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Forsythia’s RBG&T toasts the famed Justice in a rosy Bluecoat cocktail

Its creator was watching the 'RGB' documentary and coming up with the drink menu for the Old City restaurant when the idea came to her.

The RBG & T cocktail is pictured at Forsythia in Philadelphia's Old City on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.
The RBG & T cocktail is pictured at Forsythia in Philadelphia's Old City on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

I love it when a cocktail manages to harness current events, seasonality, craftsmanship, and on-point restaurant thematics in one cool sip of smooth mixology. But rarely do all these come together so fortuitously as they do in the RBG&T at Forsythia. General manager Jennifer Camela just happened to be multitasking one evening, crafting her drink menu for the new Old City restaurant while streaming the documentary RBG in the background. And that’s when it occurred to her: A rosebud-and-gin cocktail, a longtime goal, was about to have its moment!

The restaurant, after all, is named for a flower. So the pairing of Combier rosebud liqueur with Bluecoat’s elderflower-infused gin taps the right floral notes — and provides a coveted “B” to sync up the drink’s acronym inspiration. Not coincidentally, the National Museum of Jewish History just a few blocks away is hosting an exhibition in her honor, Notorious RBG, through Jan. 12.

This cocktail, however, is more than just a gimmick. It’s a delicious sipper in a tall glass beautifully blended with bracing lemon, a bitter splash of Angostura, and pink Fever Tree tonic, whose berry, ginger, and cardamom notes add a hint of aromatic spice. Garnished with a seasonal flower (often a rose, but sometimes not), this drink is as pretty as it is refreshing.

RBG&T cocktail, $14, at Forsythia, 233 Chestnut St., 215-644-9395;