Toast to Spring With SF’s Best Seasonal Cocktails

The lineup of spring cocktails at the Mission's Lolo.
The lineup of spring cocktails at the Mission’s Lolo.

Photo Credit: Wes Rowe

One amazing way to tell that spring has officially sprung is to take a look at the cocktail menus around town. Bartenders are taking advantage of everything from snap peas to edible flowers to invigorate their drink offerings with the new life. Here we round up the best of San Francisco’s new seasonal spring libations.


Hakkasan’s Plum Sour
At Market Street’s lux Chinese restaurant, Hakkasan, the bartenders have created a Plum Sour that mixes Balvenie’s 12-year single malt whisky with plum sake, Satsuma Godai Umeshu, and angostura butters. Lemon juice and egg white give the cocktail that lovely traditional sour froth.

Elderflower Gimlet_Plaj_Final

Pläj’s Elderflower Gimlet
Pläj, a Scandinavian restaurant in Hayes Valley, welcomes spring with their elderflower gimlet that features cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur and lime juice. What makes this cocktails stand out? The addition of pink peppercorns — which add just a touch of spice.


BDK’s Snap Peas
Kevin Diedrich is one of the city’s most innovative mixologists and at the newly opened BDK he focuses on a specific flavor in each drink. With straightforward names like Cinnamon, Saffron, and Matcha, Diedrich let’s the drinks speak for themselves. The Snap Peas has a beautiful green color and fresh light flavor — it literally tastes like spring in a glass. Made with manzanilla sherry, London dry gin, absinthe, and tonic, the beverage is sort of like a fancy, spring-infused gin and tonic.


Plum Bar’s Bees Knees 75
Over in Oakland at Plum Bar, the epicenter of cocktail production for the Daniel Patterson empire, Adam Chapman has combined two classic cocktails: the French 75 and the Bees Knees to make one perfectly balanced libation. There’s carbonated gin, lemon, sparkling wine, and a simple syrup made from bee pollen honey in the drink. “Typically the cocktail calls for lemon juice,” explains Chapman, “but I use lemon peels to keep it clear with crisp bright flavors.” Cheers to that!

Must You Ask_Schroeders

Shroeder’s Must You Ask
Whole grain mustard isn’t an ingredient you would normally associate with cocktails, but the folks at Schroder’s prove that the unusual addition adds creaminess and tang to a cocktail, specifically the Must You Ask. This concoction combines Evan Williams bourbon with Art in the Age Sage herbal liqueur, celery shrub, and lemon juice.

Burritt Room.Desert Bloom 3

Burritt Room + Tavern’s Desert Bloom
Reminiscent of a gin daisy and perfectly refreshing for spring is Burritt Room + Tavern’s Desert Bloom. This beverage is a mix of Bols Genever, Grand Poppy Aperitive, Creme de Violette, and lime. The happening downtown spot now offers live jazz six nights a week, so there’s no reason not to stop by, grab a seat, and order a Desert Bloom.

Lolo_Spring_Summer_Cocktails_2Photo Credit: Wes RoweLolo’s 2 Birds, 1 Stone
Who doesn’t love authentic Mexican cuisine in a lively atmosphere? This is exactly what Lolo specializes in and not to mention: amazing cocktails! The 2 Birds, 1 Stone is on our must order list. It’s a smoky and potent drink that features mezcal, fresh carrot juice, parsley, and celery bitters. It’s served up with a kaffir lime salt rim.