FARM TO SHAKER COCKTAILS CELEBRATE THE SEASON. When cocktail lovers spot a delectable new drink from Dillon McCarthy, they’d be wise to enjoy it while they can. Many of the Stoli® Most Original Bartender’s winning creations are as fleeting as the seasonal ingredients that inspire them. “It makes a drink that much more special,” he says. “When I come across that delicious ingredient that will only be around a couple of weeks, I immediately want to highlight the flavor in a cocktail. It’s my way of celebrating the ingredient.”“Vodka is the perfect backdrop for seasonal ingredients like fresh berries. It doesn’t interfere with the natural flavors that I try to convey, but instead helps them to shine.”
For McCarthy, that means colorful summer cocktails brimming with basil and blackberries, or a springtime cocktail boasting tart rhubarb simple syrup. “Every season has its flavors,” says McCarthy, who keeps a keen eye on the kitchen for inspiration. “I look at the plates they are putting out and follow their lead, using some of the same ingredients in creating complementary cocktails.” After muddling or infusing, the fresh produce is enhanced by vodka. “You don’t want a spirit that will mask the flavors, which is why I turn to Stoli,” he says.