As the warmth of spring begins to embrace the landscape, Chattanooga comes alive with the vibrant hues of Tennessee's native flowers, such as the delicate Iris, the state flower, and the enchanting wildflowers that dot the countryside. It’s not just the gardens popping up everywhere – our city's bars are getting in on the action too, mixing up some awesome floral cocktails that'll make you feel like you're trekking through Savage Gulf State Park or walking the Rhododendron Trail along the Ocoee River. Cheers to Spring! 

Springtime in Manhattan Cocktail | The Wanderer at Hotel Indigo

Flower: Orange Blossom  

Bar: The Wanderer at Hotel Indigo 

Cocktail: Springtime In Manhattan 

Ingredients: Bourbon, Amish cherry butter, Luxardo, sweet vermouth, bitters, orange blossom water 

The Wanderer (inside the Hotel Indigo) has a reputation for bold cocktail concepts, and the thought of enjoying them on the expansive outdoor patio is what keeps guests flocking there in the warm weather. Erin Meeker runs the food and beverage program here and her love for whiskey shows! This floral Manhattan balances the toastiness of High West Bourbon with the delightful perfume of orange blossom water and tarte cherry notes. It is perfect to sample while at the indoor-outdoor bar as you defrost for Spring in the sunshine. 

Rights of Spring Cocktail | Unknown Caller

Flower: Honeysuckle 

Bar: Unknown Caller  

Cocktail : Rights of Spring  

Ingredients: Honeysuckle Vodka, Matcha Oat milk Syrup, Passionfruit, Lemon and Green Chartreuse. 

For quirky flavors that bloom from enchanting glassware, settle into the comfy barstools in the (neon) garden of Unknown Caller. This charming tipple is a tiki-bathed vodka sour with much more personality. Crafted by mix masters Carlitos Fernandez and Kelsey Hassell, the honeysuckle and matcha are a perfect match, while Green Chartreuse amplifies the herbaceous elements and sets off the passionfruit flavor. This drink really puts the petal to the metal. 

Beauford Delaney Cocktail | Elsie’s Daughter

Flower: Wildflower Garden 

Bar: Elsie’s Daughter 

Cocktail: Beauford Delaney 

Ingredients: Hibiscus Infused Giniferous Gin, Suze. St. Germaine., Macchia Dry Vermouth, Orange Twist. 

This cocktail is named after American artist, Beauford Delaney (1901-1979). The colors of his iconic paintings are bold and bright, with special attention to rich yellow hues. This makes sense, as Suze, (an iconic French aperitif made from gentian) comes in a golden bottle, and St. Germain, a straw-colored elderflower liqueur, both play prominently in the flavor profile. Behind its punchy bitter notes hides a literal bouquet of flowers. In addition to the Suze and St. Germain, The Giniferous Gin has hints of lavender in its botanical profile that the talented bar team has balanced with a tropical splash of hibiscus. Like a well selected bouquet, this cocktail is a balancing act in a glass and a pleasure to enjoy in the sophisticated ambiance of Elsie’s Daughter

Persephone Cocktail | Matilda Midnight

Flower: Roses 

Bar: Matilda Midnight  

Cocktail: Persephone 

Ingredients: Wray & Nephew Overproof White Rum, Holmes Cay Agricole Rum, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Egg White, Guava Rose Syrup, Lime Juice 

Dive into the intriguing duality of the Persephone cocktail, a drink that artfully embodies the spirit of its namesake goddess - a symbol of both the rejuvenating touch of spring and the darkness of the underworld.  Rosewater infuses the concoction with a floral whisper, which is doubled with a coconut and rose tea foam, evoking the blooms of spring. But fear not the descent into the overly floral; the zesty embrace of guava sweeps in, adding a bright and tangy counterpoint that keeps the drink balanced. This cocktail is as complex and thoughtful as Monica Penn. Penn manages the bar at Matilda Midnight, a vintage hideaway with a Zodiac-inspired Tiki menu. 

Catch a buzz celebrating the springtime here in Chattanooga

As for me - I’ve pollen and I can’t get up!