright and easy drink.
On the total other end of the spectrum is the Devil’s Advocate. Because sometimes being light and airy isn’t any fun. This is a very high alcohol tiki style cocktail using Plantation OFTD (a highly overproof rum) and Lunazul Blanco Tequila. Despite the high alcohol content this one drinks very smooth and easy, almost too easy. Because of the high alcohol Big Orange is limiting this to only 2 cocktails per person.
For a true slow sipper they also have the Field Note. This Cazadores Reposado Tequila based cocktail is more of a traditional craft drink that you will want to take your time and enjoy.
Finally the one that stole the show for us is the most interesting drink we have had in a while. The Copita Roja brings one of our favorite new spirits into a cocktail with the La Venenosa Sierra Raicilla. For those of you not familiar, Raicilla is an agave spirit similar to tequila and mezcal. The La Venenosa has a bit of a blue cheese nose and flavor. This is balanced with a very fruity note from the Schizandra Berry Tincture and lime. This one comes topped with a goat cheese bite, and is recommended that you take a bite of goat cheese before drinking the cocktail. The result is a very smooth and creamy texture from the Raicilla and cheese that finishes light and fruity. It is one of the most pleasant and interesting cocktails I’ve had in a long time.
The new cocktail menu is out now at both Big Orange locations. They are also rolling out a strong new selection of craft beers and (for the first time) sake. It continues to make Big Orange (especially the Midtown location) one of the best places to drink.