There are few things as refreshing after the long dark winter months as a light, fresh (and, on the best days, fruit-filled!) cocktail on a warm spring afternoon.
So, what is a spring cocktail? A spring cocktail is any mixed drink offering up the fruity or floral feelings of spring, gardens, and the upcoming warm weather.
Spring cocktails can range from simple to complex and difficult. One recipe might be simply combining a spirit and a juice, while another might include a long list of ingredients thrown into a shaker and poured over freshly muddled berries and herbs.
The key to a spring cocktail is that no matter what, it makes you think of fresh flowers, delicious fruit, and the lazy days of summer right around the corner.
Whether you are simply adding fruit to Champagne or following complicated cocktail recipes and adding fresh garnishes, we know how important it is to relax in the spring sun with a new cocktail.
If you are new to making cocktails, it can be a bit scary to start out. What is the difference between a champagne cocktail and a bubbly cocktail? How do you know which tequila is best? When should you make a gin cocktail? And what exactly is vermouth?
We know you don’t want to be worrying about these questions on a relaxing spring day. That’s why we went looking for some simple, delicious springtime cocktails that you can make with little-to-no experience and absolutely no stress.
How Can You Adapt Some Popular Cocktails for Spring?
While they can be enjoyed year-round, two of the most popular spring cocktails are the martini and the gin and tonic. Daiquiris are popular as well. Let’s talk about ways you can adapt these classic cocktails to give them a fresh seasonal twist.
Updating the Martini for Spring
A traditional martini has three ingredients: vodka (or gin), vermouth, and an olive.
To update the traditional martini for springtime, consider bringing in some bright fruit flavors or fresh herbs. You could trade in the vermouth for Cherry Brandy and the olive for a fresh cherry, for example, to create a fruity martini.
You could also choose a fruity vodka (we’re thinking blueberry or lemon) and swap the olive for that same fruit.
Updating the Gin and Tonic for Spring
The gin and tonic also has three ingredients: Gin, tonic, and a lime wedge.
To take this classic into the modern era, trade out the traditional gin in the gin and tonic for a fruity version instead. Pink gin is particularly popular these days and will infuse your beverage with a beautiful, bright color.
Add fresh berries to your glass to bring new flavors — our favorite for this concoction is blackberries.
Updating the Strawberry Daiquiri for Spring
Another popular springtime cocktail (that can easily take you right through summer) is the strawberry daiquiri. The simplest daiquiri consists of strawberries, lime juice, simple syrup, and rum.
The slightest variation can offer something new to the classic and will take your drink to a higher level. For example, swapping out the plain rum for a coconut or pineapple rum can make for a different but equally delicious springtime cocktail. You could also pair the strawberry with other berries like blackberries or blueberries for a unique twist.
Our Favorite Spring Cocktail Recipes
Now let’s move on to a few recipes! We know you’ll find something to enjoy on this list of easy spring cocktails, perfect to enjoy on relaxing afternoons. So put on that sundress, pull the patio furniture out of the garage, and let’s mix some drinks!
Our Grapefruit Jalapeño apéritif adds a uniquely citrus kick to this deceptively simple cocktail. The grapefruit offers a bright flavor, while the subtle hint of jalapeño offers an energetic kick.
Serving this cocktail on the rocks with a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice is guaranteed to offer the warmth you have been looking for after the cold winter months.
- 3 oz Grapefruit Jalapeño
- 2 oz Sparkling water
You can serve this cocktail on the rocks for a light, bright sip. Add an optional squeeze of fresh grapefruit to kick it up a notch!
Citrus Flower Haus Spritz
The combination of lemon, orange peel, and elderflower offers up that beautiful California flavor that puts us all in mind of the coming lazy days of summer.
When served in a wine glass for that added wine country feel, this cocktail is perhaps our favorite of the spring cocktail recipes. This straightforward recipe mixes up quickly so you can get to that book waiting on the patio.
- 3 oz Citrus Flower Apéritif
- 2 oz Prosecco
- A splash of sparkling water
Combine all the ingredients, and then serve in a wine glass with ice.
This bubbly drink is perfect for the gardener who can’t wait for their garden to bloom. The added garnish of fresh rosemary adds the ideal touch.
- 3 oz Pomegranate Rosemary Apéritif
- 2 oz Sparkling water
- Sprig of rosemary
The Paloma is another one of our favorite springtime cocktails. Substitute Haus’s unique flavors for the original ingredients in these drinks for some new, fresh possibilities.
- grapefruit wedge
- ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup mescal or tequila (Or, for a kick, our Haus Grapefruit Jalapeño)
- ¼ cup club soda
Using kosher salt and a grapefruit wedge, create a salted rim for your highball glass by dipping the rim of the glass in salt.
Next, combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in your glass. Give it a good mix until the sugar dissolves. Add the mezcal and then stir. Add ice and a splash of club soda to top everything off. Add a grapefruit wedge on the rim of the glass, and you’re good to go.
For a variation on this drink, we also suggest a frozen version. Try using frozen lime or blending in some ice to give your cocktail that beachside feel.
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- Zest from one fresh lime (optional)
- 2 ounces gin (Or Citrus Flower)
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Mix together your simple syrup, lime juice, and gin in a cocktail shaker. Then, drop in some ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosted, about 30 seconds.
Then, strain your mixture into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Add a lime wheel as a garnish.
The subtle addition of elderflower from our Citrus Flower apéritif really makes the lime flavor of the classic Gimlet shine.
Let Your Imagination Run Wild on Your Next Spring Cocktail
If none of these recipes are speaking to you, you can also take your favorite cocktail and add some bright spring flair. Springtime is known for sweet berries and tart citrus flavors, so start there with your inspiration. Throw either one (or both) into a shaker to update your favorite cocktail and give it a seasonal twist.
If your favorite cocktail doesn’t have a fruity feel, perhaps you should add fresh herbs. Pull out some rosemary or mint — bonus points if you’ve grown it yourself. These versatile herbs naturally work with many different cocktails to offer that spring freshness without making your favorite cocktail too sweet. You can muddle them into your drink, smoke them, or infuse your favorite spirit with your favorite herb if you're feeling really adventurous.
Any cocktail is a spring cocktail once you add some fresh fruit or adorn it with a bit of an aromatic fresh herb. The key is to offer that springtime feel of growing gardens and warm outside air after months of being indoors.