Spring has most definitely spring, and has shrouded parts of the Southeast in yellow pollen clouds. Atlanta restaurant Watchman’s Seafood and Spirits is making hay with hay fever by offering a “Pollen Count” cocktail menu.
Created by Watchman’s beverage director Miles Macquarrie, the Pollen Count drinks include the April Spritz (High Wire Hat Trick botanical gin, lime, sherry, chartreuse and cava with a blend of fresh herbs); the Coldwater Gimlet (gin aquavit, lime, fennel, grapefruit and salt); and the Scotch Blossom (blended Scotch, vermouth, fino sherry, apricot brandy and bitters).
Priced $12 to $13, the Pollen Count cocktail menu is available April 3 through May 6. Here’s the full recipe for the April Spritz (pictured atop).
1 oz. High Wire Hat Trick gin
¾ oz. Lime juice
½ oz. Fines herbs syrup*
½ oz. Fino sherry
¼ oz. Simple syrup (2:1)
1 tsp. Green Chartreuse
Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into wine glass filled with cubed ice. Top with cava and seltzer or club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and edible flowers.
*For Fines herbes syrup:
1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
1 cup tightly packed chervil
1 cup tightly packed dill
1 cup tightly packed tarragon
2 liters water
Bring water to a boil and blanch all herbs in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Immediately shock in ice water bath. Reserve blanching water–this is your herb tea. Take the blanched and shocked herbs and puree in a Vitamix. Start slow and go to the highest setting. Puree on high for 1 minute. Strain through chinois, pushing through with a spatula to push all liquid out of pureed herbs. Weigh final liquid and add equal parts white sugar by weight back to the Vitamix and puree together until sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.