Orange You Glad?

We get a sneak peek inside Orange Blossom

Spring is finally here, so it's fitting that Orange Blossom has been quietly flowering in the old Charles St. NYC Kitchen spot, getting ready to launch in the next weeks.

We were thrilled to get a sneak peek at the restaurant the other night–and trust us, we'll be back. The space is Florida at its chicest: Brown floral patterns drape the walls; brass fixtures and colorful trinkets adorn the bar and the tables.

In sampling the cocktails, old-school seems to be the name of the game. Bartender Trevor Alberts, formerly of Gramps and The Raleigh's Michael Schwartz Martini Bar, has crafted a menu of six cocktails (three proprietary, three traditional) and a Bartender's Choice section ($15), which is tailored to your palate: You pick a spirit, a "sensation" and a "strength."

"We pride ourselves on adding modernist techniques to classic cocktails," Alberts explains. It shows in the Keep Your Friends Close...Collins ($13), made with white grape-infused Belvedere Vodka. It gets a surprising finish from a dash of absinthe, which pairs perfectly with the kitchen's salmon tartare ($14) dusted with vadouvan.

Fancy ice, special drinks

No detail is overlooked. There's even an off-site facility where two thousand pounds of ice will be frozen weekly and broken by hand for each individual cocktail. For the Fair & Warmer (Bartender's Choice), a big cube of ice was chipped for stirring the aged rum, sweet vermouth and orange Curaçao; the drink is then poured into a frosted coupe.

Another reason to get excited: Alberts disclosed that not only is he commandeering two other neighboring bars, one of them will be the permanent home of the Sweetwater Beer Garden pop-up and will evolve into the city's first full tiki bar.

Trust us when we say that the 2000 block on Collins is going to become your favorite drinking destination.