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The Garden Nymph, a Refreshing and Spring-Friendly Cocktail

Looking for a savory sip for your spring happy hour repertoire? NYC Mediterranean restaurant Iris has created a cocktail with elderflower liqueur, herbed cucumber syrup, and other ingredients to fit the warm-weather mood.

Garden Nymph cocktail

The Garden Nymph cocktail from the NYC Mediterranean restaurant Iris. Photo: Julian Bracero

In my book, spring is a time for rejoicing. And a form of rejoicing, for me, is to indulge in new cocktails, dishes, and more as the weather changes and the flowers bloom.

Iris, a Mediterranean restaurant in New York City, has a similar thought process. Opened by Chef John Fraser at 55th and Broadway, Iris dives into Aegean cuisine. And that Aegean orientation transfers to its beverage selection, managed by Amy Racine, beverage director of JF restaurants. 

Amongst Iris’ spring selection of cocktails is the “Garden Nymph,” an option characterized by cucumber and elderflower, created by Iris head bartender Sergey Merkulov.

"This cocktail is a play on a Collins in that it has a base spirit, a sugar and citrus element, and a sparkling component," says Racine. 

To tie the drink to the restaurant’s Aegean roots, Racine says the drink was inspired by Tispouro, an unaged brandy from the Mediterranean region.

"We also are incorporating floral and vegetable elements with outer flower and cucumber for a fresh, spring take on the classic drink,” says Racine. “We top it off with Mediterranean tonic for a splash of minerality and sea breeze feel.”

While we focus on Italian options at Appetito, we love cocktails of any origin, and this one is high on our list of recipes to try at home. Iris shares the recipe with Appetito for anyone who might not be able to visit in person.

Note: This recipe calls for Dekarari Tsipouro of Muscat from Greece and Zivania Loel from Cyprus. They can be found online and shipped to some U.S. states, or you can source similar liqueurs with help from your favorite liquor store.

Garden Nymph Cocktail

Garden Nymph Cocktail

Recipe by Sergey Merkulov
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the herbed cucumber syrup
  • 3/4 cup 3/4 Sugar

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Water

  • One large One cucumber, peel about half and core to remove seeds, lightly chop

  • Half a bunch of dill, lightly chopped

  • For the cocktail
  • .75 fl. oz. .75 Herbed cucumber syrup

  • .2 fl. oz. .2 Lime juice

  • .5 fl. oz. .5 St Germain Elderflower

  • .5 fl. oz. .5 Dekaraki Tsipouro of Muscat

  • .5 fl. oz. .5 Loel Tsipouro Zivania

  • 1 fl. oz. 1 Fever Tree Tonic Water Mediterranean


  • For the herbed cucumber syrup
  • Bring sugar, dill, and water to medium heat and simmer under sugar dissolves
  • Add dill, store, and immediately remove from heat for 10 minutes to slightly cool
  • Strain the syrup to remove the dill
  • Add mixture to a blender with cucumber
  • Blend for about 60 seconds
  • Fine strain and cool all the way
  • For the cocktail
  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake.
  • Strain into a Tulip Rocks glass over ice cubes
  • Garnish with cucumber spears

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