A favorite on the menu at Horsefeather in San Francisco, this elegant cocktail may be named after a trashy, pre-packaged Sangria-esque beverage, yet it is anything but. Created by Ian Scalzo, the cocktail swaps out the usual wine with a wine syrup, specifically a Sauvignon Blanc syrup spiced with fresh horseradish and thyme. Celery juice joins the syrup along with gin, lime juice and sparkling wine. “The inspiration for the California Cooler was to take a savory and slightly spicy flavor profile and reinterpret it into a light and refreshing cocktail,” Scalzo says. “It is celery and thyme forward with some herbaceousness from the gin and horseradish, with the sparkling wine keeping it light on the palate.” If you’ve grown out of the old-school wine coolers and are pining for something new, then look no further.
Spring 44 Gin
1.5 oz Spring 44 Gin
.75 oz celery juice
.5 oz Thyme Sauvignon Blanc Syrup
.5 oz Lime juice, freshly squeezed
.75 oz sparkling wine
thyme sprig, for garnish
- Add all ingredients, save for the garnish, to a mixing glass.
- Fill with ice and stir.
- Strain into a coupe and garnish with a thyme sprig.
Thyme Sauvignon Blanc Syrup
1 750 ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc
3 cups sugar
1 bunch thyme
1 Cup shaved horseradish
- Simmer wine for 5 minutes, then add sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Turn off the heat, and add thyme and horseradish.
- Let sit overnight, then strain and use.