All winter long we have been sipping on hot drinks like cocoa, tea, the occasionally spiced cider or a hot toddy. Now that spring has arrived, it is time to get ready for something cool and refreshing! Here are a few of our favorite cocktail and mocktail recipes to help you celebrate spring!
March is the month of St Patrick’s Day, and this is the perfect excuse to drink cocktails, especially green ones. In March, many restaurants feature the Frozen Grasshopper. This cocktail comes with crème de menthe, crème de cacao and vanilla ice cream.
The Frozen Grasshopper
3/4 oz green creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
2 cups vanilla ice cream
Mix all three ingredients together in a blender and blend until the mixture has the consistency of a good milk shake. Serve with a spoon and straw.
If you are not a big fan of drinking something green, you can still have an Irish cocktail by using Whiskey. An Emerald Cocktail, a Manhattan made with Irish whiskey, and orange bitters in place of Angostura will fit the bill. The Emerald is the kind of drink that doesn’t need a dose of green dye to be Shamrock appropriate.
The Emerald Cocktail
2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1-ounce sweet vermouth
Two dashes orange bitters
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir well for 30 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a piece of orange or lemon peel or nothing at all.
If you prefer non-alcoholic cocktails, the trend this spring is to recreate famous alcoholic cocktails but without the alcohol. Serve up any of these mocktails, and we promise no one will be missing the liquor!
The Sparkling Cucumber Limeade
1 cup sugar
One tablespoon lime zest
1 cup water
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup lime juice
One medium English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups sparkling water, chilled
Combine the sugar, lime zest and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, constantly stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the lime syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Combine the syrup with the lime juice and cucumber. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water. Serve over ice. (Source Via http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/sparkling-cucumber-limeade/) .
The Sparkling Lavender Lemonade
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup of simple lavender syrup (bring 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 1 tbsp of dried lavender to a boil; let sugar dissolve and turn off heat; let steep for 10 minutes and then strain the liquid and let chill)
One bottle of dry champagne (for a non-alcoholic version swap champagne for club soda or sparkling water)
Combine simple syrup and lemon juice together and distribute evenly into two champagne glasses along with a little crushed ice. Top off with champagne and garnish with lemon slices and a few lavender springs. (Source Via http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/sparkling-cucumber-limeade/).
The Virgin Ginger Mimosas
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
16 oz sparkling water
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
One clementine, peeled and divided into sliced
Add the ice and orange juice, then top off with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh ginger and clementine slices. (Source Via http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/virgin-ginger-mimosas/).