The changing of seasons always makes us thirsty. As do Mondays, busy days, slow days, all phases of the moon, weather of any sort and food. So, maybe we just like drinking. At any rate, this seemed as good of an excuse as any to jump behind the bar and share three different cocktails that all boast a lot of freshness to celebrate Spring. Or Wednesday. Whatever.
First up is this light and refreshing concoction with champagne, elderflower liqueur, cucumber and mint. Thankfully, it couldn’t be simpler, so even those with zero bartending skills can whip this out and impress a fancy crowd.
Throw some ice in a lowball glass, pour what looks like a socially acceptable amount of bubbly in there, top off with elderflower liqueur (St. Germaine is a staple, but we opted to try an organic version here) and then toss in a few cucumber slices, some mint and give it a stir. The champagne may make it seem fussy, but the cocktail is actually quite refreshing, perfect for pairing with a meal, or you can enjoy the delicate flavor on its own.
Next on the docket is a springy twist on a cocktail staple in the 6D repertoire. A quick bourbon and ginger ale is our zingy happy hour go-to, but the addition of muddled strawberries and basil makes it more special and seasonal.
Start with a highball, toss in 3 or 4 ripe strawberries and give them a good crushing. (Nothing personal strawberries, and I promise it’s for a good cause.) Then add ice and bourbon (we used 2oz. of Bulleit). Add the ginger ale to taste (less if you like this one beefy, more if you’re just looking for a little afternoon pick-me-up), and then top with basil. The result? A little sweet, a little spice, a little heat, and a little snack at the end. Boozy strawberries are the best.
And finally, a rum concoction that will have you magically transported to Hawaii. Because that’s where we got the rum. And the idea. And this drink is best enjoyed beachside, because it’s essentially a papaya mojito.
Plop a single sugar cube at the bottom of a highball. Pour some papaya juice over the top (an ounce or two, depending on your taste), toss in your mint and then muddle them together to meld the flavors. Pour in 2 oz of rum (light, spiced or dark, it’s up to you – we liked spiced) and then get fizzy and top it off with club soda. (I always add a splash more juice at this point, too, mostly because it helps complete the illusion that I’m back in Hawaii. Just go with it.) Give it a stir, then garnish with more mint, a squeeze of lime and enjoy.