Julia McLish at Barkeep has a spring cocktail menu built around base fruit flavors, and to help them stand out, she’s incorporated a few of the more interesting, new-ish spirits and mixers available in the state right now.
The Kiwi cocktail benefits from Maggie’s Farm Falernum, a rum-based liqueur with notes of fresh ginger and toasted cloves. Falernum originated in the Caribbean, so Pittsburgh-based Maggie’s Farm macerates the botanicals in their Carribean Rum. McLish’s cocktail pulls together these island flavors with honey syrup and fresh lime to create a refreshing, fruity-but-spicy vodka cocktail.
The Coconut cocktail is tiki-esque, thanks especially to the coconut water rum from RumHaven that is the base. McLish ups the complexity with Fresh and Light Namachozo Sake and Giffard’s Lychee Liqueur. The only caution here is that this one is so crushable you’ll have to stop yourself from treating it like a shot.