By Jennifer Buggica, Foodable Contributor
Where did the time go this year? If you've been experiencing cold or completely unpredictable weather, chances are you have been more than looking forward to this day — the first day of spring. Many things come to mind when thinking of spring: clear skies, flowers, breezy weather, and (of course) cocktails. Always cocktails. Here is a quick roundup of some drinks you can enjoy to bring in the season.
Spring Training Treats.
One of the most wonderful times of the year has started: spring training. Whether you are rooting for your favorite team at the stadium or local bar, give the beer-peanut combo a try in a more unconventional way. Sure, we are all used to being taken out to the ball game and treating ourselves to peanuts and beer (even though that’s not the way the song goes), but have you ever tried drinking a beer with a peanut in it?
It’s a method that’s increasing in popularity. Having a salty peanut in your beer actually works to counteract some of the bitter taste present, due to the addition of hops during the brewing process. By decreasing the bitter taste, you’ll increase the malty, sweet flavors.
Peanut butter beers are relatively new, as well, and are only gaining in popularity. Brewmasters have finally honed in on the art of pairing peanuts and beer in one single serving. It’s a connection we are all wishing would have been discovered sooner.
It doesn’t matter if you’re one to go for the sweet drinks or not; there is something for everyone when strawberries are involved. At season’s peak now, strawberries can be paired with many flavors for a wide variety of drinks. The plump red fruit is beautiful to look at garnished on the rim of a glass or muddled into a cocktail, but they are even tasty as a jam or as a flavored vodka.
There are many strawberry cocktail recipes out there, but if you are looking for something with traditional elements, but with a slightly unique twist, and that’s not too sweet, we have one for you right here:
Patron con Fresca (makes 1 margarita)
1 tbsp strawberry jam
1 ¼ oz Patron Reposado
¾ oz Amaretto
Fill cocktail shaker with a handful of ice cubes.
Add ingredients. Shake to mix, about 5 seconds.
Strain the shaker contents into a margarita glass.
Herbal Citrus Combinations.
In additional to strawberries, oranges and other bright citrus fruits, like grapefruit and lemons, are in-season. Rhubarb, while not a citrus fruit, is a great combination fruit to use with strawberry and citrus varieties to create a superb drink that’ll wow your guests. (Bonus if you pair your drink with a homemade rhubarb pie.)
When it comes to herbs, spring is a great time to include your favorites in your seasonal cocktails. Herbs such as lavender, sorrel and rosemary will elevate a drink that you won’t want to stop sipping. These herbs bring that extra punch to a drink, whether it be a brighter flavor, pleasing scent, or an extra zing.
Spring, known as the blooming season, is the ideal time to add some flowers to your concoctions. There are edible flowers, but there are also liqueurs that are popular for use in spring cocktails, and for good reason. Two favorites are Crème Yvette Violet Liqueur and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.
No matter which you choose, a perfect spring cocktail is what you make of it. Try a combination of those flavors you enjoy. With fresh, seasonal ingredients, you can’t go wrong.