4 Bourbon Cocktails You Need to Try This Spring in Delaware

From brambles and and smashes to specialty Manhattans, these bourbon cocktails at Delaware bars and restaurants scream "spring!"

This season, cocktail enthusiasts can expect to see plenty of botanical delights. The flavor profiles of spring and summer often lend themselves to spirits like tequila and gin, but if you go for the brown stuff, there are plenty of options in Delaware. Truth be told, bourbon cocktails are delicious any time of year. The spirit is ever-popular in fall and winter, thanks to its easy pairing with the warming spices that foodies gravitate toward as the weather grows cold. In the spring, meanwhile, citrus, mint, berries and botanicals elevate bourbon with unexpected flavor profiles that are utterly delightful.

Blackberry Bramble at Painted Stave Distilling

Painted Stave bourbon, blackberry, vanilla, thyme

This recurring seasonal favorite is back on Painted Stave’s seasonal spring menu. Blackberries, vanilla and thyme offer a flavor profile that’s earthy, aromatic and delicious. This cocktail embodies Delaware in the springtime and is made with bourbon distilled on-site at Painted Stave. The best part: it’s also available to-go in a bottle! Throw it in your tailgate or picnic cooler with ice and enjoy a ready-to-drink cocktail anywhere you go.

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106 West Commerce Street, Smyrna

Reserve Espresso Manhattan at Bardea Steak

Rabbit Hole Dareringer bourbon, Forthave Brown, PX Sherry, Luxardo cherry

Bardea Steak is known for thoughtful and upscale entrees, an ideal date night atmosphere and, of course, incredible cocktails. This thoughtful spin on a Manhattan starts with a sherry cask-finished bourbon. It’s perfectly sweet with a subtle underlying spice. The reserve espresso Manhattan combines the bourbon with coffee liqueur, sherry and Luxardo cherry to emphasize the sweet notes. This Manhattan makes an ideal nightcap after an impressive steak-centric dinner.

608 North Market Street, Wilmington


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Night Swim at The Quoin Rooftop

Bourbon, pineapple rum, coconut, angostura bitters

Soak in the sunny rooftop vibes with this tropical take on a bourbon cocktail at The Quoin’s rooftop lounge in Wilmington. Bourbon plays well with pineapple rum and coconut for a tropical concoction that keeps you coming back for another sip.

519 North Market Street, Wilmington


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Johnny Chimpo at Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Grill

Howler Head bourbon, brown sugar simple syrup, black walnut bitters, dried banana, Luxardo cherry

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Aromatics from dried banana and black walnut bitters bring out all the sweet notes from the bourbon. Sweetened further with brown sugar syrup and a Luxardo cherry, the bourbon cocktail pairs perfectly with plenty of the Asian-inspired delicacies on Stingray’s menu. For the full experience, make sure you also try a pour or two from the impressive sake collection while you’re there.

59 Lake Avenue, Rehoboth Beach

Related: 4 Coastal Delaware Wineries for Sipping Vino This Spring

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