Spruce Up Your Restaurant with Refreshing Spring Cocktails
Spring is upon us, finally! Every year, we’re inspired by warm weather to make changes in our lives, be they big or small. We’re also keen on welcoming the arrival of the new season by celebrating, whether through an open-air BBQ party with friends or a lazy weekend spent on the porch sipping on some refreshing spring cocktails.
If you’re a bar or restaurant owner, spring is a wonderful opportunity to revitalize your menu to include new foods and drinks inspired by the sunny weather, blossoming trees, and fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Statistically speaking, customers are likely to be attracted to new, seasonal menu items, whether they’re related to a particular holiday like Mother’s Day, Easter, or the beginning of a season like spring or summer. It would be wise to seize the opportunity to capitalize on these events to attract new customers and leave a lasting impression.
With fresh floral notes, springtime offers a wide range of possibilities when it comes to both food and drinks, but we’ll be focusing on drinks – alcoholic spring drinks, to be exact. Spring cocktails should reflect the change of seasons. This means you can get really creative with light and refreshing mixology endeavors.
Planning your Spring Cocktail Menu
Before we share our cocktail ideas for spring, it’s important to do some planning. The best spring cocktails – or any cocktails, for that matter – are made with fresh ingredients, particularly when those ingredients include fruits or vegetables. That’s why it’s important to source your produce locally and choose fruits and vegetables that are in peak season, as much as possible.
Local produce suppliers such as Valley View can help you with that. Valley View Produce is a family-run, trusted food wholesaler that sources peak quality fruits and vegetables from local farms and delivers them all across the Tri-State area.
Going back to your menu planning, it should come as no surprise that the most popular spring cocktails include fruits (or less frequently, vegetables), either fresh, juiced or made into syrups.
Fruity flavors are a staple of springtime foods and drinks, and alcoholic cocktails are by no means an exception. Many cocktails are also garnished with fruit bits – think citrus wedges or peels, skewered berries and such – which contribute to the presentation of the drinks and add an extra kick of freshness.
The ideal time to include fresh produce in your cocktail selection would be during the first days of spring. Some of our recommended seasonal fruits for spring favorites include apples, bananas, cherries, oranges, mangoes, pineapples or watermelon.
When it comes to the types of alcohol, your safest bet is to opt for distilled drinks, such as gin, tequila, rum, or whiskey. These combinations work really well with fruit juices and syrups. Fruit liqueurs such as triple sec (orange), St Germain (elderflower), or peach schnaps are perfectly suited for springtime cocktails and make excellent bases for cocktails.
Fizzy or “bubbly” cocktails with the addition of champagne, prosecco, or simple club soda, are also a huge crowd-pleaser during the warmer seasons. Fizziness seems to be the best hidden secret to making any cocktail cool and refreshing.
Now that we’ve gone over the most important aspects of planning your menu selection for spring drinks, it’s time for some spring cocktail menu ideas. Note that our suggestions include several twists on classic spring cocktails, as well as some surprisingly delightful new combos that are perfect for brunches or parties.
Some Refreshing Cocktail Ideas for Spring
Cherry Blossom Cocktail
Cherry blossoms are nature’s beautifully symbolic way of saying spring is here to stay. They bring back life and color into our grey cities and fill our streets with pretty flowers and sweet scents. In Japan they are celebrated with a full-blown festival, where people come to engage in a centuries-old spring ritual of hanami, or flower-viewing.
The blossoming of cherry trees marks another important event in Japan, namely rice-planting. This is important for us because, as it happens, Sake is a Japanese spirit made from fermented rice. The base for the Cherry Blossom cocktail is therefore none other than Sake.
This Japanese-inspired cocktail is not the easiest one to make on our list, but it’s certainly special and guaranteed to be a huge hit on your cocktail menu. Besides the subtly sweet flavor of Sake, the mix includes gin, cherry liquor, orange liquor, lemon juice and grenadine.
The result is a gorgeous, crisp, refreshing cocktail with a floral finish. Click here for the full ingredient list and instructions.
Frozen Piña Colada
Who doesn’t love an authentic tropical treat like the Piña Colada? This mix originated in Puerto Rico and is a classic spring summer cocktail for good reasons. The sweet flavor and velvety texture are a refreshing treat for the senses.
The Frozen Piña Colada combines white rum, frozen pineapple (you can buy it fresh and freeze or buy it frozen), pineapple juice, cream of coconut, fresh pineapple for garnish and lots and lots of ice. For the virgin (non-alcoholic) version you can simply take out the rum. Check out this article for the complete recipe and instructions.
Lavender and Lemon Sparkler
Many spring concoctions will inevitably be gorgeous. When you combine colorful ingredients, flavorful spirits with fresh fruits and juices, the results will not only be tasty but also a real treat for the eyes. This is the case for the delicate Lavender and Lemon Sparkler.
This spring cocktail is very easy to make. The only thing you’ll need to prep in advance is the lemon simple syrup laced with lavender (which you can make and store in the fridge for months and will come in handy for many other cocktails). Besides that, you need to add vodka, honey and soda water. For more info on this recipe, click here.
The margarita cocktail is a classic, there’s no question about it. In its original form, made from orange liqueur (triple sec), tequila and lime juice, it boasts a fresh, crisp taste perfect for spring. But just like any other classic, it invites us to imagine how we can reinvent to make it even more flavorful.
This Strawberry Margarita puts the simple margarita to shame. Made with a few ingredients, like some freshly pureed strawberries, lime juice and sugar, is super delicious! For the finishing touches, add some salt to the rim and a lime wedge to garnish. Check out this article for additional information.
Floral Old Fashioned
Surely not many people would associate an Old Fashioned with springtime cocktails, and they would be right. However, it turns out that you can indeed add a touch of freshness to this cocktail and turn it into a delicate spring drink while preserving its original smoky finish.
The secret lies in the chamomile syrup. Yup, that’s right, you can make a simple syrup out of dried chamomile flowers (and store it safely in the fridge, just like many other fruit or plant – based syrups). Once you have that, you only need single-malt Scotch, some Angostura bitters and optionally, a lemon twist for garnish. For the full recipe, visit this page.
Say goodbye to winter and say hello to Spring. Enjoy our tips and recipes to wow your guests with flavors from the tastiest and freshest selection of in-season produce added to your spring cocktail menus.