It’s springtime, that blessed time of year when you can crack your frozen joints, peel off your artfully layered tee-thermal-sweatshirt combo, and ice your drinks without shuddering at the chill. In any other year, on any other planet, spring would also mark the great de-winterizing of the bar and restaurant patios—benches pulled out of storage, umbrellas unfurled, ashtrays placed on picnic tables, and cocktail menus retooled to match the coming-alive world.
But this is this year, on this planet, with all this happening, so much of your springtime drinking will likely happen in the confines of your home (and your backyard, if you’re lucky enough to have one). That’s fine. No reason to not mix up something for yourself that reflects the season. Think sour citrus drinks to keep you cool as warmth spreads on the air, bubbly drinks to match your higher spirits, and bright colors, like the landscape waking up around you.
After the elegant comfort of winter cocktails, and before the unabashed party spirit of summer cocktails, these are 05 classic springtime cocktails for making at home as you unthaw
Let’s start simple. Dead simple. Two ingredients make for a refreshing as all hell drink with a tart kick.
• 2 oz. vodka
• 4 oz. grapefruit juice
Add vodka and grapefuit juice to a glass over ice. Stir until mixed.
Use the season’s fresh produce to steep red wine and brandy with flavor. Sip until the pitcher’s sipped dry.
• 1 bottle red table wine
• 1/2 c. brandy
• 1/2 c. orange juice
• 1/2 c. pomegranate juice
• 2 c. sparkling water
• 1/4 c. simple syrup
• orange slices
• apple slices
• pomegranate seeds
Stir all of the ingredients together in a pitcher. Put the pitcher in the refrigerator and let stand overnight. Pour sangria into glasses. Garnish with an orange wedge.
The simplest, and oftentimes most satisfying, of rum drinks.
• 2 oz. white rum
• 1/2 tsp. superfine sugar
• 1/2 oz. lime juice
Squeeze the lime into your shaker, stir in the sugar, and then add the rum. Shake well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This Brazilian take on the Mojito calls for a funkier, earthier rum alternative that provides plenty of depth.
• 2 oz. cachaça
• 1/2 lime
• 2 tsp. sugar
Slice the lime into 1/2-inch rounds, cube them, and muddle them in an Old-Fashioned glass with the sugar. Add a couple of ice cubes. Pour in the cachaça. Serve with a stirring rod.
All the reason you need to invest in fresh mint and a muddler (the back of a spoon will work just fine, too).
• 2 oz. white rum
• 1/2 oz. lime juice (squeezed fresh)
• 1 tsp. superfine sugar
• 3 mint leaves
• club soda or seltzer
In a smallish Collins glass, muddle lime juice with 1/2 to 1 tsp. superfine sugar. Add the mint leaves, mushing them against the side of the glass. Fill glass 2/3 with cracked ice and pour in the rum. Pitch in the squeezed-out lime shell and top off with club soda or seltzer.