7 fragrant cocktails inspired by springtime

4th Apr 18 | Lifestyle

Sam Wylie-Harris reveals the vital ingredients and how to mix them up.

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Mixologists are always finding new ways to shake things up – and these delicious infusions contain a fresh harvest of fragrant liqueurs, cordials, bitters and tinctures to make the perfect base for cocktails all ideal for spring.

Want to whip some of these stylish sips up at home? You’ll need the following bar essentials: a blender, Boston shaker, mixing glass, bar spoon, jigger and bags of ice. Then, just choose your ingredients.

With an emphasis on freshness, flora and fauna, here’s how to season your stemware for spring, and create an even grander taste sensation with a special bottle of spirit or sparkling wine…

1. Verde Margarita

Verde Margarita cocktail
(Patrón Tequila/PA)

If you’re thirsty for a few fun and quirky margarita recipes, Patrón Tequila have reintroduced their search for Margarita of the Year. Out of seven globally inspired cocktails, Verde Margarita is currently ranked first – and tequila lovers have until April 15 to cast their vote in the 2018 contest.

Blending the flavours of lime and celery with herbal notes of elderflower, spruced up with Patrón Silver Tequila (£21 for 35cl, Waitrose) and Patrón Citronge Liqueur (£31.75 for 70cl, TheWhiskyExchange.com), here’s  how to make this fresh and vibrant frozen margarita.

Ingredients: 45ml Patrón Silver, 15ml Patrón Citrónge Orange, 100ml elderflower liqueur, 5ml fino sherry, 5ml agave syrup, 1 lime wedge, 1 celery stick, 1 pinch salt. Celery spear and edible flower for garnish. Sugar, Maldon Salt and celery salt for rim.

Method: Rim a highball glass with a mix of sugar, Maldon Salt and celery salt. Combine the cocktail ingredients in a blender with crushed ice and blend until a slushy consistency is achieved. Pour contents from blender into glass. Garnish with a celery spear and edible flower and enjoy before a well-deserved siesta.

 2. Lavender Negroni

Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka cocktail
(Belvedere/PA)

A pretty twist on a negroni, Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka (£38 for 70cl, Sainsbury’s) adds a subtle blush of colour and this lighter, refreshing style is simple to create. Very ‘now’, the floral, zesty sweetness of the vodka is balanced by the Italian bitters and lavender spiked kombucha.

Ingredients: 40ml Belvedere Pink Grapefruit, 20ml Cocchi Americano, 10ml Italian bitter liqueur, 40ml lavender kombucha. Pink grapefruit wedge for garnish.

Method: Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until cold and strain into a rocks glass over a large cube of ice. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

3. Flower Garden

Flower Garden cocktail
(Slate Bar/PA)

The clever folks at The Slate love their craft spirits and have teamed up with local distillery, Aber Falls, to create this delectable infusion made with Aber Falls Violet Liqueur (£19 for 70cl, MasterOfMalt.com), a new addition to their range of whiskies, gins and liqueurs.

Ingredients: 35ml Aber Falls Violet Liqueur, 25ml lemon juice, 10ml gomme syrup, 6 basil leaves, 50ml soda water. Sprig of basil for garnish.

Method: Add the basil leaves to base of a rocks glass or whisky tumbler and gently press with a bar spoon. Fill with cubed ice and add all the other ingredients. Stir, then garnish with a basil sprig alongside sip straws.

4. Tanqueray Citrus Punch

Tanqueray Citrus Punch cocktail
(Claire Menary/PA)

London’s Dalloway Terrace have created a series of colourful cocktails for their Tanqueray No Ten supper clubs (now until June), and we love the little flourishes, such as elderflower foam, on some of the drinks. But what really kept us happy is this fuss-free, punchy concoction with Tanqueray No Ten Gin (£32.50 for 70cl, Waitrose).

Ingredients: 45ml Tanqueray No Ten, 15ml Belsazar White Vermouth, 15ml elderflower cordial, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml cucumber water, soda water. Dill for garnish.

Method: Half fill a shaker with ice. Add the cocktail ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall-stemmed glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of dill.

5. Silent Pool Spring Spritz

Silent Pool Spring Spritz cocktail
(Silent Pool/PA)

Easy-peasy, this marries Silent Pool Gin (£37 for 70cl, Marks & Spencer), a beautifully balanced gin boasting 24 botanicals including rose petals, lavender and pears, with the fizz family – we recommend an English sparkling wine such as Denbies which, like Silent Pool, is made in Surrey and gives a glimpse of an English garden in a glass.

Ingredients: 20ml Silent Pool, 120ml sparkling wine, 3ml chamomile tea, a dash of elderflower cordial, a sugar cube doused with Angostura bitters, lemon peel.

Method: Add the gin, chamomile tea, cordial and sugar cube into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine and squeeze lemon peel over the top.

6. Lychee Geranium Cooler

Lychee Geranium Cooler cocktail
(The Florist/PA)

When it comes to cocktails, floristry and gin masterclasses, The Florist love to experiment with everything Mother Nature has to offer – along with gin, of course.

Made with Jinzu (£35 for 70cl, Morrisons), a Scottish gin inspired by the Far East, the distiller also steeps cherry blossom, yuzu and sake for a distinct floral note. And to enhance the bouquet, William Fox Geranium Syrup (£12 for 75cl, MasterOfMalt.com) offers ‘fragrant geranium deliciousness’. Here’s how to mix it up at home…

Ingredients: 30ml Jinzu, 15ml William Fox Geranium Syrup, 15ml  Briottet Lychee Liqueur, 15ml lemon juice, 2ml Dashfire Bay Leaf bitters, 50ml lychee juice, 50ml peach and grape juice. Viola flower and two bay leaves for garnish.

Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the cocktail ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a high ball glass with cubed ice. Garnish with flower and bay leaves and, if you fancy, tie some straw or twine around the glass.

7. Provence Sunset

Provence Sunset cocktail
(Hush/PA)

A delicate, fragrant drink with subtle notes of red fruits from Luc Belaire Rosé, France (£31, Harvey Nichols), this delectable infusion created by Hush is inspired by the glittering Mediterranean Sea bordering Belaire’s home of Provence.

Ingredients: 30ml vodka, 15ml elderflower cordial, Luc Belaire Rosé layered on top.

Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka and elderflower, shake and double strain onto a chilled martini glass. Layer with Belaire Rosé and garnish with an edible flower.

© Press Association 2018

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