JIC you've forgotten what life is like with more than one hour of sunshine a day, allow me the great honor of reminding you that spring is officially OTW. That first hit of flowers blooming in the moderately warm weather feels like a well-earned prize after weeks—no, MONTHS—of freezing cold torture that stopped being cute after New Year's. Basically, if you feel a glimmer of hope that maybe winter actually won't be the only season for the rest of your life and have just completely forgotten what humidity feels like, same.
As with most of the finer things in life, warm weather calls for a drink. More specifically, a fresh-ass, sweet cocktail after staying loyal to all those hot toddies and mulled wines of yesterseason. The best spring cocktails are colorful, packed with fresh fruit and delicious spirits, and taste like vacationing on the beaches of Maui—or at least drinking atop a beach towel on your lawn, which still counts.
If you're officially in spring-planning mode, we're here to help out on the drink front. Come March, your darties, brunches, and picnics deserve beverages that fit right along with that fun, flirty spring mood, so don't get caught slipping. Get to planning any form of get-together with friends to properly cheers to the great outdoors. UV rays, oh how dearly you have been missed! Then, immediately peruse this list of cocktails the next time you're feeling like a drink in the sun (is tomorrow too soon?).
1. Cutwater Spirits Hibiscus Hearts
Directions: Combine 1.5 oz Cutwater Mezcal, 1.5 oz hibiscus tea (chilled,) .5 oz cinnamon syrup, and .5oz lemon in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Serve with a dried hibiscus flower and cinnamon stick garnish.
Recipe by Cutwater.
2. Very Hopeful Mimosa Mocktail
Directions: Fill half of a champagne flute with 6 oz. of chilled LaCroix Razz-Cranberry Sparkling Water and top off with 1-2 oz. of chilled cranberry juice or orange juice, then gently stir. For added flare, add frozen berries to each flute. Enjoy!
Recipe by LaCroix.
3. Polska Rose
Directions: Stir 2 oz. Belvedere Lake Bartężek, .30 oz Lillet Rose, .15 oz Elderflower Liqueur, and 1 Dash Peach Bitters over cubed ice in mixing glass, and strain into chilled glass.
Recipe by Belvedere.
4. Cherry Spritz
Directions: Combine 5 oz. Belvedere Vodka, a dash Maraschino Liqueur, 3 Lemon Slices, and 1 Maraschino Cherry in a spritz glass filled with ice. Top with equal parts of sparkling water and tonic water.
Recipe by Belvedere.
5. Proper Peaches
Directions: Muddle 1 peach, 1/2 part simple syrup, and 3-4 mint leaves in a shaker. Add 2 parts Proper No. Twelve Irish whiskey and fill shaker with ice. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. Top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with mint leaves and a peach slice.
Recipe by Proper Twelve.
6. Avalon Awakens
In a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz. Don Papa Rum, 10 0z. pineapple juice, ¾ oz. lime juice, ¼ oz. velvet falernum, ½ oz. Ube syrup and fill with ice. Shake and strain into high ball glass over ice. Garnish with a Pineapple wedge and straw
Recipe by Tomas De Los Reyes.
7. Baby's Watermelon
Add ¾ oz. Cointreau, 2 oz. The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, 3 cubes watermelon, and 5 leaves cilantro to a shaker and gently muddle. Add ice, shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice, and or lemon.
Recipe by Cointreau.
8. Palm Springs Paloma
Add ¾ oz. agave syrup, 2 oz. Lobos 1707 Tequila, Joven, and ¾ oz. lemon juice in a mixing tin and shake. Pour over ice and top with 2 oz. ruby grapefruit or blood orange juice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or blood orange, rim the glass with lemon juice and salt or spicy seasoning for an extra kick.
Recipe by Juan Arboleda.
9. The Glenlivet Caribbean Mai Tai
Combine 1 ½ parts TGL Caribbean Reserve, ¾ parts lime juice, ½ parts Orgeat Syrup, ½ parts Triple Sec in a glass over ice. Stir and garnish with mint and an orange slice.
Recipe by The Glenlivet.
10. Patio Patty
Combine 1 ¾ oz. tequila, 5 oz. pomegranate molasses, and ¾ oz. strawberry lemonade in a glass. Fill with ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Recipe by Whiskey and Rosemary.
11. Fishers Island Lemosa
Method: Pour 4 oz. Sparkling Wine (Champagne or Prosecco) sparkling wine in a glass and top with 2 oz. Fishers Island Lemonade. Finish with orange squeeze.
Recipe by Fischers Island Lemonade.
12. The Exene
Add 1½ parts Hudson Baby Bourbon, 1 part Aperol aperitif, ½ part fresh lemon juice, ½ part honey syrup, and half a dropper of Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters to a shaker with ice and an egg white or ¾ oz. aquafaba (chickpea water), strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Recipe by David Powell.
13. The Patchouli
Add ¾ oz. Absolut Elyx, ½ oz. Patchouli liqueur, ¼ oz. Gonzalez Byass Alfonso Oloroso, and 2 ½ oz. Perrier Jouet Champagne to a glass filled with crushed ice. Stir and garnish with an edible flower.
Recipe by Absolut Elyx.
14. El Pepino
In a cocktail shaker, add 2 oz. parts of cucumber-infused Reyka vodka, ½ oz. lime liqueur, ½ oz. basil simple syrup, ½ oz. lemon juice, ½ oz. lime juice, and 1 to 2 slices of cucumber. Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, strain into a glass, and garnish with 1 large basil leaf or 2 to 3 mint leaves.
