As we go into the new year, it’s sometimes nice to think ahead a little, especially to all the new flavors that the new season brings. Not only can you include these flavors in your food, but also in your drinks too: libations that’ll inspire and taste great when entertaining friends.
There are plenty of drinks to choose from too, many of them not only a joy to drink but also to make too. Take a look at some of these fresh, spring cocktail ideas to get you going.
If one of your resolutions for the new year is to eat more greens, then the green giant is the perfect drink. It’s a big drink: like one of those green smoothies you see on health blogs, but this one has a bit of a twist and a much more interesting flavor.
Making a green giant is simple: just pair some sugar snap peas with tarragon, vodka, some dry vermouth and a dash of honey for sweetness. It takes a little getting used to, but once you pair the tarragon flavor with the sweetness of the honey and the kick of the vodka, you end up with something genuinely refreshing as you start to move back outdoors. It’s an excellent drink for a garden party.
The Mint Julep is probably the quintessential drink of the upcoming season. It’s just so refreshing and makes use of ingredients that would traditionally have only been available during the spring months. The Mint Julep is the type of drink you’d expect to have during the May Day celebrations, just as the weather in the northern hemisphere starts to turn a little warmer and freshers, especially for those who live in the northeast or west.
So how do you make this acclaimed beverage? It’s super simple. Just combine sugar with mint (to emphasize the herb’s flavors and take away some of the bitterness of the leaf) and add crushed ice and bourbon. The combination is dramatic. Garnish the glass with lemon, and you’re well on your way to the perfect drink.
The Bloody Snapper
The Blood Snapper is a Caesar drink recipe, and really easy to make. You’ve heard of the Bloody Mary – this is a twist on that idea and something that people who love veggie flavors will enjoy.
So how exactly do you make this dink? It’s simple. Just mix Parkers Hangover Tonic with a shot of gin and your favorite brand of tomato juice.
The Japanese Slipper
The Japanese Slipper is another green cocktail, the perfect accompaniment when everything is in bloom. There are many ways to create a green color in your drinks, from using green liquors, like absinthe, green creme de menthe, and apple schnapps, to using herbs, fruits and veggies. The Japanese Slipper is one such drink. It gets its colors from its unusual ingredients. The drink is best served in a tall cocktail glass with a slice of lime as a garnish.
Lavender Sapphire Collins
With the advent of spring, lavender starts to bloom again. Lavender is a plant widely known for its floral smell and flavor as well as medicinal properties. It’s also an excellent ingredient for people who want to make amazing drinks. Lavender is evocative of spring in a way that few other herbs are, which make it an ideal component to include in your next round of seasonal cocktails.
How do you make the Lavender Sapphire Collins? It’s straightforward. Just find some lavender syrup (a sort of sweet condiment flavored with lavender essence), and mix with Sapphire gin, lemon juice, and club soda. Pour over ice and serve with a lemon garnish.
You’ll be surprised by the depth of flavors. The lavender and the gin work exceptionally well together.
Pineapple & Sage Gimlet
Pineapple might not be the first thing you think of when you think about spring, but this fruit can deliver some incredible fresh flavors, especially when paired with the right ingredients. Pineapple and sage work particularly well in combination.
The Pineapple and Sage Gimlet is a variation on the classic Gimlet. Make a standard gimlet, but then add pineapple juice and sage leaves and stir into ice. The first thing you’ll notice is the pineapple and sage flavors coming through, with the gin quietly lurking in the background. The Pineapple and Sage Gimlet is a drink for people who want to be able to enjoy all the flavors of the fruit and herbs in their drink, without it being overwhelmed by the taste of liquor.
Cherry blossom is everywhere in the spring, especially if you live in a temperate region of the country. The Cherry Blossomtini is the perfect accompaniment – something you can enjoy during those early spring days as the blossom first starts falling from the trees and you know summer is on its way.
The Cherry Blossomtini is a slight variation on the cosmopolitan, made famous by the HBO show Sex and the City. To make the Cherry Blossomtini, you’ll want to make a cosmopolitan using 1 ounce Cointreau orange liqueur, ¼ ounce cranberry juice, ½ ounce lime juice and an orange peel garnish. Instead of using vodka, the Cherry Blossomtini uses sake, the Japanese spirit. Just add 1 ½, and you’re ready to go.
The good thing about the Cherry Blossomtini is that it is so closely related to the ever-popular cosmopolitan, meaning you can whip it out practically any time of the year.
The Tamarind Tequila
It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe why tequila and tamarind work together, but the Asian flavoring and Mexican spirit do in a way that few people would ever imagine.
The Tamarind Tequila is something that will undoubtedly give you a bit of a kick, but it’s also entirely different to anything else, and very refreshing.
*This post is a contributed article. Thank you to the brands for providing these as samples to share with my readers!*
The Tamarind Tequila is easy to make. All you need are the usual ingredients for a margarita, but with the addition of tamarind nectar, a type of sweet concoction that mixologists use to make tamarind-flavored cocktails. You should be able to find it in your local store.