Drink Forward, Fall Back

The ten best spring cocktails in the Bay Area

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If you've lived in the Bay Area long enough, you know not to measure the seasons by the weather (which can run a full cycle from summer to winter in a single day), but rather by the arrival of local spring produce. Farmers markets and restaurants are flush with tender greens and sweet berries, and so are some our favorite bars.

Raise a glass to spring with one of these 10 drinks and welcome the new season.

Frankenberry ($10) at Plum Bar

The name suggests sugary cereal, but the refreshingly tart drink sips like a wild strawberry patch in the Marin headlands.

Double Barrel Fizz ($10) at Ramen Shop

The blast of cherry flavor comes from both the sour Rodenbach ale and the early cherry gastrique, obliterating your thirst at close range. Lock and load.

Cider Cup a la Ensor ($11) at The Coachman

Based on a recipe from the 1869 book Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, this cocktail refreshes through the copper mug that conducts the cold from the drink and the cucumber and pineapple that invokes the essence of sunny days.

Grande Chartreuse Sour ($12) at Burritt Room

The unlikely combination of oregano and strawberries shape the wonderfully bright drink framed with just enough botanicals from the spirits to make it bloom with floral and vegetal flavors.

Spring Fling ($11) at Rich Table

A sophisticated twist on a gin sour designed to evoke the scent of a foggy morning among the redwoods from the comfort of the barstool.

Highballs from the Garden (changes daily; $10) at AQ

Inspired by Amy Stewart's Drunken Botanist, this invigorating aperitif highball incorporates a variety of flowers, herbs and botanicals harvested from the garden, perfectly suited to the restaurant's seasonally themed menu and décor.

Bluegrass Tea ($11) at Presidio Social Club

By combining the best of an Arnold Palmer and a Mint Julep, this tall drink with just a hint of peach will make you run for the roses and head straight to the winners circle.

Highway One ($11) at Fog City

Drawing on local spirits and vermouth producers for inspiration, this drink takes the components of a Negroni, lightens it up with strawberry, then spikes it with just enough black pepper to highlight the floral and herbal flavors.

Fruit Cup ($11) at Trou Normand

It takes a classic cocktail specialist of particular skill to make a seemingly simple highball this light and flavorful at the same time—and to make us wish that a tin of this kind of fruit cup cocktail showed up in our lunchbox.

Tijuana Brass ($10) at Third Rail

This verdant drink sips crisp and cool, like a morning spent gardening in the herb patch. The botanicals play so perfectly with the vegetal highlands tequila, you may rethink your Cinco de Mayo margarita.