Food by VICE

18 Cocktails to Toast to a Warm, Boozy Spring

Good riddance to bad weather.

by Munchies Staff
Mar 27 2018, 6:30pm

Photo by Shay Harrington

Don’t get us wrong, we love hot toddies and mulled wine and bourbon in pretty much everything to keep us warm through the hell that is winter. But it’s officially spring, and we’re raising a glass to warm weather, hanging up our parkas, and reacquainting ourselves with our nearly-forgotten friend—the sun. Summer stakes its claim on tiki drinks and frozen things served with umbrellas, and winter and fall have cider and spices and heavy things to lull you into hibernation. But spring deserves some flowers, herbs, and whatever fruit you can get your hands on—plus some gin, of course. Celebrate the passing of the vernal equinox and the longer days and warmer nights it brings with some of our favorite cocktails that are just begging to be drunk while sitting on your stoop in the sunshine.

Spring has sprung, and so has rhubarb. We kicked up the classic pairing of strawberry and rhubarb with jalapeño and lemon for a mouth-puckering porch pounder that you’ll want to drink by the pitcher.

Shandies are totally a summer drink, we know, but this version—with some herby, spicy flavors from dandelion and burdock soda—will ease you back into your warm weather routine.

Gin season is here! Perfect your Negroni skills with this classic recipe. (Pretty sure you can memorize this one pretty easily, which is all the better for spring and summer sipping.)

Culinary all-star Ayesha Curry is speaking our cocktail language—a spritz with two types of wine, plus some fresh mango for a bright, tangy note with a little texture. Like a tropical sangria. Genius.

This fizzy peach cocktail will tide you over until stone-fruit season is in full swing. It’s a surprisingly easy drink that’ll still make you feel like the fanciest home mixologist around.

Sure, the Kentucky Derby is smack dab in the middle of spring, but honestly, the combination of sweet bourbon, simple syrup, and handfuls of mint also just sort of screams “Drink me on the porch when the weather finally hits 60 degrees,” doesn’t it? Drink these all season long, no fancy hats or seersucker required.

Kentucky’s version of the Arnold Palmer, if you will. The silver-cupped julep’s sloppy little brother.

Plum soju and an excellent single malt Japanese whiskey is a solid start to this julep, but it only gets better with the spearminty, anise-y flavors the muddled shiso leaves bring.

This is barely a recipe, friends. This is a vodka soda with simple syrup and a rosemary sprig in it to make you feel FANCY. And maybe to make you feel like you might be someone who plucked said rosemary from your blossoming little herb garden instead of from the grocery store. Welcome the springtime in style, but, you know, lazily.

This delicious garden-inspired cocktail will remind you why it’s so important to save the bees, but also how much you love gin.

A mint-infused juniper liqueur from Holland, you say? In an old fashioned? Can it get swankier than that?

Wait until it’s true poolside or patio drinking season to go hard with the margaritas, and step into spring with it’s lighter, fruitier cousin, the classic paloma, instead.

This riff on the fabled Last Word combines two aesthetics millennials love—Prohibition-era cocktail lore with a hippie forager twist. (*Ina Garten voice*: If you can’t harvest your own wild elderflowers or yerba santa leaves, store-bought is fine.)

Contrary to every monstrosity of a scorpion bowl you’ve ever had, real curaçao liqueur is clear, not that not-found-in-nature blue, but it does taste like orange. Combine that with white rum, maple-flavored nut milk, and lime juice, and you’ve got a winner of a cocktail.

The best part about making a batch of this limeade is that it tastes just as delicious on it’s own for a non-alcoholic lil’ somethin’-somethin’ to keep in the fridge while the world warms up again.

Think of this cocktail as part of your training regimen for spring and summer—overcome all of your Joy Division-y wintertime doom and gloom with the power of positive thinking, and a lot of alcohol.

A mezcal that’s light on the smokiness is preferred for this not-too-sweet cocktail that’s named for the patron saint of medicinal herbs—and venereal diseases.

This isn’t so much a cocktail as it is a key to sippable spring drinks of all persuasions: Mix it with vodka or gin for your boozy friends, or top it off with seltzer for everyone who thinks La Croix is just a little too subtle.

spring cocktails
mint juleps
cocktails with herbs