With the onset of spring comes a whole new roster of drinks, the best of them channeling the breeziness of the season. At PUNCH HQ, that means cocktails that are light on the booze, requiring simple additions of fridge staples, or ingredients that can be easily picked up at the store.
These go-to’s offer the ease of refreshment with minimal process—perhaps best exemplified by Extra Fancy’s aptly named Go-To, which takes a few quintessential springtime flavors (cucumber, mint, elderflower liqueur) and tops them with spicy ginger beer for a refreshing, zingy highball.
Andrew Bohrer similarly leans on fresh ingredients in his Bruja Smash, a mix of Strega, tequila, raspberries and mint for a Mex-Italian riff on the whiskey-based classic. At the other end of the seasonal spectrum is the Green Park Cocktail, a frothy drink that’s shaken with egg white and served up, in a coupe. True to its name, the drink’s fresh flavors come in the form of fresh basil and celery bitters, anchored by a base of Old Tom gin and brightened with a splash of lemon juice.
Even as rabid enthusiasm for the green market edges out root vegetables, it’s still good to have a few drinks that bridge the gap between winter and spring. In his Cricket Ball, Brad Thomas Parsons does just that, looking to the cool-weather classic, Lillet Rouge, and lightening it up by way of bubbles and a hefty hit of rhubarb bitters.
Another drink that comfortably spans the seasonal transition comes from our neighbors at Montana’s Trail House, who go straight for a springy spritz formula but give it just a bit more kick. Inspired by partner Austin Hartman’s grandfather, a cliff-diver in Acapulco, La Quebrada matches Aperol and sparkling wine with grapefruit juice for acidity and the wildcard addition of crema de mezcal—a bottled blend of mezcal and syrup from roasted agave—which bolsters ABV and adds a smoky backbone. The result: a drink that’s at once delicate and bracing, not unlike the sometimes fickle season itself.