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Make your own spring cocktails

Arianna Auber

It can be easy to tell what season it is just by reading the ingredients on a bar’s cocktail menu. Hot toddies mean winter; mint juleps and rum-based tiki drinks signify summer.

Now that it’s spring, you’ll see a lot of light cocktails featuring herbs and fruits. Here are three springtime cocktails you can make at home. But if you’re not feeling so crafty, you can also enjoy two of them at the bars that originally made them.

The Lost Pines Bluebonnet Cocktail at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa

1.25 oz. of gin 10 fresh blueberries

1/2 lime, squeezed

1-3 leaves of fresh basil

Add the gin (the bar team at the Hyatt Regency resort recommends using Moody June gin of Bone Spirits Distillery in nearby Smithville) to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the blueberries with fresh-squeezed lime juice and toss in the basil leaves. Then add ice, shake, strain into a martini glass and garnish with the remaining blueberries and basil leaves.

This next cocktail is a bit bigger and boozier than other spring cocktails, but Drink.Well’s Jessica Sanders said it’s fast become a top-seller at the North Loop-area pub.

Bjorn Supremacy at Drink.Well

2 oz. rye whiskey

.5 oz. peach brandy

.5 oz. Baska Snaps Bitter Malort

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir and serve over a large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Speaking of seasonal cocktails, I’ve stumbled across a great little book called “Cocktails for the Four Seasons.” It’s divided into, you guessed it, four sections featuring drinks that pair best with a certain time of the year. The book’s authors, Jenny Park and Teri Lynn Fisher, food bloggers who take gorgeous photos to boot, have compiled easy-to-follow, fairly diverse cocktails for each season. In their spring section, there are a few recipes with grapefruit in them (an under-utilized ingredient I wrote about for a Liquid column), such as the Rosemary-Grapefruit Cooler:

Rosemary-Grapefruit Cooler

16 oz. reposado tequila

8 oz. rosemary simple syrup 3 ruby red grapefruits, juiced (about 1 2/3 cups)

Place the tequila, syrup and grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice (you might have to make this in two batches). Shake for about 1 minute. Add ice to four half-pint glasses and pour the contents of the shaker into each glass until full. Then garnish each cocktail with a sprig of fresh rosemary and serve.

(To get the rosemary simple syrup the recipe calls for, pour 1 cup of sugar and 8 ounces of water into a small saucepan and stir together, placing on medium heat until all sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add 3 sprigs of rosemary, cover and allow to steep for at least 1 hour. Strain and set aside until completely cooled and ready to use.)

What’s your favorite cocktail for lovely springtime weather?