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Created: An Evil Spring Cocktail Menu

by Phoebe Esmon, Head Bartender, Chef de Spiritueux, Chick's Cafe and Wine Bar, Philadelphia


During the Philadelphia Flower Show, which is a major event here, I decided to do a fresh take on an Aviation by shaking fresh violets into the cocktail. It worked so well that I bought a couple books on the subject and started experimenting with other edible flowers. Around the same time, I picked up the Flowers of Evil, a book of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. I read through it at work on a slow night when I came upon that line, “The language of flowers and silent things,” and had a bit of a Eureka! moment. The rest, as you see by new menu, is history.

All of the cocktails on my spring list feature flowers or fresh herbs, and the bitters listed are house-made.

Meet Le Japonisme, a flower-infused French kiss in a glass.

Chick’s Spring Cocktail Menu — Les Fleurs du Mal

“La langage des fleurs et des choses muettes.” Charles Baudelaire

Recherche du Temps Perdu

  • 2 ounces Makers Mark
  • 3/4 ounce Benedictine
  • 3/4 ounce Honeysuckle-Demerara Syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  1. Shake, rocks, lemon twist.

Le Japonisme

  • 2 ounces jasmine-infused Sobieski
  • 1/2 ounce Strega
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 3/4 honey
  • Egg white
  • Soda
  1. Dry shake the egg white, add all the other ingredients, but the soda.
  2. Dry shake again, add ice and shake it like it owes you money.
  3. Double strain into a wine glass, add soda, then garnish with a long orange twist.

El Periodo Rosado

  • 2 ounce Plymouth
  • 1 ounce rose petal simple
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  1. Rocks, basil garnish.

Le Petit Corse

  • 2 ounce Hendrick’s
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 ounce ginger juice
  • 1/2 ounce honey
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1 dash Madras Bitters*
  1. Up, smacked sage garnish.
  2. *Madras Bitters are based on a South Indian curry recipe, in an over-proof rum base.

La Ecritura del Dios

  • 2 ounces Herradura
  • 1 ounce grapefruit
  • 1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Cool Your Boots bitters*
  1. Up.
  2. *Cool Your Boots Bitters are grapefruit and chamomile in a grain neutral base.


  • 2 1/2 ounces Tarragon/Grapefruit infused Sobieski
  • 1 ounce Lillet
  1. Up, grapefruit twist.

Le Camicie Rosse

  • 2 ounces Wild Turkey Rye
  • 1 ounce House-made Strawberry Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Honey
  • 1/2 ounce lemon
  • Rue the Day bitters*
  1. Rocks, smacked mint garnish
  2. *Rue the Day Bitters are Rhubarb/Cinnamon/Rue in a grain neutral base.

Bombolini il Pazzo

  • 2 ounces Dolin Rouge
  • 1 ounce Dolin Dry
  • 1 ounce Averna
  • 1 drop orange flower water
  1. Up, flamed orange garnish.

The cocktail poet's version of pen and paper.