I always had some idea that cocktails were seasonal. Manhattans always seemed wintry to me, while mojitos and gin and tonics seemed much more appropriate for sipping on a patio in warmer weather. But I've come to learn how lovely it can be to pair a beverage with the season, to use seasonal ingredients to make cocktails and mocktails that go perfectly with the time of year. Now that we're firmly nestled into Spring, here are some ideas for drinks that go along with flowering trees, new grass and temperatures that fluctuate from balmy to chilly, sometimes all in the same day.
Shortly after I moved to the Bay Area, I went out for cocktails with some of my new food blogger friends. Among the drinks I tasted that night was a celery gimlet. Before I sipped it, I remembered thinking that had to be the weirdest-sounding cocktail I'd ever heard of, and that no matter how much I like celery (and boy, do I like celery), that I couldn't envision it in a drink. Luckily, a friend let me have a sip, and I was introduced into the world of cocktails that combine flavors I would have never thought of into delicious combinations.
Savvy Housekeeper (of Savvy Housekeeping) includes a recipe for an Irish Spring Cocktail on her blog, and it sounds very much like the celery gimlet I had now almost two years ago. Though she recommends it for St. Patrick's Day, I'd say it's a perfect cocktail for even later into the season. Why restrict these fresh flavors to a single day in March?
This particular cocktail calls for gin as its base spirit, but I think the ingredients would make a lovely mocktail, as well, if you replaced the gin with sparkling or soda water. It would make the drink a touch fizzy, of course, but still delicious and verdant. Note that the recipe calls for simple syrup, as well, which will have to be prepared in advance.
A mix of pear and mango flavors brighten The Grey Goose Staycation, posted by Cheri Loughlin of The Intoxicologist as a Spring Fever cocktail.
"It is the 'Are we there yet' and 'Hurry up spring recipe which brings the feel of the tropics indoors. Close the blinds, turn up the heat or build a fire for warmth. Blare Caribbean tunes from the speakers and start marinating the Jamaican Jerk chicken. Rather than venture out for warming spirits, keep your spring right at home..."
Colleen Graham of About.com Cocktails recommends a variety of cocktails and mocktails to usher in the new season. Her Spring Fever Mocktail combines apple juice, lemon juice, blood orange juice and mango syrup to wake up those taste buds after a long winter. And if your taxes are driving you to drink, you might consider rewarding yourself after you've mailed off your signed returns with an Income Tax Cocktail, a classic gin-based drink.
Michele Borboa Thompson of SheKnows Food & Recipes rounds up a long list of spring cocktail recipes that starts with a sparkler called the Ginger Goddess and ends with a mocktail called the Purista Mojito Iced Tea. This range of recipes includes a lot of fruit flavors, which she says will leave you "refreshed and satisfied," just like a burst of spring green after a long winter.
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