What’s your surprise seasonal cocktail ingredient? Last spring we did a cocktail with pea greens; that was a lot of fun. Spring vegetables have a more delicate flavor and work great in cocktails. What’s new in cocktails? Extending the life of fresh ingredients through shrubs and extracts. Many fresh spring and early summer ingredients, like rhubarb and strawberries, aren’t around for very long, so turning them into infusions and shrubs can extend how long you can use these fresh flavors. Who is your dream guest and what’s the cocktail you’d love to serve? John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on HBO, and a mai tai [rum, lime juice, orange curaçao, and orgeat]. 528 Commonwealth Ave., 617-532-9100
1 1/2 oz. Beefeater gin
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. St-Germain
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Double-strain through a tea strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a parsley leaf.
What signals the start of spring in Boston for you? When the outdoor farmers markets start to come back around. They’re the best places to go when you’re looking for inspiration. Surprise seasonal cocktail ingredient? Some of my favorite fruits to use in spring cocktails are Bing cherries and berries. Something about warm weather makes the cocktails taste so much better. What’s the key to a great spring cocktail? The first ingredient is hospitality. It’s important to go back to the basics and focus on the guests. The experience is what makes you stand out. After all, we’re here to serve people, not cocktails. 2 Alfred St., Woburn, 781-935-8488
1 oz. Amontillado sherry
1/2 oz. PX sherry
1/2 oz. St. George raspberry liqueur
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes cardamom lime bitters
Mix ingredients in a Collins glass over crushed ice, then swizzle. Garnish with mint, raspberries, and blueberries.
What signals the start of spring in Boston for you? Boats starting to fill up the Charles River and harbors. How do you ensure a perfect cocktail every time? There are some cocktails that are considered to be “easy” builds that incorporate citrus and are built in a glass. I feel that a slight shake or roll more thoroughly incorporates the cocktail for a better finished product. Think Tom Collins, with improved balance. What’s trending in spirits? Coffee cocktails. I’d also love to see a movement towards a fine balance of a somewhat relaxed environment and hospitality matched with creative new tricks up one’s sleeve. 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617- 945-2576
2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. beach pea blossom syrup
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. egg white
1/4 oz. absinthe rinse
1 dash lavender bitters
Add ingredients to a shaker without ice and dry-shake for one minute. Add ice and shake again. Double-strain into a coupe glass.