Springtime is here—and spring means new flavors on your bar. For this season, a lot of the flavors that come to mind are more floral, herbal, and sweet—especially as we ramp up into summer cocktails. You don’t have to switch up your flavors, but it’s a nice touch to emphasize seasonal and local flavors as the budding plants begin to come out of their slumber.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- A few of the time-tested spring flavors in cocktails
- The many ways to incorporate those flavors
- A recipe for a tequila punch
- Making the most of your liquor with infusions
Spring-fresh flavors—what’s in season?
Fruits & Veggies:
- Bitter melon
- Cherimoya—Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to man.”
- Chervil—a lighter parsley, with a slight anise-flavor
- Lime leaf
Or dried flowers of all kinds
So how about a few ways to integrate these flavors in?
Dry Them: Put several sprigs of dill into your oven at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours. When they crumble easily, they’re done.
Freeze Them: Freeze slices of honeydew on wax paper until they become the ice cubes you use in a drink. This “progressive drink” will allow you to change the very dynamic of the drink without diluting flavor.
Garnish Them: Just garnish your drinks with this stuff.
Grill Them: Grilled mango adds a smoky, savory flavor to your drink. Grill them, then puree them.
Infuse Them: Cucumber-infused gin is a stock-item during the spring, as it is always good. Slice a few ‘cukes, add them to your gin of choice, and let them sit. Oh my.
Muddle Them: Smash your raspberries up well in the bottom of a shaker before adding your liquor.
Shake Them: Simply adding some fresh leaves of oregano to a shaker for a margarita will make an entirely new drink.
Smoke Them: If you’ve got a smoker, then get some fennel and apply to your drinks. Enjoy thereafter.
Syrup Them: smash your strawberries and rip your mint up, and combine with a 1:1 water:sugar ratio to make a syrup to use in a number of drinks. Most simple syrups last 2 weeks in the fridge.
Punch Recipe—Ponche de la Muerte:
Seeing as how we don’t give too many of these, it seems about time. This punch is built entirely around the beautiful love affair between the flavors of rose and lemon, with tequila providing the ‘muerte’ in this delicate drink. **If you want to make this as an individual drink, just subtract the water and only top off with a little bit of Champagne after you shake the other ingredients.**
- 1 ½ parts Silver tequila (something a bit more floral) infused with dried rose petals (about 3-4 tablespoons of dried rose petals to ever 2 cups of tequila, let sit for 2-3 days)
- 1 part Lemon juice
- ½ part Agave syrup
- 2 ½ parts rosé sparkling wine
- ½ part cold water
- Lemon twist for garnish in each individual cup