Food & Drink

Even if you’re not into cocktails, shake up a Kettlebell for someone who is

With springtime comes patio time, which equals cocktail time. It seems everyone is ready to get outside and enjoy nature – even if it isn’t warm yet – and socialize a bit more than we did in the winter.

The craft cocktail scene has in the past couple of years become more popular here in Wichita. With specialty cocktail places like Dockum Speakeasy and Cana Wine & Cocktails popping up, one can go out for a great drink, but I think it’s always fun to experiment at home, too. Of course plenty of restaurants have good cocktails, too, but having places dedicated to craft cocktails is a newer phenomenon for our city. In larger cities, cocktail lounges have existed for years and years.

A balanced cocktail should have an ever-so-slight sweetness to it and have some bitter elements, too. This week’s recipe fits the bill of being balanced, dynamic and flavorful. If you’re not into cocktails, this week’s recipe likely won’t interest you. But a batch for those who do enjoy a cocktail will be appreciated.

This recipe features a specialty small-batch premium gin by the name of Barr Hill that uses raw honey and juniper to create a smooth, unique taste. It has Luxardo maraschino juice in it. (If you haven’t tried these decadent cherries, save up and splurge. They are available at Jacob Liquor.) While you cannot find the Barr Hill gin locally, you can purchase it online from a few retailers. I wish it was available locally. I’ll report back if someone starts carrying it.

Barr Hill also makes honey, which is absolutely dreamy. It’s creamy looking and tasting and is among the best honey I’ve ever tried. The specialty company is based out of Hardwick, Vermont, so if you have any travel plans that way, perhaps it’s worth a stop for a tasting tour. Vermont is on my ever-growing list of dream destinations. I’ve heard it’s just gorgeous in the fall.

But first, let’s enjoy this patio season.

Adriene Rathbun is an enthusiastic Wichita cook who offers cooking classes through her business, Social. Reach her at or


1.5 ounces Bar Hill Gin

.75 ounces Amaro Meletti

.25 ounces Luxardo Maraschino juice

.75 ounces fresh lemon juice

.5 ounces honey syrup (2:1 honey/water ratio)

2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker, add ice, shake and double strain into coupe. Garnish with an orange twist and sprig of thyme, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Caldonia Spirits