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The Wine Sisters' Blog

Fresh, Fast and Easy Cocktails to Celebrate Spring

Posted on April 23, 2018 by admin

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After months of cold and grey, the sun is finally shining. These effortlessly easy and tasty cocktails celebrate the pure joy of spring.

Well that was one heckuva glorious weekend.

After an extended winter of wet, cold, grey, dismal weather, the sun finally shone on Toronto, and we, much like everyone else in this desperate and anemic town, took to the streets, patios and parks to get down and boogie with a merciful Mother Nature.

Pair a beautifully bright and sunny weekend with Earth Day, and well, it seemed sacrilegious not to have a cocktail inspired by the fresh spring bounty of Mother Earth.

I’ve enjoyed my Manhattans and dark spirited cocktails for (what seems like endless) months now, and while we will meet again, I am more than ready to welcome gin back into my life.

As I begin my training for the lazy, hazy days warm weather gleefully brings with it, for me the emphasis is on lazy. The last thing I want to do when comfortably sprawled on a lawn chair is disrupt my idleness with a trip to the liquor store. So, just like having a well-stocked pantry to make favourite dishes in a jiffy, I also like to have a well-stocked bar. And in order to have an appropriately stocked bar, it helps to have a roster of go-to cocktail recipes, so one knows what to stock said bar with, n’est pas?

Keeping with my philosophy of easy, fast and as few ingredients as possible, the following is a list of favourite cocktails that will be making the rounds at my house this Spring.

Pimm’s Cup from Epicurious

Photo: epicurious.com

Photo: epicurious.com

I first tried a Pimm’s Cup on the recommendation of a British chef I once worked with (long-time readers will remember Andrew from his steak tartare recipe and oyster shucking advice). Anyway, Pimm’s quickly became a regular in my cocktail rotation. A gin-based liqueur, it’s blended with ginger beer (or ginger ale if you forgot to stock your bar) and garnished with mint and cucumber. Easy to make, really easy to drink, and super refreshing. Sometimes I even hold my pinky up whilst I’m sipping it because I’m classy like that.

Gin Gimlet from Esquire

Photo: Georgian Bay Spirit Co.

Photo: Georgian Bay Spirit Co.

A Gin Gimlet is so simple it’s a bit embarrassing to call this a recipe. Gin, lime and you’re done. Get back to your lawn chair. Esquire recommends using lime cordial, and I have a tendency to agree, but you could always go the route of gin, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. You do you.

Pitcher Margaritas

IMG_4450My mouth is watering just writing about this Margarita recipe. It’s been making the rounds at The Wine Sisters HQ for a few years now, and it’s a perfect blend of tart, salty, sweet and pure deliciousness. And did I mention this is a recipe for an entire pitcher? Mix once and sip all day. Bam.

Mojito from Jamie Oliver

Photo: Jamie Oliver

Photo: Jamie Oliver

I learned how to make a proper – and ridiculously tasty – Mojito a decade ago from Toronto mixologist extraordinaire Rob Montgomery, and this one from Jamie Oliver is pretty much spot on. Granted, all that muddling makes the Mojito the most labour-intensive cocktail to make this list, but some drinks, like certain men I know, are worth the trouble.

Vodka Thyme Lemonade from Martha Stewart

Photo: marthastewart.com

Photo: marthastewart.com

The hardest thing about this recipe is making the simple syrup. Or maybe squeezing the lemons. But just like the Margarita recipe above, this is big-batch so a little plan ahead action goes a long way. This recipe from Martha uses regular vodka, but I recommend citrus vodka for an extra lemony kick. However, this also works with gin, so you can mix and match to your taste, as choice is the spice of life. Or something like that.

 

 

 

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