4 refreshing spring cocktails

Spring is in the air – and as long as the warm weather sticks around – we’re in the mood for some delicious, light cocktails.

Here are 4 of our favorites this year:

 

Cucumber Rosemary Gin and Tonic

1 cucumber

1 lime

3 sprigs rosemary

2 oz. Gin

4 oz. tonic water 

Ice

Peel one half of a cucumber, and slice a lime into eight wedges. In a highball glass, add three slices of peeled cucumber, 1 sprig rosemary, juice from a lime wedge and 1 ounce gin. Muddle with the back of a spoon.

Strain through a mesh strainer into a second highball glass. Add several cubes of ice, and three slices of unpeeled cucumber. Top with remaining gin and tonic, and serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.

Thanks to Liz Vidyarthi for this drink!

 

Peach Melba Cooler

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 medium, ripe peach (about 6 ounces)

1/2 pint fresh raspberries (about 6 ounces)

1 bunch fresh lemon thyme (about 30 sprigs), rinsed and woody ends trimmed

1 liter cold club soda

Ice

Bring the sugar and water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the syrup to a small container with a tightfitting lid.

Halve, pit, and cut the peach into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add the peach slices to the syrup and stir to combine. Seal the container and refrigerate until the peach flavor infuses the syrup, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl; discard the peach slices. Add half of the raspberries and half of the thyme sprigs to the bowl. (Set the rest of the raspberries and thyme aside to use as garnishes.) Using a potato masher, briefly smash the raspberries until they release their juices.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large pitcher and pour in the raspberry mixture. Lightly press on the solids with a rubber spatula, then discard the contents of the strainer. Add the club soda and some ice to the pitcher and stir gently with a long spoon until combined.

Thanks to Lisa Lavery for the recipe!

 

Elderflower Champagne

1 small sugar cube

10 dashes angostura bitters

1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur

6 ounces chilled brut sparkling wine

Soak the sugar cube with the bitters and place it in the bottom of a chilled champagne flute. Add the elderflower liqueur, top with the sparkling wine, and serve.

Thanks, Kate Ramos for this drink!

 

Strawberry Basil Margaritas

1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate

10 strawberries (or 12 if you're using smaller ones from the farmer's market or your backyard.)

8 basil leaves

2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila (gold or silver)

Empty the limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cans of water and 1 1/2 (18 ounces, or 2 1/4 cups) cans of tequila (or a bit less, if you don't want your drinks to be quite as strong).

Hull the strawberries, slice lengthwise, and add to the pitcher. Crumple the basil a little in your hands (this will help the basil flavor release into the drink) and add it to the pitcher, too. Place the pitcher, covered, in the fridge overnight, or for at least four hours.

When you remove the pitcher from the fridge, your margaritas will be a lovely pale pink color. Now all you have to do is serve them and wait for the compliments to pour in.

Thank to Nancy Mitchell for the recipe!

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