We found ourselves searching for a cocktail that was of the garden, something herbal and light, but weighty enough to capture the building energy of new spring life. Bonal brings just the right amount of heft, while a hefty dose of whiskey keeps the sweetness in check. Muddling in both fresh thyme and spearmint capture the fresh, leafy aroma of an Appalachian mountain spring.
- 1 ½ ounce Bonal Gentiane Quina
- 1 ounce Japanese whiskey (we used Umiki because of it's oceanic, piney profile, but any Japanese whiskey would do)
- 2 dashes Artemisia Junio Bitters
- ½ ounce Mint-Thyme Syrup (recipe below)
- 1 orange wedge
- 2 small sprigs of thyme
- 4 mint leaves
- Combine the herbs, bitters, orange wedge, and syrup in a rocks glass and muddle well.
- Using a mallet or heavy rolling pin, crush some ice between layers of flour sack cloth (or a dishtowel).
- In a separate glass, combine the Bonal and the whiskey.
- Layer some of the crushed ice over the muddled herbs. Tuck the thyme into the side of the glass, then pour the whiskey mixture over the ice.
- Bring 1 cup water, ½ cup sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Add ½ cup spearmint and ½ cup thyme, stirring.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a metal bowl and allow to steep for another 10 minutes. Strain the herbs from the syrup and store in the refrigerator.