3 Cocktails to Welcome Meteorological Spring (It’s a real thing!)

There was blue sky for 30 minutes! Quick! Take the fruit outside….

As you may know, out here in the West we have had quite an exceptional winter. Someone told me Tahoe has had 53 feet of snow! I was in Santa Cruz, California last week and saw trees down, rivers where there used to be trails, and crumbling mountainsides. Here in Utah, the story is lots of snow, almost everywhere, all the time.

A snowy spring in the mountains
Snow, snow, snow

Winter is lovely and all that, but I can’t wait for the return of songbirds, flowers, sunshine, and dirt trails. I want to see glacier lilies popping out of the warming hillsides, to go antler scouting on an adventure hike, to fish and run, and mountain bike! We are over the hump, my friends. It turns out March 1 is the first day of meteorological spring, which seems a good enough reason to celebrate.

As is my way, I’ve turned to gin to help out with the festivities. Three fresh, refreshing cocktails with citrus (to remind of us winter) and berries (looking forward to summer).

Gin and Juice (not to be confused with gin and juice)

I found this recipe on Imbibe and made a tweak or two to make it a little less sweet. This drink is juicy and complex and tastes like a glass of sunshine.

2 oz gin (Use a London Dry style gin, rather than something more floral… maraschino liquor is best, I think, with a classic London Dry.)
1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes lavender bitters (I use Crude Bitters “Bitterless Marriage” which are more earthy than plain lavender, and quite delicious. Experiment!)
1 dash grapefruit bitters

In a shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients. Shake to combine, then strain into a glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Toby Cecchini’s Father’s Favorite Gin and Tonic (aka Best Ever G & T)

Another great recipe via Imbibe! This recipe was a revelation. More work than your typical gin and tonic but so delicious. It is tangy and complex from lime oil, rather than juice. Use a good quality tonic to make it sing. I prefer Jack Rudy tonic syrup (to have some control over the sweetness) but Fever Tree and Q Tonic are also great options. I realize that nothing says summer better than a gin and tonic, but really spring is just a prelude to summer…

Carefully wash and dry a fresh, organic, plump lime and slice it in half. Juice it and set aside the juice for another use. Because you need the lime oil from the peel, don’t use one of those hard limes in the back of the refrigerator. Please.

Take the 2 halves of the lime and julienne them with a sharp knife. Add them and 2 1/2 ounces of gin to a shaker or mixing glass.

Muddle the gin and rinds together for a minute or so. You will smell the citrus oil and see translucent lime juice in the mixture.

Fill your glass about 3/4 full with cracked ice. Add tonic syrup and soda water (or tonic water) to about 3/4 full. Strain in the gin/lime mixture, then add in the smashed-up, julienned rinds. Carefully mix it all together. Sip with a fancy straw.

The Clover Club cocktail
The Clover Club

Clover Club

The best-ever article about the Clover Club can be read over on Drinks and Drinking. I love everything about his process for determining the perfect recipe (and then tweaked it a bit, because I like my drinks a little less sweet).

2 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
5 raspberries, plus some for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker (except garnish, of course), without ice. Shake for a few seconds. Add ice and shake again, hard, for about 15 seconds. You want to mash up those raspberries and whip up the egg white. Strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze a lemon peel over the top, and wipe it along the rim of the glass for an extra bit of lemon goodness. Garnish with raspberries, on a toothpick, on the edge or even floating in the foam. So good.

Laurel Hunter

Laurel Hunter

Central Oregon, USA