Suddenly, and without much warning, the frozen hellscape that was Winter Quarter appears to be lifting. The sun is out, birds are chirping and you no longer need to wear a Canada Goose indoors.
While this might seem like a great time to go full-tilt and breakout your sundresses, Sperrys and summer drinks, it’s important to remember that there is a much needed acclimation period as we get used to this suddenly tolerable climate.
To help you get used to the feeling of actually wanting to be outside instead of wrapping a scarf around your face and shuffling your way across sheets of ice in sub-zero temperatures, here are a few perfect transitional cocktail recipes.
- 2 oz dark rum
- 1 oz passion fruit syrup
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Not only is a Hurricane an incredibly easy drink to make, but it’s the perfect thing to shepherd you from the dark, heavy concoctions you got used to guzzling from November through February.
Rum is an ideal liquor for spring; it’s sugary and smooth, but the darker variants have a little more presence and a richer taste than white rum, which is almost exclusively saved for summer.
- 1 1/2 oz white rum
- 1 oz fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Maraschino liqueur
The Hemingway Daiquiri is both an excellent twist on a pretty standard cocktail, thanks to the splash of grapefruit juice, and a drink with a great (and hopefully true) backstory.
It was supposedly invented for Hemingway himself in Havana, Cuba by famous mixologist Constantino Ribalaigua Vert.
This one is a little more involved than a Hurricane. While the white rum does have more of a summer vibe than a spring one, the grapefruit juice gives it some much-needed bite. Try it if you’re feeling especially literary this spring.
- ½ cup raw honey
- ½ cup water
- 1-2 stems of your favorite herb (basil, rosemary, lavender or mint) with a few leaves reserved for garnish
- ¼ cup lemonade
- 1 shot good whiskey
- ¼ cup soda
- fresh lemon slices to garnish
This recipe seems a little complex, and if you want to fully commit to a fantastic whiskey lemonade, it is well worth the effort.
If however, you’re in the mood for a quantity over quality cocktail, you can simply substitute all of the garnishes for more whiskey and more lemonade.
Lemonade is a quintessential springtime drink, and while adding vodka is always a staple, whiskey gives it a more complex taste and more character.
- 2.5 oz Spring 44 Honey Vodka
- 1 oz strong brewed tea .25 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz agave nectar
Obviously you could substitute any other honey vodka (or just use honey and vodka if you’re feeling especially thrifty), but the real key here is the strength of the tea. A weak cup will lead to a watery tasting drink, so it’s important to really make sure it is steeped and ready to be drank when you’re preparing your Bee Tea. Also for best results, definitely stick to black tea. If you’re preparing in a pinch, premade ice tea is also an option, but for the true taste you have to put in the extra effort.
- 2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz agave nectar
- 2 cucumber wheels
- 2 blackberries
- 2 oz ginger beer
While some people view tequila as a year-round drink, it is really best enjoyed in the year’s warmer months. It is often difficult to find a more complicated drink mix that makes use of the agave-based beverage, but the Tall Tale is the perfect springtime cocktail. The tequila and citrusy notes make it perfect for outdoor consumption, while the ginger beer gives the drink some much needed body and heft. For the particular brand, I’d recommend Fever-Tree.