Spring has sprung, and in celebration of warmer weather and longer days, we're pouring ourselves a refreshing spring-inspired cocktail. From fruity spritzes to zingy tipples, we've rounded up a few of the most seasonally appropriate cocktails to ring in spring...
5 best spring cocktails
Best known for being the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, the mint iulep is like the mojito of the southern United States. It's traditionally served in a rocks glass or, even better, a silver julep cup. As the bourbon is the only liquid in the drink, try to use a high-quality bottle that you know you love.
- 65ml bourbon
- 10 mint leaves
- 12.5ml 2:1 sugar syrup
- Combination of crushed ice and ice cubes
- Shake the bourbon, mint leaves and sugar syrup with ice and strain into a rocks glass or julep cup filled with crushed ice.
- Churn gently with a long-handled spoon and top with more crushed ice.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and serve with a metal straw.
The paloma (Spanish for dove) is a tequila-based cocktail from Mexico that combines pink grapefruit and lime juice for a zingy kick. Fruity and refreshing, it's the perfect spring cocktail for fans of margaritas.
- 50ml tequila blanco
- 10ml agave syrup
- 10ml lime juice
- 60ml pink grapefruit juice
- Soda water
- Sea salt and pink grapefruit wedge for garnish
- Dip the rim of a highball glass in a bowl of water, shake off the excess, then sprinkle salt onto a saucer and dip the glass into that to coat the rim.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all the remaining ingredients minus the soda water.
- Shake until the outside of the shaker feels cold, then strain into your prepared glass.
- Add a few fresh ice cubes and top with soda water to serve.
- Garnish with the wedge of grapefruit.
For an easy breezy springtime cocktail that offers a nice change from the somewhat passé Aperol spritz, it's hard to beat an elderflower spritz. The prosecco and soda water provides fruitiness and effervescence, while the gin's botanicals complement the elderflower's floral notes. Perfect for a pre-dinner aperitivo in the sun.
- 30ml elderflower liqueur
- 15ml gin
- 90ml prosecco
- 30ml soda water
- 3 mint sprigs to garnish
- 1 lemon
- Add elderflower liqueur to a large wine glass
- Add gin, prosecco and soda water
- Add ice, then garnish with mint sprigs and a lemon twist
Rhubarb is an underrated drink ingredient that deserves more love. This fresh twist on the classic Tom Collins cocktail showcases the versatility of the vegetable. It's the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and while the syrup may require a bit of extra time, the result is well worth it.
- 1 stalk rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup total) or 3/4 cup frozen rhubarb chunks
- 120g sugar
- 25ml gin
- 25ml lemon juice
- 50ml prosecco or soda water
- To make the rhubarb syrup: In a small pot, combine the rhubarb and sugar with 175ml water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until slightly thickened and bright pink in colour, about 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool then pour through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press down gently and discard the solids.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine 25ml of the rhubarb simple syrup with the gin and lemon juice.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until completely mixed, about 20 seconds.
- Strain into a highball glass and top with prosecco or soda water.
The French 75 dates to 1915, when an early version was created in at the New York Bar (now Harry's New York Bar) in Paris, by barman Harry MacElhone. It's called a French 75 because the combination of gin, Champagne, lemon juice and sugar was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun. Elegant and zesty, it's one of our all-time favourite spring cocktails.
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar syrup
- 50ml gin
- Lemon zest
- Pour the lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin into a cocktail shaker then fill up with ice.
- Shake well then strain into a champagne flute.
- Top with Champagne
- Swirl gently with a cocktail stirrer then garnish with a strip of lemon zest