What is in store for spring cocktail culture this year? Culinary cocktails! As the sun comes out, bartenders are delving into the world of culinary mixology where food and cocktails collide.
We love using veggies, cold-pressed juices, fruits, and herbs to give cocktails a healthy upgrade. More spring trends? Mocktails (non-alcoholic) and creative combinations. Mixology has never been so fun.
Here are our 7 favorite spring cocktails for 2019. We’ll be sipping them in the sun all spring long.
The Classic Mint Julep
Famous for its Southern charm and appearances at the Kentucky Derby, the mint julep is an American classic. Although it’s quite a simple bourbon recipe, its flavor is anything but. With freshly harvested mint for muddling, this cocktail has a garden appeal we simply can’t resist.
For the cocktail
10-12 mint leaves
¼ oz. Turbinado Syrup
2 oz. bourbon
Mint sprig and powdered sugar, for garnish
For the turbinado syrup
Raw, unrefined sugar
The turbinado syrup: Heat two parts sugar to one part water in a saucepan over medium heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and chill.
For the mint julep: Add the mint leaves and the turbinado syrup to a glass. Lightly muddle. Add the bourbons and fill ¾ of the cup with crushed ice. Stir 10–12 times with a bar spoon to dilute. Once diluted, remove spoon, add a straw and top off your cocktail with a small dome of crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and a dust of powdered sugar.
Nothing is more spring cocktail than this watermelon mojito. Tangy and sweet with a bit of a bite, this mojito recipe is perfect for serving large groups of people (this one serves 6!). Use it for your annual spring party and make the whole guestlist happy.
30 large mint leaves, torn by hand
3-4 thick slices watermelon
12 oz rum
½ cup simple syrup
6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
Mint sprigs and watermelon slices for garnish
Muddle mint leaves. Remove rind and seeds of watermelon slices and puree watermelon in a food processor.
Place mint and into a pitcher with 2 cups pureed watermelon, rum, simple syrup, and lime juice. Stir to combine.
Pour into glasses over ice cubes and garnish with mint and watermelon.
This refreshing cocktail takes our favorite spring veggie and makes it into the booziest drink around. It’s tasty, absolutely beautiful, and surprisingly powerful. It’s perfect for your spring date nights or an at-home prep before you go out on the town.
1¾ part gin or vodka
¾ part Elderflower liqueur
½ part simple syrup
½ part lime juice
4 cucumber cubes (¾ inch each)
½ part club soda
2 cucumber slices
Muddle cucumber cubes with lime juice in a mixing glass. Add gin, St-Germain, simple syrup and ice.
Mix well and strain over fresh ice. Top with soda, garnish with cucumber, and enjoy!
Strawberry Basil Lemonade
This is our dual-purpose spring cocktail. It can be a mocktail or a powerful cocktail — depending on what you desire. This drink carries a tart twang and a sweet punch you’ll love all season long.
10 lemons, juiced
3/4 cup superfine sugar
4 cups water
8-10 strawberries, tops removed
⅓ cup fresh basil
½ cup vodka (optional)
Juice the lemons and transfer to a large pitcher. Add sugar and water. Stir combine and dissolve. Add the strawberries and basil.
Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until mix is pink and basil is chopped — about 20 seconds.
Add alcohol if desired. Serve over crushed ice and enjoy!
Peach Whiskey Smash
This drink is made for the sun. It’s another Southern classic full of sweetness and sass. The peach takes this spring cocktail to another level and leaves you happy and satisfied as you sip.
2 oz bourbon
1 oz Curaçao
2 peach slices
3 lemon wedges
4-5 mint leaves
Peach slices and rosemary sprig for garnish
Muddle the fruit and lemon wedges with the Curaçao.
Add mint leaves and bourbon.
Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice.
Garnish with peach slices and mint leaves.
Rosemary Ruby Cocktail
This deliciously tart grapefruit cocktail recipe serves 6. With an elegant woodsy rosemary touch, this is one of our favorites for spring and forever remains on our list of cocktails for entertaining. Try it out and see what you think!
1 cup of sugar
12 sprigs rosemary
3 cups ruby-red grapefruit juice
1½ cups vodka
¾ tsp bitters
In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and 6 rosemary sprigs to a boil.
Lower heat and let simmer until the liquid is clear — about 5 minutes.
Let cool and discard the rosemary.
Combine grapefruit juice, vodka, bitters, and ¾ cup rosemary-sugar syrup in a pitcher.
Pour into rocks glasses filled with ice cubes.
Garnish with a rosemary sprig and enjoy!
This drink is a green dream. With cilantro, cucumber, and chile, you’re in for a spring treat. Adventurous and exciting, this recipe will have you feeling fresher than ever and ready to take on the world.
2 cucumber slices, ½ inch each
8 cilantro sprigs
2 slices fresh chile, ¼ inch each
1 ¾ oz gin
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Place cucumber, cilantro, and chile in a shaker.
Muddle until well broken.
Add the gin, lime, and simple syrup and shake vigorously.
Strain into a tumbler half-filled with ice.
Garnish with a slice of a cucumber and enjoy!