Apr 22, 2016

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Spring Cocktails

Spring Cocktails

Liquor Report: Spring Cocktails by Brooke Mason

When it comes to cocktails in the spring you can only think of Sunday brunches and the standard traditional fare of mimosas, bloody marys and champagne. The trend now is to think outside the box to put a new spin on some of your old favorites. The overall goal being to incorporate something light and refreshing to counterpoint what is surely a heavy buffet style meal.

 

  • Michelada

I don’t do tomato unless it is in a salad or a pasta dish. So I made the huge mistake of trying my first Michelada at a Mexican chain restaurant. And you know it is especially bad when your waiter winces as you ask him what you’re supposed to do with the bottle of Modelo he hands you along with a goblet of what I’m pretty sure was V-8 and Worcester sauce on ice. I lived to tell the tale and was encouraged to learn a Michelada can be made with mango juice! Here is what looks to be an incredible recipe for just that tasty combination of sweet and spicy I’ve been searching for: Drink Up!

 

  • The Aviation

It is said that in the early 19th century crème de violette was served as shots alone or paired with dry vermouth. The RothmanWinter brand has only been available in the United States for about a decade. All it takes is about a teaspoon of this brandy based spirit to add the flavor of retro violet candy to the classic cocktail “The Aviation” which is a spin on the Gin sour. Here is an interesting article on the drink’s history and recipe variations: Drink Up!

 

  • Lilac

You can’t help but think of flowers in the spring and you should definitely give them due consideration when planning your seasonal affair. Keep in mind there are many other recipes online for making infused simple syrups so you’ve got plenty of possibilities for your floral festivities! Here is a great DIY article on how to make your very own lilac simple syrup to add to cocktails: Drink Up!

 

  • Vermouth Cassis

I actually found out about this light cocktail from an episode of Cheers and it led me down a wonderful rabbit hole of discovery into the differences between sweet and dry vermouth and tonic water versus club soda. This cocktail is an acquired taste to be sure but once you are familiar with the flavor profile quite refreshing. After much experimentation here is my personal recipe:

1 shot of vodka

½ shot of crème de cassis

¼ shot of sweet vermouth

club soda

Pour the shots into a glass and top off the remainder of the glass with the club soda.

 

  • Lillet

Lillet is somewhat similar to Vermouth. Whereas Vermouth is wine blended with herbs originating in Italy, Lillet hails from France and is wine blended with citrus peels. Both are considered aperitifs so you’d imbibe them before you begin your meal. Check out this gorgeous Lillet cocktail from Martha Stewart.com that incorporates actual flowers for the garnish with a perfect rose hue to put you in the mood for spring: Drink Up!

 

  • Diablo

Once you invest in that bottle of crème de cassis you are going to want to start exploring different ways to make good use of it. I was very pleased to discover this variation on a Moscow Mule which is now my favorite next to a Dark ‘n’ Stormy. The recipe we came up with is this:

1 shot of tequila

½ shot of crème de cassis

½ bottle of ginger beer

We tried this over ice and it was very refreshing!

 

  • Lavender

You can incorporate this fresh scent into your cocktails most easily with lavender bitters or lavender soda. Try the bitters with gin or add some vanilla vodka to lavender soda with a lemon garnish. Check out some more wonderful recipes at: Drink Up!

 

  • Sangria

While many sangria recipes can be too heavy for a springtime affair, strawberry seems to be the go-to fruit with some high and low brow additions as diverse as Limoncello and Crush soda. Also keep in mind you don’t have to go red, white wine pairs well with pineapple and citrus! This is the simplest recipe I could find: Drink Up!

 

  • Prosecco

Forget about the boring Champagne cocktails you’re used to. Try some of the recipes here using the sweeter Prosecco. I’m particularly interested in “Prosecco royale” that incorporates crème de cassis with blueberries and thyme or the Rose-ecco” that uses rose flavored syrup for an especially romantic sip: Drink Up!

 

  • Mimosa

A brunch just wouldn’t be the same without a mimosa but why settle for the orange juice and champagne combination? There are a variety of fruit juices that can be employed from pineapple to passion fruit. The recipe to follow is 2 parts juice to 1 part champagne. Just remember if you are entertaining with grapefruit juice to advise your guests in advance as this fruit can interact with some medications. And since I’ve covered crème de cassis so much in this article (it is my current personal obsession) the answer is yes, you can top your champagne with it to make the French cocktail known as the “Kir Royal.”

Drink Responsibly…Always!

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MahoganyGirl 2016 

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