There comes a time every year when even the most enthusiastic skiers and cold-weather fans start to grow weary. Sludgy sidewalks and overcast skies are enough to give anyone momentary winter blues, but there are a couple of ways to herald the new season (or trick yourself into believing it's here) sans clear skies. The best place to start is in the kitchen—more specifically, at the bar.
If you're counting down the days until spring, these floral and fruity libations are just what you need. A far cry from winter's spicy mulled wine and spiked hot chocolate, these creations embody the shift of season with citrus notes, hints of honey, herb garnishes, and uplifting fruit flavors. Think fragrant gin and tonics, berry-filled palomas, and lavender-infused sparkling concoctions. Dreaming about a vacation? Try one of these 10 spring cocktails and transport your taste buds to warmer weather.
Level of Difficulty: Easy. This recipe takes just five minutes for prep and five minutes to put together. The only work required besides combining the simple ingredients is muddling up sage and a sweetener of your choice at the bottom of a cocktail shaker or mixing glass.
Hero Ingredient: Sage. The fragrant herb gives this spring cocktail a fresh taste made for the season.
Serving Tip: Save a sprig of sage to delicately top each drink before serving. It will look beautiful and provide a sweet smell to accompany every sip.
Level of Difficulty: Medium. This recipe requires multiple steps, including simmering honey, steeping a chamomile tea bag, and muddling the strawberries. It doesn't require a great deal of skill, but it does take longer than a standard pour-mix-and-drink cocktail.
Hero Ingredient: Chamomile. The creation uses a homemade chamomile honey–infused simple syrup to offset the sweet strawberry and tart grapefruit juice flavor.
Serving Tip: Give a lowball glass a sugar rim and garnish with fresh chamomile flowers.
Level of Difficulty: Medium. This recipe also involves a honey- and tea-based simple syrup, but it takes a total of five minutes to whip up.
Hero Ingredient: Honey. When combined with tea and lemon juice, this soothing, sweet cocktail will have you believe you're basking in a blossoming spring garden.
Serving Tip: Sprinkle with edible flowers.
Gin and Tonic
Level of Difficulty: Hard. The rhubarb fennel syrup doesn't require much effort, but you'll need a well-stocked bar cart to make this creation.
Hero Ingredient: It's a tie between fennel and rhubarb. These two unique ingredients work in tandem to create an unusual, earthy libation.
Serving Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to carve long rhubarb ribbons.
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Hero Ingredient: Rosemary. Create rosemary simple syrup by infusing the herb in hot water and dissolved sugar. Then combine the syrup with grapefruit juice and gin for a fresh, aromatic drink.
Serving Tip: Serve over ice with a wedge of fresh grapefruit.
Level of Difficulty: Easy. Effortlessly throw together this spring cocktail using whatever citrus fruits you can find, a bit of sweetener, and plenty of white wine. Simply muddle your mixture of fruits with a bit of sugar or agave and add apple brandy, wine, and more fresh fruit to a large pitcher.
Hero Ingredient: Fruit. Your ingredients may vary based on where you're located, but seasonal, fresh fruit is the star of this sangria.
Serving Tip: Top this fruity beverage with frozen berries, sparkling water, or fresh mint before serving to give this cocktail a little something special.
Level of Difficulty: Hard. You'll need a saucepan, food processor, whisk, and pitcher to make this cocktail.
Hero Ingredient: Figs. Rich flavor seeps out of the fresh figs when simmered in honey and water. Thyme and orange liquor complete the cocktail.
Serving Tip: Pour into a lowball glass and top with a fresh thyme sprig and fig slice.
With spring just around the corner, which tasty treat will you whip up first?