Today is the first day of spring, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a light, frothy cocktail – especially a pastel one! These five cocktail recipes are just the thing for sharing with friends from a fire escape or balcony on a warm spring night, when we can all sense that buds are swelling and sap is rising, and the earth is filled with the promise of summer enticements. So text your friends and get them together to enjoy this special day!
I had planned to make this drink with tequila, until I realized that I didn’t have any. I substituted with gin and it was heavenly! The honey syrup gives just the kiss of sweetness to the gin, and makes the drink deliciously fragrant. There is a Prohibition era cocktail called a Bee’s Knees, which is similar to this, but contains lemon juice instead of lime juice. This is less acidic – in fact it slides down so easily that if America’s Table had an official cocktail, this would be it.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey syrup
- lime for garnish
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice.
- Strain into a glass, and garnish with a wedge of lime.
To make honey syrup:
- Heat ¼ cup of honey with ¼ cup of water in a small saucepan to melt and thin the honey.
- Reserve remaining syrup for additional cocktails.
Green Tea Mojito
- 2/3 cup brewed green tea, cooled
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 6 mint leaves
- 1 individual-sized packet of stevia
- Muddle the lime juice, mint and sugar at the bottom of a tall glass.
- Add ice ¾ of the way up the glass, then add rum and tea and stir.
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces cherry liqueur (I used Leopold Brothers Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, but there are several brands available
- 3 or 4 mint leaves
- ½ teaspoon fine sugar
- 3 fresh pitted cherries, frozen
- Put fresh pitted cherries on skewers and freeze in freezer.
- Put sugar and mint in bottom of glass and muddle to release the flavor of the mint.
- Fill glass with ice and add cherry liqueur and vodka.
- Garnish with frozen cherries and serve. (The frozen cherries keep the drink well chilled.)
Note: if you can find Luxardo maraschino cherries, they will make this a transcendent cocktail. Luxardo cherries look nothing like the bright red, scarily- artificial cherries we usually see. They are dark and sweet and delicious and a drop or two of the syrup from the cherry bottle makes this drink absolutely perfect.
This drink is adapted from Marc Forgione, one of my favorite Tribeca restaurants.
To make a pitcher of Mimosas:
- 2 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 sprig mint
- 1 bottle prosecco, very well chilled
- Several small chunks of rhubarb, uncooked, for garnish.
- Combine rhubarb, sugar and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and cook until rhubarb is broken down, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add mint.
- After several minutes strain the mixture, which should be the consistency of a syrup. Cover and refrigerate until cool.
- Pour one tablespoon of rhubarb syrup into a fluted glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with raw rhubarb. Serve immediately.
Pimm’s Cup No. 1 is a gin-based beverage made in England and has many variations. It is the drink of Wimbledon, so we may be pushing the season a bit, but it has a lower alcohol content than most liquors and tastes like a gently laced iced tea.
- 2 ounces Pimm’s Cup No.1
- 4 ounces ginger ale
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- several slices of unpeeled cucumber
- several twists of lemon peel
- lots of ice
- Muddle the cucumber and lemon peel in a chilled glass.
- Fill glass with ice and add Pimm’s and ginger ale. Garnish with lemon twist.