Recipe by Corey Jernigan.
15. Mr. Pink
In a glass, combine 2 oz. of Banks 5 Rum, ½ oz. lime juice, ¼ oz. Campari, ¼ oz. pineapple juice, ¼ oz. sugar syrup, and 1 oz. egg whites. Dry shake, add 3 cold draft cubes and shake again. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with an edible flower.
Recipe by Kenneth McCoy for The Rum House, NYC
16. Chambord Spritz
Fill a large wine glass with ice. Add 1 ½ oz. Chambord liqueur and 4 oz. dry white wine, and top with soda water.
Recipe by Chambord.
Bring 1 cup water, ½ cup dark brown sugar, and a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and cubed, to a boil. Simmer for two minutes, strain, and set aside to cool. Add 2 oz. London dry gin, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 oz. of the ginger syrup, and 2 oz. fresh carrot juice to a shaker with ice. Shake well, strain into a highball glass over ice, and garnish with thinly sliced tri-color carrots and carrot tops.
Recipe by Bobby Holler, head bartender at Ardyn.
18. Pineapple-Basil Smash
Add 1 ½ oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey, ¼ oz. Chartreuse, 1 oz. fresh pineapple juice, ¾ oz. simple syrup, 3 basil leaves, and ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice to a shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain the mixture into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a pineapple slice and basil leaf.
Recipe by W Fort Lauderdale.
19. The Piwiwi
In a shaker with ice, combine ¾ oz. grapefruit juice, ½ oz. agave syrup, ½ oz. fresh lime juice, 1 oz. tequila blanco, ¾ oz. Ancho Reyes liqueur, a few dried hibiscus leaves, and 1 drop citrus bitters. Strain into a rocks glass with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with a grapefruit slice.
Recipe by W Punta de Mita.
20. Cilantro Paloma
Combine 1 ½ oz. Don Julio Reposado Tequila, 1 ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice, ½ oz. fresh lime juice, ¼ oz. agave syrup, and 10 cilantro leaves in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain the contents into a highball glass rimmed with black lava salt and filled with ice. Garnish with cilantro.
Recipe by mixologist Eric Ribeiro for Don Julio.
21. Buchanan’s Pineapple Cranberry
In a mixing glass, stir 1 ½ oz. Buchanan’s DeLuxe Blended Scotch Whiskey, 3 oz. fresh pineapple juice, and 3 oz. cranberry juice. Pour into a rocks or highball glass filled with ice, and garnish with a cherry pinned to a slice of pineapple.
Recipe by Buchanan’s.
22. The J&T
Add 1 ½ oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label, 1 ½ oz. guava nectar juice, and ¼ oz. lime juice to a balloon glass. Add ice, and stir to chill. Top with 4 oz. tonic, and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Recipe by Carlos Ruiz for Johnnie Walker.
23. Berry Basil
Lightly muddle 1 strawberry and 3 basil leaves in a shaker. Add ¾ oz. Bertoux brandy, ¼ oz. Disaronno, ¼ oz. Creme de Fraise, and some ice. Add ice, shake, and double-strain into a Collins glass. Top with Fever-Tree soda, and garnish with a basil leaf and sliced strawberry.
24. Aperol Sunset
Combine 2 oz. Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila, 1 oz. Aperol, 1 oz. agave syrup, ¾ oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and ½ oz. freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
Recipe by Tres Agaves Tequila.
25. Springtime Spritz
Combine 1 oz. Sugar Island Coconut Rum, 1 oz. pineapple juice, ¾ oz. lemon juice, ¾ oz. Aperol, and ¼ oz. simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling rosé, and garnish with a skewer of pineapple chunks.
26. Springtime Sipper
Layer a few sliced strawberries and ice in a glass. Add 2 oz. raspberry lemonade frozen concentrate (thawed) and 5 oz. Barefoot Moscato. Stir to blend, and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Recipe by Barefoot Wine.
27. A Dozen Roses
Muddle 3 raspberries in a shaker. Add in 1 ½ oz. Hanger 1 Rose Vodka, ½ oz. Lillet Blanc, ¾ oz. lemon juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, and some ice. Shake to combine, double-strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with dried rose petals.
Recipe by Jaime Benson for Center Hub at Trade Food Hall.
28. The Green Mary
In a tall glass, stir 1 oz. Ketel One Vodka, 3 ½ oz. fresh juice made from equal parts celery and cucumber, ½ oz. fresh lime juice, and a pinch each of rock salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried chili flakes. Add ice, and garnish with a salted cucumber slice.
Recipe by Ketel One Vodka.
29. The English Garden
Muddle 4 cucumber slices, 4 half-inch celery slices, 4 mint leaves, and 4 basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 oz. London dry gin, 1 oz. vodka, 1 oz. elderflower liqueur, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, ½ oz. fresh lime juice, 1 egg white, and 5 mg. CBD oil (optional), and dry shake (without ice) for 45 seconds. Add ice to the shaker, then shake for 15 more seconds. Double-strain into a coupe or martini glass, and garnish with a fresh mint leaf bouquet.
Recipe by Bobby Holler, head bartender at Ardyn.
30. The Twisted Bocktail
Combine 1 ¼ oz. Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila, ¾ oz. lemon juice, ½ oz. Cointreau, and ½ oz. simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake, and strain into a highball with ice. Top with Hefeweizen beer, and garnish with a lemon wheel.