“This event was inspired by a chance encounter I had with an almost-famous Christian rock musician who, at age 32, had never had a cocktail. ‘I’d like to try one sometime,’ he said, ‘What do you think I should have?’
It’s an excellent question, and one I though best vetted by a wide audience of experts: What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure - but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?’”
What a great question. In marketing, I constantly walk the line between cocktailians and the more common cocktail consumers. It’s important, as a brand, to offer recipes and other content that will appeal, at least in part, to both groups. You don’t want to bore cocktail enthusiasts with super-sweet drinks but by the same token, you don’t want to scare everyday cocktail consumers with loads of bitters and essoteric ingredients. I guess I consider myself a cocktail moderate, just trying to balance it all.
That’s certainly not to say one cocktail recipe can please everyone, but if I were to introduce a newcomer to cocktails I’d pick something that had a bit of the cocktailian touch, without being too intimidating. Consider it a gateway drink that could possibly inspire further exploration and experimentation into classic cocktails and more complex creations. For these reasons and more, I give you the Spring Blossom.
1 1/2 oz Oval Vodka
1 oz St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 oz soda water
stalk of lemon grass for garnish
Shake first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; strain into an iced highball glass, top with soda water and garnish with lemon grass.
The Spring Blossom is one of a group of new cocktails we recently had created for a client of ours, OVAL vodka. It immediately stood out, to me, as the best of the bunch. It’s simple, refreshing, and very well-balanced and I think it’d be great for a first-time cocktail imbiber.
Obviously a key ingredient in this drink is vodka, and while it may not be the favorite spirit of the cocktail community, it certainly has consumer appeal. It’s subtle, and won’t overwhelm the newbie like a gin or bold whiskey might.
Then there’s the St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. If one ingredient could bring the cocktail enthusiasts and cocktail masses of the world together this one would be it. Not everyone loves it, but it is generally well-respected and enjoyed in many circles. Its floral notes are intriguing and different for the everyday drinker, with a touch of familiar and comforting sweetness that’s not too much to offend seasoned cocktail veterans.
If anything’s a stretch in the Spring Blossom it’d probably be the lemon grass stalk which, although very visually appealing, could easily be replaced with a slice of lemon (just in case any newbies are out there wondering where the hell they’re going to get their hands on some lemongrass stalks).
If you are new to the cocktail world, I encourage you to try the Spring Blossom (trust me, the St. Germain will be worth the investment and you’ll find a million great cocktails to use it in). For the mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts out there, I ask you to set aside any prejudice and give this one a try. While it may not be your cup of tea, you’ll most likely deem it worthy enough to serve to friends of yours who are just starting to experiment with cocktails. Before you know it, they’ll be whipping up Corpse Revivers and throwing back Sazeracs with the best of them.