Friday Cocktails: Jasmine Spritzer

Jasmine Spritzer
Jasmine Spritzer
Citrusy, tangy jasmine liqueur and spicy bitters add complex flavor dimensions to this floral spritzer.Ganda Suthivarakom

It's summer. It's hot out. When it comes to a drink, I want nothing heavy, nothing too boozy, nothing that's too much work to make. Lucky for me, the folks at Greenbar Collective, a Los Angeles–based artisanal spirits company, had sent me a bunch of bottles. Husband-and-wife team Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew (a contributor to SAVEUR), hand-craft 100 percent organic booze of tremendous appeal. Along with their Tru vodkas, Tru2 gin, Crusoe rums, and Ixá tequila, they offer delicious fruit- and flower-based distillations. Among them is the Fruitlab Jasmine Organic Liqueur, a bottle of which was sitting unopened on my desk when I blindly groped for something to slow down the edge-of-midnight patter of my frenzied heart as I raced to fit the zillion pieces together in the puzzle that is the magazine's Fare section.

I yanked off the cork and slugged straight from the bottle. "Hmmm..," I thought. "Exotically floral from its burst of jasmine, slightly tangy with citrus, funky and earthy and fiery with sugarcane spirits, and pleasingly tannic and peppy from a dose of green and black tea… I like this stuff! But it needs some seltzer." So I dumped the liqueur over ice in one of the many mason jars we have in the Saveur test kitchen and topped it off with bubbly water. A shot of Greenbar Collective's spicy and fruity Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters (one of a line of aromatics each created in collaboration with a professional bartender) and a hunk of lemon, and my Jasmine Spritzer was complete. It looked — and, given the tea in the liqueur, sort of tasted—like a Southern-style iced tea, only way more flowery and interesting, and not quite as sweet.

If you need to bump up the buzz, you can drop in an ounce and a half of Crusoe Silver rum. But I like it just the way it is: refreshing, light, and delightful—just the right counterpoint to a hulking plate of barbecued ribs.