The impending chills of October may have you craving hot drinks (See: Spirits Close-Up). But not so fast—there’s still time to eek out a few drams of summer. I mean, just look at your herb garden. It’s about to bite the dust. And what can you do with a full bush of thyme and all those sprigs of rosemary? You could dry them, sure, or you could drink them.
That’s what they’re doing at Lawless Distilling. The entrance of the distillery is surrounded by herbs, and when guests order a Garden Sling, they’re given a pair of scissors and a small envelope, then sent outside to do some pruning. They clip off a few sprigs, bring them inside, and the bartenders shake them into a refreshing highball. Fennel-mint-thyme? Sage-rosemary-basil? They’ll make any combination work.
“This place is fun, the menu has always been lighthearted,” says beverage director Jeff Fricke, placing the prettiest herb clippings on our sling. “The D.I.Y. program is all about interactive drinks that get the guests involved.” This includes a mix-and-match cocktail served in vials like a chemistry set, a punch bowl with a tincture caddy for guests to customize their own cups, and a nitrous-charged vodka old fashioned infused with the guest’s choice of spices.
I’m sticking to the Garden Sling, myself. With a whole winter of bourbon and baking spice ahead, one final burst of freshness is tasting mighty fine.
3 to 5 sprigs of whatever herbs you have (reserve a few small clippings for a garnish)
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce simple syrup (1:1)
¾ ounce sweet vermouth (Cocchi di Torino recommended)
1½ ounces Lawless Greenway Gin
1 to 3 dashes bitters of choice (try Bittercube Corazón)
1½ ounces seltzer
Add first six ingredients to a shaker with ice, and do a quick shake (~7 seconds.) Add the seltzer to the shaker, give it a little swirl, and then double-strain (Hawthorne and fine mesh) into a Collins glass with ice. Top with more ice, a straw, and garnish with the reserved herbs and a swath of lemon peel.