4 Seasonal Cocktails to See You Through to Spring

January 20, 2021

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2021 is off to a chilly start in many places, so warming drinks are still on the menu. These sensational winter cocktails are perfect for winding down in the evenings. But if you're over winter and are in the mood for something with a taste of spring, we have you covered as well. Here are a few easy to make, delightfully delicious cocktails to whip up at home, using seasonal ingredients.


Blood Orange Toddy

Blood oranges have just come into season, and they make a stunning addition to the traditional hot toddy recipe. For the best flavor, use freshly squeezed blood orange juice. You can use any type of whiskey, but the smooth, mellow notes of bourbon go especially well with the citrusy bite of the blood orange. Black tea works well in this recipe, but herbal teas will bring their own nuance to the cocktail. If you go the herbal route, try an orange spiced, lemon balm, or ginger tea.

Ingredients:

3 oz bourbon (or whiskey of your choice)
1 tbsp honey
1 bag of tea
Juice from one blood orange
8 oz hot water

Garnish: blood orange peel, cinnamon stick

Put the teabag in a pot and pour the hot water over it. Allow it to steep for several minutes, then remove the teabag from the pot. Mix in the bourbon, honey, and freshly squeezed blood orange juice, stirring until the honey has dissolved. Pour into a mug, and garnish with a blood orange peel and cinnamon stick.


Spiced Rum Hot Chocolate

A simple spiked hot cocoa is a wonderful boozy treat. This version uses spiced rum for that cozy winter feel. The extra dimension of flavor added by the spiced rum makes for a deliciously satisfying hot chocolate. If you're in the mood for an indulgent yet warming tipple, add a bit of cream to this recipe. Of course, you can also make this vegetarian-friendly by swapping whole milk for your preferred dairy-alternative. Nut milks make a great substitution.

Ingredients:

6 oz whole milk
2 tbsp spiced rum
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp brown sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the ingredients in a small pot. Heat over medium low flame, stirring occasionally. Just before the mix begins to bubble, remove from heat. Pour into a mug, and garnish with nutmeg.


Rhubarb Fizz

As we edge closer to spring, rhubarb will be coming into season. Its tart flavor is perfect for cocktails, especially when paired with a bit of sweetness as a contrast. In this case, that kiss of sweetness comes to us in the form of fresh clementine juice and a splash of homemade rhubarb simple syrup, and Prosecco. The simple syrup lasts about 3 weeks when stored in the fridge, so you'll be able to get plenty of use out of it – it's delicious in mocktails, too!

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb simple syrup:

2 lbs fresh rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 cups water

For the Rhubarb Fizz:

1 oz rhubarb simple syrup
1 oz gin
1 oz freshly squeezed clementine juice
Prosecco

Garnish: clementine twist

To make the simple syrup, put the rhubarb and water into a pot. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes. Strain into a clean pot. Add sugar, bring the liquid to a boil, then simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool before using. Pour the rhubarb simple syrup, gin, and clementine juice into a Champagne flute. Top up with Prosecco. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a twist of clementine peel.


Pomegranate Manhattan

The classic Manhattan calls for cherry heering, but you can swap it out for pomegranate juice for a seasonal twist. It's a cocktail with bold, rich flavors and plenty of complexity. Using rye as your boozy base is key to making an excellent Manhattan – the spirit's spicier compared to other types of whiskey, giving it a unique profile that makes this drink a winner.

Ingredients:

2 oz rye whiskey
½ oz sweet vermouth
1 ½ oz pomegranate juice
1 dash of Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, then strain a cocktail glass.

Written by Camille Berry for Knockaround.

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