I'm Elyse. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories are around a table with friends and family, and I want that for you, too.
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3 Delicious & Easy Cocktails for Spring
If you are like me, this year+ long quarantine has drastically impacted the amount of time you spend outdoors; making sun sightings a rarity instead of an everyday occurrence. However, I’ve noticed that even a little bit of sunlight can positively affect my mood. So, this spring I’m going to try and take more masked walks and sip more cocktails safely on my stoop. (I am nothing if not the epitome of balance.) I’ve created three easy spring cocktails that are bright and endlessly sippable—perfect for enjoying with that added hour of sunlight after work.
Spring in Moscow: My twist on the classic Moscow Mule. This vodka-based cocktail uses ginger liqueur and a big scoop of lime sherbet to create a deliciously boozy float.
Blackberry Basil Smash: When you see the word ‘smash’ in a cocktail, you can be certain simple syrup and lemon are involved. This gin-based drink adds blackberry and basil to the party for a sweet, tart, and slightly herbaceous cocktail, perfect for spring days. A quick tip: If gin isn’t your thing, I’ve made this with vodka instead to great results.
Pink Peppercorn Punch: Okay, hear me out. Pink peppercorns rule! They are spicy and just a wee bit floral, and pair perfectly with sweet rosé, elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit soda. Beware, while this is the sweetest shade of pink and very easy to sip, it has a fairly high alcohol content.
Spring in Moscow
While ginger liqueur isn’t usually listed as a bar staple, I get so much use out of my bottle. I use it in classic ginger cocktails like the Moscow Mule as well as drinks like a Bee’s Knees to add a gingery twist. I have been able to find ginger liqueur (I use the Domaine de Canton brand) at both BevMo and Total Wine.
In an ice-filled shaker, add vodka, ginger liqueur, and lime juice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a fresh glass and add the ginger beer.
Top with lime sherbert, stir gently, and enjoy!
Blackberry Basil Smash
I get that gin might not be everyone’s first choice, but I have such a weak spot for it. Because of the floral almost piney taste, it pairs perfectly with citrus and herbs. “Smash” cocktails are some of my favorites to play around with, because as long as the bones stay the same (the booze, citrus, and syrup) you can toss anything in there and, chances are, it will taste delicious.
In a shaker, muddle the blackberries and basil with the simple syrup, until the berries are broken up and ‘juicy’.
Add the lemon juice, gin, and ice to the shaker, and shake until cold.
Strain into a glass with fresh ice (the blackberries will try and get in the way of straining, so I recommend using a fine-mesh strainer instead of the built-in shaker strainer.)
Top with club soda.
Pink Peppercorn Punch
When I think of a boozy punch, my brain immediately goes to bad college parties, where the concoction was either insanely sweet or bordering on the undrinkable (or both). But, we’ve lived and learned. In this punch, you taste the rosé as well as the sweet grapefruit soda, but what’s left on your palate is a surprisingly spicy kick of pink peppercorn. It is a wholly unique experience that I can’t get enough of. Because peppercorns can vary in intensity and everyone’s palate is different, I recommend starting with 2oz of the syrup, taste test, and add more based on your preference. I found 3-3.5oz perfect to get the taste across without it being too overpowering. Also, no judgment if peppercorns sound a touch too “out there”, plain simple syrup works great in this too!
Chopped fruit like strawberries and nectarines (optional)
For the pink peppercorn syrup:
1/2C granulated sugar
1T pink peppercorns
Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and peppercorns over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Take off the heat and use the back of a spoon to crack a couple of peppercorns. Let sit for 20 minutes to steep and cool. Strain out the peppercorns and set aside.
Make the cocktail: In a pitcher, combine the gin, elderflower, and pink peppercorn syrup.
Add the rosé and stir until combined. Top with grapefruit soda and stir. Add some chopped-up fruit if desired and stir.