It’s springtime, and the air is fresh, the sun is out, and the mood is excellent. Time to relax on the balcony while enjoying a refreshing drink. It’s the time of year when we like to begin dinner parties with a smooth, crowd-friendly list of beverages — perhaps a pitcher of strawberry-basil margaritas, or a pure whiskey sour.
Here are a few more drinks in line that’ll get any party started!
1. Summer Melon Slushies
Stay cool this summer with three refreshing flavors of shaved ice: Watermelon-Lime, Honeydew-Ginger-Mint, and Cantaloupe-Basil.
Simple syrup (recipe, right)
Zest of 2 limes
Juice of 4 limes (about 1/2 cup total)
Two honeydew melons
Simple syrup (recipe, right)
Two tbsp. freshly grated ginger
Four sprigs fresh mint
Simple syrup (recipe, right)
Two large sprigs fresh basil
Directions for simple syrup:
- Remove the skin and seeds from the melon and cut into 2-inch pieces.
- Make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine two tablespoons granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, but don’t stir until the sugar dissolves for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the flavorings (everything but the melon) and let it cool completely. Strain into a small bowl or measuring cup.
- In a blender, puree half the simple syrup mixture and half the melon until smooth. Filter into a metal loaf pan or square pan and repeat with remaining syrup and melon. Put it in the refrigerator, cover and freeze until set, about 8 hours.
- Using a fork, scrape the surface of the melon ice to create large flakes. Transfer it to glasses, top with a splash of soda water, and serve.
2. Glow Water
Water is so much fun with flavor! Be refreshed with this cold drink!
Three cans of seltzer water.
One cucumber, cut into rounds
Three sprigs mint
One lemon, thinly sliced
One peach, sliced
Ginger, skin removed and sliced into rounds
One cinnamon stick
Three strawberries halved
One lime, thinly sliced
Combine seltzer water with the ingredients and stir your ingredients to release more flavor. Refrigerate until ready to drink.
3. Watermelon Bellini
Swap champagne for sparkling cider and you’re good to go.
One cup watermelon, cubed
Champagne or sparkling cider
Put the watermelon in a blender and crush until smooth. Evenly divide the puree between four champagne glasses. Fill the glasses with sparkling cider. You can garnish with a piece of watermelon if desired.
4. Non-Alcoholic Sangria
Because it’s just not a party without sangria.
Fresh lemon slices
Fresh lime slices
Fresh orange slices
Two cups of cranberry juice
Two cups of grape juice
One cup orange juice
½ cup lemon juice
Four cups sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
In a large pitcher, add lemon, lime, orange slices and cranberries. Then, pour cranberry juice, grape juice, orange and lemon juice. Stir well. Refrigerate then add sparkling mineral water before serving. Mix well.
5. Sparkling Limeade
It’s time to switch it up with your usual lemonade. It doesn’t get more refreshing than a cold drink of limeade. This fresh homemade limeade is very easy to make, and it’s naturally sweetened with honey and lime.
One liter club soda or sparkling water, chilled
One cup fresh lime juice
½ cup cold water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup honey
In a pitcher, mix water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour in syrup and mix well. Put in lime juice. Then, pour in club soda or sparkling water and stir once. Add ice and mint for finishing touches.
Cheers for spring and celebrate it with a Bourbini!
One oz. Heaven Hill 6-year bourbon
Two dashes peach bitters
½ oz. Mathilde Peche peach liqueur
Shake your ingredients with ice, strain into a flute, top with sparkling wine, and garnish with mint sprig.
7. Tequila Honeysuckle
When life gives you lemons, grab tequila and salt. Don’t get us wrong—we still love a margarita, but there’s no reason for your tequila journey to end at the salt rim.
Two oz Milagro Blanco Tequila
¾ oz Honey Syrup
¾ Lime Juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake it with ice. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a lime wedge.
8. The Parasol
This lively mix of Lillet, St. Germain and bubbly is made for an afternoon in the shade.
½ oz Lillet Blanc
½ oz St. Germain
½ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water combined)
¾ oz Lemon Juice
Three oz Champagne
Add ice to shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a champagne flute and top with champagne.
9. Le Bleu Glacier
A sophisticated cocktail with the simple classic flavors of berries and vodka.
⅛ cup juice of freshly muddled huckleberries (or blueberries if more readily available)
½ teaspoon organic cane sugar
1 ½ oz Teton Glacier Vodka (or another potato vodka)
Add ice to shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Put all the ingredients in the shaker and shake. Add a dash of vanilla. Garnish with berries.
10. Bee’s Knees
The Bee’s Knees, a sweet, citrus cocktail, lives up to its moniker, and will no doubt leave you buzzing too. This is one to sip when under the thrall of a dark and hazy speakeasy.
2 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz lemonade
1 oz honey-thyme gastrique (see recipe)
Thyme for garnish
In a shaker, mix the gin, lemonade, and gastrique. Add ice and shake until the outside of the cocktail shaker is frosted. Next, strain over a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a thyme sprig.
Honey-Thyme Gastrique recipe
1-quart white vinegar
One large handful fresh thyme
Blend thyme and vinegar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. In another pan, bring honey up to a simmer over medium heat. Slowly pour the syrup into the vinegar and thyme mixture being careful not to add too quickly as it will spill over. Bring the honey-vinegar mix to a boil. Lessen heat to low, and simmer for 12 minutes. Strain the mixture into a container and let cool.
Each of these drinks in this roundup is relatively easy and quick — no fancy infusions or too many types of non alcoholic beverages and alcoholic drinks. Simple, refreshing spring sipping, with flavors of herbs and fruit. After a party, it will leave a ton of mess. To feel relax after a long night, hire a professional house cleaning service for your cleaning needs! Cheers to spring!