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Thyme for a drink: Our list of local herbal cocktails to try this spring

Thyme for a drink: Our list of local herbal cocktails to try this spring

Melinda Green

This spring, leave the same old cocktails behind and get to know some fresh, herbal flavors. We’ve rounded up a handful of delicious options in the Short North that are sure to please the eye as well as the palate, whether you prefer your cocktails straightforward or complex.

Perhaps the most approachable of the bunch is Lumin Sky Bar’s Violet Rose. It’s a simple riff on a Bee’s Knees, with Watershed Four Peel gin, rosemary simple syrup, and lemon. The addition of butterfly pea flower powder gives the drink a delicate lavender hue, perfect for spring. And, while rosemary often is used as a winter flavor, here, it’s fresh and vibrant.

If one purple drink isn’t enough for you, grab your friends and head over to Lincoln Social for a carafe of their Lincoln 75. It’s a cross between an Aviation and a French 75, dry and floral, with the herbal depth and bold color of lavender and a slightly sweet fruitiness from lychee and prosecco. (You can also order it as a single cocktail.)


But even better, arguably, is their Thyme Killer: High Bank vodka, green tea, yellow chartreuse, thyme, lemon, and champagne. Although green tea often overpowers everything it touches, here, it’s subtle and lets the other flavors play, too. And they play nicely together. Pair it with shrimp taquitos or guacamole and have seconds.

Stop by MOUTON for a couple of unique options. Their winter Garden Goddess was so popular that it’s remaining on the menu for spring. It’s a solid base of tequila and mezcal, boosted with a strong cucumber-parsley syrup and brightened with a bit of lime. It’s emerald green and vaguely reminiscent of a veggie-packed smoothie, but so much more enticing. It’s a good thing MOUTON doesn’t serve food, because you wouldn’t want to ruin this flavor with a meal.

Then, new for spring, the Onceler is an intense spinoff on a white Manhattan. And we admit, this cocktail isn’t for everyone. It’s earthy, the smoke and malt of Johnnie Walker infused with starkly bitter, floral notes of Chrysanthemum, and rounded out with white vermouth, citric acid, and pungent grapefruit oil. But if those ideas sound intriguing, and you like your flavors on the complicated side, this one will definitely hold your attention.

Are you excited about the reopening of Service Bar? Of course you are. And, to celebrate, stop by for a taste of the upcoming summer. Hospitality Manager David Albright wanted to pair the look of blue kids’ and sports drinks with an herbal, summery, crushable profile, and Something Blue hits all those marks. This one has big cucumber flavor, matched with the herbal dryness of Manzanilla sherry, and softened with fruity notes of pear and blue curaçao. It’s refreshing and a gorgeous pale blue, perfect for dreaming of the poolside weather that seems so far away. 

And finally, if you’re staying zero-proof this spring, Lumin’s Garden Gimlet is approachable and sophisticated. It’s a traditional gimlet, but, in this case, the base “spirit” is alcohol-free, zero-calorie Seedlip Garden 108. With flavors of pea, spearmint, hops, thyme, and cucumber, this gimlet is a little grassy, a little tart, and worth a second round.

Whatever you choose, you’re sure to start feeling like winter’s in the rear view mirror—so get out there and get one of these cocktails!

If you like this, read: Grab-and-go cocktail concept from popular Columbus bar Law Bird now open


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