Thatcher’s Cucumber Liqueur
($21, Prestige Beverage Group)
The cool cucumber and light melon notes of this refreshing, faintly sweet concoction are the epitome of spring. While it is delightful on the rocks, it really shines as a cocktail enhancer. It’s the sort of beverage you didn’t know you needed until you check out the cocktail recipes and find yourself muttering, “Oh, I want to try that. And that! And that. . . .” Don’t deny yourself! Plop a bottle in the fridge and look for reasons to indulge.
($33, Bacchus Importers)
Founder John Williams has long championed organic grape-growing in California, but that isn’t the point of the wines; they’re simply delicious. (The fact that they are also certified organically grown is a mere bonus.) The 2014 Chardonnay is a well-balanced beauty offering notes of pear and peach, lemon, and toasted nuts, but without overt sweetness and unfettered by heavy oak influence. It’s perfect for the patio but also a serious wine that will elevate any meal.
Le Brun Brut Cidre
($11, The Country Vintner)
The artisan producers of apple cider in Northern France are serious about their craft. This Brittany cider snaps with apple flavors nestled in a pillow of brioche undertones. It’s sweet enough to balance its acidity; beer and wine fans rejoice, but devotees of sweet American cider and scrumpy should move along. Word to the wise: Even if you love apples, you wouldn’t want to snack on the ones used in hard-cider production. These heirloom varieties have elevated acidity and tannins.