If you haven't noticed the recent random hot and humid days, spring is in the air -- soon enough it'll be raining everyday.
That's right, while the rest of the country is defrosting, we're about to head into full-on oven mode. Bad hair aside, it's not going to be pretty.
To help soothe the pain of the excessive heat, Tap 42 has introduced some new light and refreshing adult bevvys, including a new cocktail on draught.
We chatted with beverage director Paige Nast about her scientific cocktail experiments and new spirit discoveries.
While Nast is enthusiastic about all the new additions, she is most excited about the draught cocktail, the Mule on Tap ($11).
The drink combines housemade citrus and ginger infused Tito's vodka with lemon and ginger syrup served in a traditional copper mug.
"I wanted to do it like a year ago," says Nast. "But we thought it took away from the show of making a cocktail. The mugs add a cool factor, so we figured the time was right."
Although it sounds fairly straightforward, Nast has been working on the process for about a month and a half.
To start, she ordered homebrew kegs and started experimenting with carbonation and then flavor combinations.
"I knew nothing about how to do this when I started," says Nast. "And neither did our supplier. It was kind of like a science project; I started out by testing it with water. It's like when people do homebrew, you force carbonate the liquid. So, I had to turn on the pressure and the CO2, and go back, shake it, and go back again."
For the actual cocktail, Nast infused Titos and neutral grain spirits with ginger, lemon, lime, and oranges for ten days for the base. To add flavor, she made a lemon simple syrup and a house-made ginger liqueur (also made from infusing neutral grain spirits).
The result is a well-balanced drink with a nice pop of fizz from the carbonation; it's brighter and bubblier than your average Moscow Mule.
A Moscow Mule lover herself, Nast thought it would be a great starting point in terms of presentation and flavor combinations; however, she plans to switch up the tap on a regular basis. (She's thinking of doing something with bourbon for the Kentucky Derby party in May.)
To round out and lighten the spring cocktail list, Nast removed a few of the old items, such as the Basil Collins -- she assures us that all specialty drinks are still available by request.
The Honey Tease ($11) was devised between two separate visits from two different liquor reps. After tasting Marolo honey grappa, Nast was inspired to incorporate the flavors into a drink (she even attempted to replicate the grappa herself). Within a week another rep brought in Spring 44 Honey vodka and it all clicked.
"I was experimenting with honey syrup and honey grappas, but the results were too medicinal," says Nast. "I actually transferred the idea to the ginger in the Mule on Tap instead."
The drink combines the honey vodka, chamomile grappa, fresh lemon, honey syrup, and rhubarb bitters with a grape garnish. It's sweet, but slightly sour, a nice exhilarating afternoon drink.
The Superfruit Shandy ($11) came to through a conversation with Tap's new beer director Bobby Heist. The pair wanted to create a new beer cocktail together.
With the idea of lemonade in mind, they decided to combine Veev Acai spirits with fresh lemon, thyme, and Abita Purple Haze; it's reminiscent of a berry lemonade.
Tap 42 is located at 1411 S. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-4900, or visit tap42.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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