Lavender and mint
The Blooming Perennial at Perennial ($12)
For this eponymous number, lavender is instilled into a simple syrup, which is then shaken with Plymouth gin, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur, grapefruit and mint. 1800 N Lincoln Ave, 312-981-7070.
Gazpacho & Tonic at Nacional 27 ($10)
Mixologist Adam Seger gets his inspiration for his cocktails wherever he can find it. Case in point: This muddled concoction of watermelon, cucumber, fennel, cracked pepper and gin is based on a watermelon-fennel salad. 325 W Huron St, 312-664-2727.
The Lakeside Daisy at Sepia ($12)
Sure, the bartenders at Sepia could have used that classic cocktail standby, mint, in this drink. But by muddling the rum, maraschino liqueur, housemade pomelo bitters and seasonal berries with Thai basil instead, they create an earthier, more complex drink. 123 N Jefferson St, 312-441-1920.
The Cucumber Sakerita at Mana ($9)
In this revision of the margarita, smooth junmai ginjo sake takes the place of tequila, and thinly sliced cucumbers keep the whole thing cool. 1742 W Division St, 773-342-1742.
The Spring Tea Cooler at Vie ($12)
The cocktailians at Vie make their own rhubarb juice for this sipper. Then, they counter the root’s tart bite with Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka, orange bitters, lime juice and a splash of lemonade. 4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs, 708-246-2082.