It’s FINALLY spring, ya’ll! Here in North Carolina, we’re already getting 80 degree weather (yay!) and the pollen is in full force (boo!). Even though my allergies want me to stay inside, all I want to do is sit on my porch with a tasty cocktail and enjoy the weather before it gets too hot. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing all of April, May, and June with some of myall-time favorite springtime cocktails!
For real, the second cold winter days start to give way to sunshine, blooming flowers, and warm breezes, I’m ready to celebrate! And what better way to ring in the start of spring than with a bright and refreshing cocktail? All of these cocktails taste like springtime in a glass and are wonderful for warm weather sipping. From bright purple gin drinks to tropical rum drinks, there’s a perfect springtime cocktail for every occasion and palate.
With all of that said, here are the cocktails I’m most excited to make this spring!
If you're looking for a unique gin-based drink everyone always goes crazy for, try the Army & Navy cocktail! It’s a classic cocktail that combines gin, orgeat almond syrup, fresh lemon juice, and bitters for a tangy and super refreshing springtime cocktail.
The Saturn is another gin-based cocktail that's a wonderful way to cheers to the start of spring! It's a frozen blended cocktail with flavors of passion fruit, citrus, and spices, and is topped off with a festive garnish that resembles the planet Saturn. Trust me when I say, it’s out of this world!
The St Germain Lemon Basil Martini is truly a garden party in a glass! It highlights the wonderful flavor combination of St Germain elderflower liqueur, gin, citrus, and basil for a tasty springtime sipper. It's spirit-forward like a martini should be, and strikes a perfect balance between citrusy, herbal, sweet, and floral.
The Mai Tai is the quintessential tropical cocktail! It's strong, tart, refreshing, so flavorful, and one of the best drinks for showcasing high-quality rum. This famous and beloved classic cocktail is in my top 5 favorite drinks because it’s so impressive and tasty, but easy to make! Ideal for springtime parties or whenever you’re looking for a reason to break into a nice bottle of rum.
The Hemingway Daiquiri is a tangy, tart, and sophisticated riff on the classic daiquiri. What started as an extremely pared down rum sour made with just rum and lime juice is now a delicious classic cocktail that’s a far cry from the sugar-filled daiquiris you’ll find at a beach bar. It uses tart grapefruit juice and bittersweet maraschino liqueur for a drier, more sour daiquiri. I also add in orgeat to give it a hint of sweetness!
The Paper Plane is a brightly-colored, zingy modern cocktail that uses equal parts of four ingredients: bourbon, lemon juice, Amaro Nonino, and Aperol. The bourbon gives the cocktail warmth and a whiskey bite, the lemon juice provides tart acidity, Amaro Nonino adds depth with bittersweet botanicals, and the Aperol brings in notes of zesty, bittersweet orange. When all of these flavors come together, you end up with a vivid springtime cocktail that's refreshing, bittersweet, citrusy, and dangerously drinkable. This Paper Plane recipe stays true to the original, but with the addition of super fun lemon peel paper plane garnish that takes the presentation to the next level!
Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring with the beautiful Aviation cocktail! This classic cocktail leverages the flavor combination of dry gin, citrus, and crème de violette for a bright, floral, seasonal drink. The defining ingredient in the Aviation is crème de violette, which is a violet-flavored liqueur that gives the drink its gorgeous lavender color and signature floral taste and aroma.
There's nothing better when it's warm outside than a crisp, bubbly cocktail! This cocktail is a riff on a Tom Collins, which is a classic cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and carbonated water. It's often compared to spiked sparkling lemonade, and who could say no to that?! This variation has everything you love about the classic cocktail, but makes it even more refreshing by adding in cucumber. So whenever you're in the mood for a light, fizzy cocktail this spring, definitely give this one a try!
Here's a super fun twist on the classic Negroni! It's just as tasty as the original, but its bright violet color makes it a visually stunning cocktail that's so festive for spring. There are two secrets to the drink's vivid purple color. The first is swapping out deep red Campari for clear-colored Luxardo Bitter Bianco. The second is using Empress Gin, which tastes just like a normal London Dry Gin but has a deep shade of indigo that comes from the butterfly pea flower blossom.
One important note: this recipe has a pretty significant typo. Instead of using 3 ounces of dry vermouth, you'll want to use just a 3/4 ounce of dry vermouth.
The Jungle Bird is one of those cocktails that surprises you after every sip! It's oh-so easy to drink, but has a surprising complexity that you don't always expect from a tropical cocktail. What exactly makes it so nuanced? I would say it's the unusual but tasty combination of bitter Campari and funky dark rum. The drink is then rounded out by fruity pineapple juice, tart lime juice, and simple syrup for a touch of sweetness. The result is a refreshing rum cocktail that's so fun for springtime and you won't be able to put down once you start drinking!