All About Spring Cocktails: A Mixologist's Season Faves

Updated January 5, 2022
Spring cocktail lemon and watermelon drink

Spring is one of the best times for cocktails. As the world emerges from dreary weather and treeless leaves to budding blossoms and newly sprung flowers, cocktails move from heavier drinks and flavors to bright and floral cocktails. Jacques Bezuidenhout, Bartender Ambassador for Tequila Partida, has excellent advice on how to make the best cocktails that reflect the spirit of spring, as he is an expert on using premium spirits and organic products.

La Perla

Shake up Jacques Bezuidenhout's recipe for a sweet and fruity cocktail that sneaks in a surprising ingredient: sherry.

la perla cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Partida reposado
  • 1½ ounces Domecq Manzanilla sherry
  • ¾ ounce Mathilde pear liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, tequila, sherry, and pear liqueur.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon twist.

Black Opal

Don't be fooled by the Guinness in Bezuidenhout's drink; this cocktail is actually light and bright.

black opal cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Partida reposado
  • 1½ ounces Guinness draught
  • ½ ounces tawny port
  • ¼ ounces agave nectar (Cut the agave nectar with equal parts water.)
  • 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, port, agave nectar, and bitters.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Without ice, strain into a rocks glass.
  4. Top off with Guinness.
  5. Garnish with ground cinnamon.

Tequila Cup

Bezuidenhout's drink is the child of the margarita and the Pimm's cup, making it the perfect afternoon spring sipper.

tequila cup cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Partida blanco
  • ¾ ounce Pimm's
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Strawberries, cucumbers, limes, oranges, and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, tequila, and Pimm's.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with fruit and mint sprig.

Lemon Lavender Martini

Enjoy a flowery lemon drop to toast the start of spring.

lemon lavender martini cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vanilla vodka, lemon juice, lavender simple syrup, and orange liqueur.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lavender sprig.

Rosemary Strawberry Fizz

Although the recipe calls for vodka, you can easily use silver tequila, white rum, or gin--whatever boosts your love of spring.

rosemary strawberry fizz cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces strawberry vodka
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Rosemary sprig and strawberry slices to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, strawberry vodka, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with rosemary sprig and strawberry slices.

Fig and Thyme Old-Fashioned

Whiskey isn't just for those dark and cold winter days. When mixed in with an old-fashioned, the bright and sweeter flavors shine without being too cloying.

fig old fashioned cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce fig jam
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Fig slice and thyme sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, bourbon, fig jam, and bitters.
  2. Shake vigorously to chill and mix ingredients.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with fig slice and thyme sprig.

Bramble

The bramble is a classic gin cocktail. Its berry and fizzy flavors herald in spring all on its own.

bramble cocktail with lemon and mint

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce raspberry liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over crushed ice.
  4. Slowly pour in raspberry liqueur, allowing it to sink. Do not mix.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.

Stirring Up Spring Cocktails

Year after year, a group of ingredients continues to be a popular choice for spring cocktails. Those ingredients? Fresh. Bezuidenhout recommends hitting up your local farmer's market and focusing on fresh produce that's in season, such as strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, and apricots.

Consider a few easy flavor pairings once you have your goods in hand. Bezuidenhout recommends strawberries "muddled [with] basil and gin [or] blend up some fresh pineapple pieces to make juice [which] works very well with gin, blanco tequila, and some rums." Add a little heat to your ingredients, including mango, like a spicy margarita or a fruit cooler with a kick.

Don't stop at fresh ingredients; however, your bar cart needs a little love too. While any spirit can be a springtime spirit, don't add two heavy ingredients together. If you can't think of where to start, think of clear spirits, Bezuidenhout suggests focusing on blanco tequila, gin, rum, and vodka, as well as elderflower, a floral liqueur, always comes in handy. Sparkling wine, such as prosecco, also adds a refreshing and flavorful touch.

Bezuidenhout says not to be afraid of messing up, as "great cocktails are the product of trial and error. Throw your ingredients in a glass and give them a try; try a different direction if the first doesn't work." Cocktails aren't an exact science, what you love may not be for someone else, but there's no wrong when it comes to the spring in your heart.

With so many fresh and clean ingredients on hand, Bezuidenhout believes that "less is always best." Stick to quality ingredients and quality produce, but limit yourself to within three or four components, he suggests.

Fresh as a Daisy

Springtime cocktails don't need to be complicated: allow your spirit to chase the juicy, refreshing flavors of fruits, berries, or even vegetables. Consider a fresh Bloody Mary with vegetable-infused vodka and a fresh garnish, or a tart yet juicy martini, with just-picked ingredients. There's no wrong way to highlight those delicious spring flavors.

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All About Spring Cocktails: A Mixologist's Season Faves