Now that temperatures are starting to rise, you probably don't need an excuse to head outside as often as possible, and that might include more entertaining. It's always nice to gather with friends and loved ones to share good food and drinks, but taking the party al fresco is a welcome change that spring affords. And speaking of eating and drinking, why not put another seasonal twist on your spring soirée by way of the beverages you offer your guests? You don't even have to be a mixologist to whip up some of the best spring cocktails that will have your party's attendees begging you for your secrets — little do they know how simple they were to create.
Next time you find yourself throwing a dinner party, besides lightening up your menu with some seasonally inspired dishes and having a few spring wines on hand, you can amp up your hostess game by crafting some impressive cocktails that go perfectly with the warmer weather and fresh flavors that tend to just taste better this time of year.
And while it's always helpful to have a few bar essentials at the ready when you're having guests over, some of the tastiest cocktails for spring require less effort than you probably think. To prove the point, San Diego-based "home mixologist" and The Social Sipper blogger Carolyn Pascual has offered up five creative concoctions that are perfect to sip with your friends this season and are deceptively simple to make. Ahead, find a few to try at your next dinner party.
Aperol spritzes have been a popular drink in Italy for some time now, but in recent years Americans have fallen for this refreshing beverage. And if you're not a fan of the flavor of Aperol, use the drink's simple formula to create a customized version. "Use about a 3-2-1 ratio of sparkling wine, liqueur, and soda. Limoncello, Lillet, elderflower liqueur, and Cynar are all great options for the liqueur element," suggests Pascual, who also mentions that creating a DIY spritz bar is a fun option for your next party. Just have your choice of liquor, soda, garnishes, and your favorite type of bubbles to top off.
This combo of gin, fresh grapefruit, elderflower, and lemon works beautifully together for a tart, floral, and citrusy cocktail. And Pascual even has a few pro tips to make this drink even more conducive to serving a crowd. "Make a big batch before your guests arrive and use frozen berries to upgrade your presentation and keep your cocktail chilled," she offers. "You can serve your Pamplemousse straight up in a coupe glass, but it’s also great over ice with a splash of Champagne."
For a tropical vibe, try this rum-spiked drink that also includes Campari, pineapple, lime, and simple syrup — all of which are easy to find at an grocery store. And if Campari is too bitter for your liking, take Pascual's advice and switch it up with Aperol, which will sweeten things up.
Think of a Sgroppino as a "classy, Italian adult slushy," as Pascual puts it. This drink combines lemon sorbet with vodka and Prosecco, and though it's most often served after a meal, the mixologist suggests whipping these up for your next brunch bash, in lieu of mimosas.
Another drink that's easy to make in batches, the Whiskey Smash is a blend of whiskey, fresh mint, lemon and simple syrup, and Pascual argues that even non-whiskey lovers will be converted after a few sips (though she adds that you can switch up the booze to anything else you prefer). To make it, she instructs, "Muddle fresh mint and lemon wedges in a punch bowl or pitcher, add simple syrup and whiskey, and serve over ice with a fresh mint sprig as garnish." Simple as that.