It’s time to spring yourself out of hibernation, my friend. A new season is fully blooming and the sun is shining to welcome you back. And let’s be honest… as a bartender, you might not have seen it in a while! Thanks, winter.
With all of that extra sun making our days longer and brighter, it’s the perfect time of year for fresh, floral cocktails that bring an extra layer of warmth to our picnic-having, day-drinking, porch-chilling moments.
This time of year is a time of renewal, sweet floral smells, and lots of spring parties. Weddings, Mother’s Day, baby showers, St. Patrick’s Day… the limit does not exist to colorful celebrations at your bar this season.
Event planners, roll up your sleeves and get ready to get dirty. You’ve got a busy few months ahead of you. Make things easy with a trusted company to handle the alcohol side of things. Hire a real team of experienced bartenders to do it all.
Or maybe you’ve been around for a few patio seasons and are ready for something else. Local Bartending School can breathe some new life into your career behind the bar by bringing you on as an instructor. Not ready for all of that? That’s cool, too.
Here’s some fresh inspiration for spring cocktail recipes.
Herbs and Spices That Belong in Your Spring Cocktail
When you’re not frolicking in the flowers, here are some herbs (and spices!) to experiment with.
Play around with these blossoming spring herbs to create your own signature cocktail and share it with us! Oh, and another word to the wise for my experienced bartenders stuck in a post-winter rut. Local Bartending School can help you bloom to the next level – a teacher at a highly ranked bartending school.
Champagne, Springtime, and Brunch, Oh My!
1. Arugula Gimlet
Did you know arugula is what was originally used for Easter Basket grass? We’re totally lying. April Fools!
Actually, back in the day folks used to mix arugula and gin during springtime to ward off colds. Okay… you caught us again. Let’s just get to the recipe, shall we?
- 2 ounces gin
- .75 ounces fresh lime juice
- .5 ounces simple syrup
- 1 cup arugula
- Lime wheel
- In a cocktail shaker, mix gin, lime juice, and syrup. Add ice, then arugula. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds until the outside of the shaker is very cold. Garnish coupe glass with lime wheel after straining through a fine, mesh sieve.
2. Mezcal Bunny
Courtesy of Recuerdo, this recipe has all the feels of going to see the Easter Bunny. Except it’s not terrifying and it has tequila. Your bar will be hoppin’ when these are being served, that’s for sure.
- 5 ounces mezcal
- 1 ounce cream of coconut
- 1 egg white
- .5 ounce pineapple juice
- Grated coconut
- Cinnamon powder
- Mezcal, cream of coconut, egg white, and pineapple juice should be shaken dry and then again with ice. Pour into a coupe glass and top with grated coconut and cinnamon powder.
Now that it’s patio season, mimosas are a must.
But have you tried using spring flavors in yours? If not, you have to! Your bar guests will be taking so many Boomerangs of your pretty mimosas, they’ll basically be mini-influencers for your cocktails!
Try spring-time fruits in your mimosa like:
- Blood orange
4. Strawberry Basil Gin Jammer
Strawberries are back in season! And it’s about time… no one likes the nasty, hard fruit that comes in during the winter.
I mean those plump, juicy strawberries are just asking to be made into a delicious cocktail if you ask me. Here’s a concoction from CaliGirl Cooking that pairs gin, strawberries, and basil. It’s like a bouquet of spring in your mouth!
- 2 fresh strawberries
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
- 2 ounces gin
- Whole strawberries for garnish
- Muddle the strawberries and basil in a rocks glass. Combine the strawberry jam and gin in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a whole strawberry and basil leaf, if you want.
5. Raspberry Lemon Drop
Do you have a regular who loves lemon drops? Have them try this seasonal spin on a bright, sweet day. Don’t forget the thyme for the garnish, it really brings this spring cocktail home.
Own a bar and have staff members that don’t know how to garnish? Don’t know what a garnish is but you’re ready to start bartending, for real for real? Local Bartending School is a one-stop-shop for bar owners and bartenders for all things training, certifications, and garnishes
- 4 ounces lemon juice about 3 lemons
- 4 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 ounces vodka
- 10 raspberries
- Thyme springs
- In a cocktail shaker, combine honey and warm water. Stir until honey is dissolved. Throw in raspberries. Muddle raspberries. Pour in lemon juice, vodka, and ice cubes. Toss in some herbs, if wanted. Shake. Strain into glass.
The Glitter Guide told us the craziest thing.
In Mexico, Palomas are actually preferred over margaritas. Crazy right? I thought the same thing.
Until I worked at a trendy French bar where brunch was jamming every weekend, all weekend long. Guess what we sold the most? Palomas.
Palomas are the new mimosas. Don’t be caught without this spring cocktail on your drink menu this season….
7. Ruby Red Gimlet
There’s a reason we have a couple of gimlet recipes for spring cocktails. Why? I’m glad you asked!
Gin is really quite a floral drink, made from a bunch of botanicals. Which is why it reminds us of that fresh, fragrant smell of spring we adore. Plus, most gins are made out of juniper berries. And you know our motto – the more the berry-er this time of year.
This recipe from Drizly serves all the spring vibes – flavor, festive color, and an herbal, delicious gin.
- Mint leaves
- 2 ounces gin
- 5 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, Ruby Red
- .5 lime juiced
- .5 ounce simple syrup
- Muddle mint leaves in a shaker. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a chilled coupe. Add a mint leaf for garnish.
8. Green Tea Sangria
Sangria is one of those cocktails that is honestly tasty when it’s hot or cold outside. But this sangria recipe using green tea just screams light jacket weather. We’re thinking April 3rd.
