Cheers to Spring Cocktails!

Time to freshen up your cocktails, people.  It’s finally springtime.  Now, while I firmly believe that a dirty martini and a dry red wine are always in season…mixed drinks and spirits are most thirst-quenching and satisfying when they celebrate the season.  Here are my fresh takes on spring cocktails.  Cheers, everyone!  Thanks to my good friend and fellow blogger, Rachel of @myroaringacres (Twitter) and @roaringacres (Instagram) for her styling and photography talents!

cocktails spring fling set up

The Spring Fling

This is for those of you who are are on the Moscow Mule train.  No copper mug needed here, although, I suppose it would be pretty great in one of those if you own a couple.  Pick up your favorite brand of ginger beer, (NA or with alcohol, whatever you prefer) I used Bundaberg, and try your hand at infusing vodka.  Not hard, I promise.  For the Spring Fling, add thinly sliced cucumber to a mason jar full of vodka.  At my house we’re usually stocked up with Three Olives.  And just let it hang out in the fridge for at least a day, but a couple days is better.  And you can buy simple syrup, or make it yourself (2-1 parts sugar to water) heat until dissolved.  This drink, to me, is an excellent candidate for a happy hour at home.  Slap together a nice looking cheese plate and you’re in business.

Spring Fling

1 tsp. simple syrup + 2 pinches of fresh mint, muddled together with a wooden spoon

Equal parts cucumber infused vodka and ginger beer

Add ice and garnish with fresh cucumber slices (I toss in a couple that have been sitting in the vodka)

 The Tulip

Limoncello is another thing I always have in my liquor cabinet (or freezer).  I only buy Caravella, everything else is too sweet for my taste.  And when I saw a basket of blood oranges at the grocery store the other day, I knew that would be just the “sweet” to the “tart” I was looking for.  Make this pretty spritzer for book club night and your friends will forgive you for not actually having read the book.   

cocktails blood orange

Tulip Spritzer

3 oz. vodka

2 oz. limoncello

Splash of Martini & Rossi Bianco (a light, lemon/sweet vermouth)

The juice of half of a blood orange

Shake in a cocktail shaker full of ice to chill, finish with a generous pour of San Pellegrino Blood Orange sparkling fruit beverage, or sparkling water if you’d rather it less sweet.  Garnish with a slice of blood orange.

The Samoa-Tini

This one’s for you moms who’ve been hocking Girl Scout cookies for weeks, stationed at the grocery store, going door to door, and calling in favors.  You deserve this.  This one is also for those of you who occasionally make the choice to “drink your calories” some days.  No judgment here.  The Samoa is by far my favorite of the varieties sold by those cute little devils…I mean scouts.  Did my best to recreate that decadent flavor.  This one is best done in batches, because you’ll be using a blender.

1 part Disaronno (Italian liquor)

1 part Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

2 parts Smirnoff Kissed Caramel flavored vodka

Splash of Half & Half

Blend above ingredients in a blender, along with ice, until you reach desired consistency

Rim your cocktail glass with Smuckers Salted Caramel Topping then coat with toasted coconut (bake sweetened coconut flakes at 350* until golden brown).  Finish with a chocolate drizzle in a pattern like the cookie.

I’m always up for suggestions.  What are you shaking, stirring and pouring these days?  #toast

 

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Berry Boozy Arnold Palmer

Cheftovers is expanding into cocktails!  And if this first one is any indication of what I’ve got shaking and stirring around in my little head, happy hour is gonna be great this summer. 

Who doesn’t love an ice cold Arnold Palmer in the summer?  For those unfamiliar, this traditional summer drink is a half-and-half mix of iced tea and lemonade.  Cool and refreshing, it’s one of my favorites.  So I decided to give it a new twist and turn it into a “cooler.”  In summers past, I’ve been introduced to a few varieties of iced tea vodkas, Firefly Vodka is my pick.

Firefly-vodka

Now this wouldn’t be a Cheftovers cocktail without a leftovers element.  I like a little splash of fruit in both my lemonade and my iced tea.  And it just so happens that I had a boat load of frozen berries in my freezer.

frozen-blackberries

I like to toss them in there when I get BOGO pints or when they’re getting too ripe.  Don’t toss ’em, freeze ’em!  I thought I’d substitute frozen cubes of fruit for ice cubes, so as not to water down the drink and add that subtle fruit flavor I was after.

frozen-raspberries

I tossed what I found in the freezer, (a mix of blackberries, strawberries and raspberries) into the blender, then added about a tablespoon of honey, some water, a squeeze of lemon juice from a single wedge, and a generous splash (like a 1/4 cup) of limoncello (an Italian lemon flavored liqueur).

blended-frozen-fruit

I blended it until smooth, then poured the mixture into ice cube trays to freeze.

berry-ice-cubes

When those were good to go, it was time to bust out the shaker.  Staying true to the original Arnold Palmer recipe, I mixed one part Firefly sweet tea vodka with one part lemonade, added some ice cubes to the shaker and did the “it’s almost happy hour” dance to shake it all up and chill the mixture.

berry-ice-cubes

I poured the iced tea vodka/lemonade over the berry ice cubes, and garnished it with a sprig of mint for a classy touch.  Cheers!

For another (and less sweet) take on this drink, try lemon flavored vodka (like Absolut Citron), and unsweetened ice tea.  What are you mixing up for your patio parties?