The bar team beyond hidden Springs spot Brooklyn's on Boulder — tasting room manager Carlos Garcia, head bartender Stephen Winchell and bartender Philip Taylor — debuted the Lee Spirits Co. gin joint's spring menu on Wednesday, April 14. It's a true collaboration between them and the entire Brooklyn's staff, says Garcia. Patrons can look forward to new house-infused spirits and syrups, as well, including crème de noyaux, an apricot kernel liqueur; falernum, a spiced Caribbean syrup; and an apertif akin to Campari, but somewhat less sharp.
For new drinks, they've seasonalized their classic offerings, adding a variation on a Clover Club that centers on their strawberry-ginger gin. But most of what's new is on their original cocktail list, and every drink takes on the term "refreshing" in a different way. We previewed three drinks at a tasting session, shortly before the menu was released.
Taylor crafted a drink called Flint & Steel, a play on the Scotch-and-Drambuie Rusty Nail. For Taylor, Drambuie's herbed-and-honeyed flavor profile recalls a meadow. By combining whiskey-evoking barrel stave gin with their house-made Colorado tonic syrup, house bitters made from smoked morel mushrooms and Angostura bitters, he sought to recreate that sense, but shifted to mountainous Colorado via the aspen bark in the tonic syrup and grounded by the smoky, savory mushroom bitters.
One of Garcia's contributions is Poolside Strawberries, a light and refreshing drink he says is crushable at any size, but interesting enough to sip. It's made from strawberry-ginger gin, a house strawberry-mint shrub and soda water. The shrub, a sugar-vinegar syrup, is a variation on a recipe that Garcia selected for its restraint — this drink has a sourness, but it's not overwhelmingly vinegar-y or even vinegar-forward. Its name comes from the original codename for Lee Spirits' strawberry-ginger gin: Project Poolside, a reference to the goal of creating the perfect gin for serving with a splash of Champagne and sipping poolside in Las Vegas.
Winchell crafted a drink named as homage to Jimi Hendrix: Gypsy Eyes. It's a mix of dry gin, falernum, Forbidden Fruit liqueur, lemon juice and honey syrup, and the resulting mix drinks dry, tart and refreshing, with a little ginger warmth. He says it sips like a Last Word, a delicate balance between sweet, sour, spicy and bitter notes.