- 1 bottle white wine
- 4 cups water
- 6 bags green tea
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 lemons , sliced
- 20-25 mint leaves
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and add 6 green tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Take tea bags out and add honey. Let tea cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour before mixing with white wine, lemon slices, and fresh mint leaves. Put in the fridge for 2-4 hours and serve.
9. French Twist
The French 75 is over 100 years old! That is definitely old, but this version of the timeless spring cocktail is giving us life.
- 75 parts cognac
- .5 parts orange curacao or triple sec
- .75 parts simple syrup
- .5 parts fresh lemon juice
- 3 parts club soda
- Build all ingredients except soda water into tin. Add ice, shake and strain over fresh cobble or crushed ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wheel and raspberry; add botanicals for pops of color.
Helpful Hint: New to bartending? Here’s a tip to never forget. You’re one step closer to becoming the best-in-show with this one. Never shake anything carbonated in your shaker! Why? Well if you have to ask, you missed out on a key part of growing up.
10. Peach Bellini
Another runner-up for our favorite spring brunch cocktails, meet the Peach Bellini. In college, I was always at the bar when these were on special!
On those warm spring days, suggest one of these sweet treats to cool things down.
- 3 oz. frozen or fresh Sliced Peaches
- 3/4 oz. peach schnapps liqueur
- 4 oz. 1/2 cup champagne, Prosecco
- 1 oz. fresh sour
- 1/2 oz. grenadine syrup
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 3/4 cup ice cubes
- In a blender, combine peaches, schnapps, champagne, fresh sour, grenadine, simple syrup, and ice. Blend until smooth. Serve and garnish with frozen peach slice and mint.
11. Blackberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail
Imagine that you get to pick blackberries for a day instead of serving alcohol to strangers. Ahh, isn’t that lovely? Okay, wake up. Dreams over. You make a living off of tips, just like Bruce Willis used to do.
Grab those blackberries you just picked in your dreams. You’re going to need them for this bubbly recipe full of fizz.
- 1 tablespoon lavender sprig dried or fresh
- 1 cup blackberries fresh or frozen
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup vodka
- 2 750 ml bottles champagne
- Make a boiling mixture of blackberries, maple syrup, and vodka. Mash berries gently after cooking (about 5 minutes). Pour in lavender flowers (remove from stalk, if fresh), and boil for 1 minute. Then remove from heat. Steep for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days in the fridge if you have the time. Pour 1 tablespoon blackberry sauce into each champagne flute, add a stem of fresh lavender, and top with chilled champagne.
12. Strawberry Chamomile Paloma
Plant moms and dads will love this herbal drink. Bring your own chamomile?
- 3/4 water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1-2 chamomile tea bags
- 3 ounces fresh grapefruit juice (about half of 1 grapefruit
- 2-4 tablespoons chamomile honey syrup depending on your taste
- 2 ounces tequila omit to make a virgin version
- 4 fresh strawberries sliced
- Sparkling water for topping off
- Crushed ice
- Syrup: Bring water and honey to a low boil in a small saucepan, simmer for one minute and remove from the heat. Place the teabag in the saucepan, cover, and steep for 5-10 minutes. After steeping, remove tea bag and allow syrup to cool. Keep in the fridge.
- Drinks: Put grapefruit juice, chamomile syrup, tequila, and strawberries in a glass. A muddler will release the juices and gently crush the strawberries. Add ice and then sparkling water to finish. Stir gently. If desired, add more chamomile syrup. Garnish with fresh chamomile flowers and strawberries.
13. Pineapple Dragon Fruit Margarita
This tropical margarita has spring break written all over it.
Even if your bar isn’t exactly a spring break destination, this mix of pineapple and dragon fruit says differently.
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- 2 ounces dragon fruit pulp
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- .75 ounce lime juice
- .25 dry curaçao
- Dragon fruit slices, garnish
- Kosher salt, garnish
- Put salt on a plate. Run a wedge of lime around the edge of the glass. Dip the rim of the glass in salt. In a shaker, macerate dragon fruit with pineapple and lime juice. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the garnish. Then shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. If you prefer a smoother drink, strain twice. Add dragon fruit slices to garnish.
14. Pomegranate Orange Mimosa
Ginger beer is having an affair on mules (now there’s another great spring cocktail that just didn’t quite make the list).
Actually, mimosas and ginger beer are having a spring wedding in this Pomegranate Orange Mimosa recipe. Call the wedding planner!
- 2 ounces champagne
- 1 ounces pomegranate juice
- .5 ounces fresh orange juice
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- Pomegranate seeds and orange slice for garnish
- Chill a flute glass, add Champagne, orange juice, and pomegranate juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and orange slice.
15. Cucumber Kiwi Gimlet
Another gimlet/gin cocktail finishes off our list of spring cocktails. But with cucumber and honey, this one might be our favorite one yet.
- 2 ounces gin
- .5 cucumber, cut
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 ounces kiwi simple syrup
- Rim the glasses with coconut flakes. Add all ingredients to a shaker. Muddle cucumber. With ice, shake. Strain and serve into a coupe or tall thin glass.
Spring in the Season With New Cocktail Recipes
This time of the year screams “new”! There are sprouting flowers popping up out of the dirt, baby bunnies hopping around, so why not whip out fresh cocktail recipes? It’s the perfect time to welcome new beginnings and hopefully new regulars!
Bar owners, are you feeling a little less than optimistic that your staff can make a complicated cocktail recipe? They can! They just might need a little training. Local Bartending School can get your whole team ready to bloom behind the bar. Plus, you’ll get everyone certified along the way.