Put A Spring In Your Sip
As many of you may not know, I started my career in writing as a columnist who exclusively wrote about cocktails. Shocking... I know. So when we were sitting around our planning meeting for this spring edition, the idea came up that we should feature fun, flirty spring drinks from some of our favorite dining establishments. As opposed to assigning this project out, I decided that I would take on the column for one last hurrah, so to speak. So here it is, my top five cocktails for the spring season.
FIVE: Clear Conscience
Ginger, lemon and mint—oh my! This fabulous brew makes for an unforgettable taste that truly quenches all your senses and it’s surprisingly simple to make. First you will need to add ice to your favorite kitchen utensil—the SHAKER! Add your favorite type of vodka, a splash of nectar, three full mint leaves and the juice of one lemon. Muddling the mint is recommended to make sure you get the full-flavored effect. Once all the ingredients are assembled, shake thoroughly and strain the mixture into a frosted highball glass. Top the cocktail off with ginger beer and garnish with a mint leaf and lemon zest. I recommend pairing this drink with grilled salmon and a spinach salad. It surely will not disappoint.
Max’s Bistro & Bar: Black Rose
If you are looking for a twist on the standard gin and tonic, then make sure to stop by Max’s and sample this premier beverage. You will want to combine rosemary-infused blackberry simple syrup with fresh blackberries. Max’s makes their own fresh syrup. Muddle the two together in a shaker. Add about two ounces of your favorite gin and shake vigorously. Grab a highball glass and strain the liquid over ice. Top off the elixir with soda water or tonic (completely your preference). Garnish the beverage with a fresh sprig of rosemary and then sit back and let the party begin! Just a word to the wise: if you are not a typical gin drinker, this cocktail may hit you a little harder than your normal beverage. The rich rosemary and blueberry flavor mask any trace of alcohol—but have no fear! This will quickly become a new seasonal favorite in your beverage repertoire.
Yosemite Ranch: Melon-tini
Refreshing is the best way to describe this martini. This cool concoction is made from all fresh ingredients: muddled cucumber, strawberries and mint. The contents are then combined with Grey Goose Le Melon Vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and housemade lime sour. To serve, you will need to shake and double strain the cocktail into a frosty martini glass. If you’re looking for a cocktail to serve at your next dinner party, I suggest you stop by Yosemite Ranch and take note on how the staff makes this magical elixir. I suggest pairing this ‘tini with a summer salad and grilled chicken breast. The flavors are rich but not overpowering, meaning this drink can go from spring to summer seamlessly.
The Standard: Spring Sunset
Very seldom do I associate whiskey with spring... but boy was I proven wrong! This drink will be very popular among the ladies who tend to enjoy a sweet treat on a Friday afternoon. Here is what you will need: one large strawberry cut in half, two ginger cubes (about the size of a typical sugar cube), Crown Royal Apple Whiskey, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, soda water and Sprite. Muddle the strawberry, ginger cubes, simple syrup and lime juice together in a glass. You will then add the Crown Royal Apple Whiskey and shake for approximately 15 seconds. Double strain the liquid into a glass and add a splash of soda water and Sprite. Garnish the beverage with a slice of strawberry and lime wedge. This sugary sweet cocktail leaves no trace of alcohol so remember—pace yourself! It’d be easy to have three without even realizing you are drinking.
The Lime Lite: Orange-Pomegranate Martini
Some things just taste better as a full-bodied experience. If you are looking for something smooth and extraordinary, then you will want to try this cocktail on for size—and it’s surprisingly easy to make. Begin by pouring the following ingredients into a cocktail shaker: fresh juice from two oranges, juice from half a lime, two ounces of pomegranate liqueur and approximately four ounces of vodka. You will want to add ice and gently shake. Strain the contents into two martini glasses and top each off with a splash of lemon-lime soda. If you desire, you can garnish the drink with a slice of orange. This drink is sure to impress even the most discerning of guests. Try serving this cocktail with a fresh spinach salad topped with grilled shrimp.
Story David Manning
Photography Eddie Melikian