An Instagram mixologist’s guide to creative cocktails for ringing in spring
In a season as vibrant and flourishing as spring, there is no time for anything mundane—especially not in the cocktail department. Whether preparing beverages for yourself or serving to loved ones, Instagram mixologist Katherine Roberts attests that creative cocktails can add just the right touch to any celebration.
“In the early days of staying at home, I quickly grew tired of making the same recipes on repeat, so I decided to get creative,” says Roberts. “With so many different cocktails, and so many different ways to make and present them, the possibilities are truly endless! There is nothing more rewarding than when someone takes the first sip of a cocktail you’ve created and their face lights up with delight at your special creation.”
With warmer days ahead, Roberts looks forward to the upcoming seasons with the quintessential flavors and scents including strawberries, garden roses and mint combined with liqueurs and vermouth for dimension and flavor. “When I think of spring cocktails, I think of light refreshing beverages with delicate flavors and beautiful garnishes,” says Roberts. “In the warmer months, we see so many wonderful fruits, flowers and herbs coming to life, which are great additions to cocktails.”
If you’re not into experimenting on your own, the extensive community of Instagram cocktail makers is sure to offer plenty of inspiration. “There are so many incredibly talented people who are making creative cocktails and sharing their recipes on social media,” Roberts notes.
And when it comes to ingredients, fresher is always better. Roberts advises using ingredients that are both local and in season for the best results. For spring, she is utilizing the hibiscus flowers of south Louisiana to infuse spirits and syrups.
“A cocktail will always taste a million times better with fresh-squeezed juice instead of store-bought, and spring is the perfect time to plant an herb garden both for cooking and cocktail making,” says Roberts. “Herb- and flower-infused simple syrups are great additions to simple liqueur-based spritzes, which are the perfect warm weather cocktails.”
Roberts assures us that there is no wrong way to garnish a cocktail. A great presentation just requires time and little bit of fun, she says.
“You will want to consider the color and flavor of what you are serving when creating the perfect garnish,” says Roberts. “A sprig of mint adds a pop of color and is a fragrant addition to a frozen grapefruit margarita. A sugar rim balances the tart flavor of a lemon drop martini. You can also freeze edible flower petals, like roses, and herbs, such as mint, in ice cubes to create colorful additions to your cocktail that will surprise and delight your friends.”
And who can forget the glassware? It is impossible to understate the importance of an amazing vessel to take your creation to the next level.
“Fun and interesting glassware is a great way to take your cocktails to the next level,” adds Roberts. “A classic daiquiri feels significantly fancier in a gold-plated bamboo glass than a plain rocks glass. Some of my favorite pieces in my growing glassware collection are my jellyfish martini glasses, skull tumblers, vintage spiked Nick & Nora glasses, and my white ceramic shark cup.”
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh blood orange juice
½ oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 egg white
Blood orange slice for garnish
Combine gin, blood orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup and egg white in a shaker without ice. Shake it like a Polaroid picture (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add ice and then shake it like a salt shaker (about 2 minutes). Strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a blood orange slice and a few white snapdragon flowers.
No Basil Mintini
4 to 5 mint leaves
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
1 ½ oz. Seedlip Garden 108 (or 1 oz. cucumber vodka)
2 oz. vodka
Mint sprig and edible flowers for garnish
Place mint leaves and lime juice in a shaker, and gently muddle to allow mint to release its oils and fragrance. Add simple syrup, Garden 108, vodka and ice, and shake briefly. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a mint sprig and dianthus flowers.