It’s springtime (at least for a couple more weeks) and it’s time to put away those dark, stirred winter drinks and greet the season with some fresh cocktails to match. It’s too early to start kicking back frozen margaritas and piña coladas (you have the whole summer for that) but now is the best time for bright cocktails with fresh herbs and seasonal ingredients to match.
Springtime cocktails have the all-too-important mission to pull you out of a cocktail slump by injecting color, bright aromas and fun ingredients that you wouldn’t see in the winter and let’s face it, in the summer, you just want something quick and tasty that will cool you off while you contemplate buying a kiddie pool, trying your best not to fry like an egg.
This list of cocktails was inspired by the mint julep, that delicious mountain of ice and bourbon which heralds the use of herbs in cocktails for the season. The goal here is to make easy craft cocktails with different flavors to uplift the spirit and prepare you for warmer days. Below are three simple cocktails that work beautifully this time of year.
Cut 1/2 ripe peach into chunks; drop them into your glass along with 3 leaves of sage; muddle. Pour in 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add 1/2 part ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton liqueur is recommended), Pour in 1 1/2 ounces of vodka. Add ice to your shaker and give it a vigorous shake. When chilled, double strain — strain the mixture from the shaker through a tea strainer — into a chilled martini glass.
Add ice and shake the drink until well chilled, then double strain into a coupe (wide-mouthed stemware often used for Champagne).
*This drink is SUPER easy and only requires a bit of prep work:
Cut 2 sticks of lemongrass into 3-inch pieces and add them with about 6 kaffir lime leaves and into a pot with 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often, remove from heat and let it cool. Remove the leaves and the lemongrass and strain the liquid into an empty bottle. You now have delicious simple syrup for a bevy of cocktails.
Add 9 large mint leaves to a shaker and gently muddle. Add 1/2 ounce of the simple syrup you just made. Add 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice. Pour in 1 1/2 ounce of quality white rum. Add ice and shake the drink until well chilled. Double strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top up with club soda and give it a quick stir.
Photo credit: Raul Zelaya