Spring Cocktails To Chill Out With

Amber Dias finds some vibrant, fresh, and zingy cocktails to shoot the breeze with.

‘Tis the season for new blooms and fresh starts – the perfect time to celebrate and refresh your cocktail repertoire. Whether you’re hosting a garden party, planning a picnic, or simply chilling out indoors, these spring cocktails are sure to elevate your spirits and tantalise your taste buds.

A Fresh Turn

As the weather warms up, it gives way to the ultimate refresh, and light cocktails bursting with colour and fruity or floral notes, perfectly reflect the mood of the season. There’s nothing that wakes up the taste buds like sweet-tart fruits and fresh herbs. These vibrant cocktails play with seasonal ingredients to capture the flavours and aromas of the season. Crafted to cool and refresh, they play with crisp flavours and effervescent elements.

Bartenders often get creative, experimenting with unique flavour combinations and unexpected ingredients. This creativity adds an element of excitement and novelty, creating a fun and adventurous choice for cocktail enthusiasts.

Get Into The Spirit

Green Goddess Margaritas

Give in to the green with this refreshing cocktail – it is fresh, icy and super delicious. Tequila is the spirit of choice for this one, combined with an orange-flavoured liqueur, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. Coarse salt and lime wedges work well as a garnish. And if you want to glam it up, you can use a touch of gold leaf. 

Sparkling Basil Lemonade

Basil is an instant cooler, so why not let it star on your drinks’ menu? This lemonade cocktail brings together some cheery ingredients that will make you turn green – in a good way. 

How do you make it? Steep the basil in a clear alcohol like vodka, for instance, overnight. This brings out the sweetness of the herb and turns the spirit bright green. Add your preferred measurement to a glass of fresh lemonade and top with seltzer or soda. If you want to get creative, you can whip up some basil salt or sugar to dress the rim, or just garnish with a wedge of lime and a fresh basil leaf. 

Americano

A warm evening calls for a delectable aperitivo like the Americano. It’s a sophisticated drink – that has a cosy little spot in pop culture – that is simple to make. It combines equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth, topped with soda and an orange slice to make a delicious cocktail that tickles the appetite. It’s also a good choice for those who aren’t too fond of Campari as the vermouth balances the bitterness. 

Mint Julep

Frosty and, as the name suggests, minty, this cocktail is a classic refresher. Gaining prominence in the 18th century, it retains its popularity as a favourite iced bourbon drink. That being said, the first juleps were made with cognac or peach brandy, and whiskey or bourbon became the liquor of choice following an epidemic that infected France’s grapevines in the mid-1800s. Traditionally served in a rocks glass or julep cup, all it takes is muddling mint leaves in simple syrup, pouring in the bourbon and packing the glass with crushed ice. A sprig of mint suffices as a garnish.

Orange Crush

For citrus lovers, there’s nothing better than a cool glass of orange juice to make your day, add a bit of vodka and you’ve got yourself a refreshing cocktail! The original Orange Crush calls for orange-flavoured vodka, but plain does just as well. To amp up the flavour though, a few dashes of orange bitters will suffice. And if it’s a little bit on the sweet side for you, a touch of triple sec will balance it out nicely. 

Gin Fizz

Fun and fizzy, this cocktail is another classic, but leaves room for variations that are fun to experiment with and often the results are even better than the original. A smooth cocktail, it comprises gin, lemon juice and simple syrup shaken with an egg white and ice, topped with soda. 

Scarlet Glow

Fragrant hibiscus tea takes centre stage in this drink, following the practice of combining tea and alcohol that dates back to the 17th century. Infused into a simple syrup, it adds sweet, floral notes to the combination of pisco and yellow Chartreuse. Grapefruit juice is added to balance out the potent spirits, while offering a citrusy touch. 

Hugo Spritz

Originating in the South Tyrol province of Northern Italy, this cocktail is made with an elderflower cordial that is crafted locally, but elderflower liqueurs can also be used. It is mixed with mint, chilled prosecco and soda. The floral base allows the citrus notes in the prosecco to shine, while the mint offers a cool finish. A simple lemon wheel and a sprig of mint work wonderfully as a garnish. 

Put A Spring In Your Step

Whether you prefer light and floral drinks or fruity and refreshing concoctions, this is the perfect season to experiment and go wild with ingredients that are fresh, vibrant and cooling. It doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating an occasion or just kicking back with friends, they will delight the senses, brighten spirits and have your guests asking for more – just remember to pour wisely. 

Dress ‘Em Up

Here are a few ideas to level up your cocktails… 

> Use sturdy herbs like rosemary as skewers for fruits or peels.

> Line glasses with citrus peels.

> Sugar, spice or salt rims are always winners.

> Add flower petals or candied fruits. 

> Classic or zany, play with stirrers to add a fun element. 

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