That warm air we’ve been feeling lately can only mean one thing; spring is finally here and with it comes the arrival of outdoor drinking season. The temperature is mild, the air is fresh and the rooftops, decks and porches are waiting. After a winter of comfort drinks we’re ready for light refreshing sips. These are just the kind of cocktails you’ll want to linger over while enjoying the chance to be outside.
Kick spring off with—dare we say—a healthy margarita. For a “headache-free” morning after, start with high-quality tequila. Make the watermelon and cucumber juice in the blender and remember to spring for seedless versions of both in order to spend less time straining.
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Although Jan Warren, cocktail revivalist and head mix master at Dutch Kills Bar in Long Island City, said the American Trilogy is “essentially a harvest Old Fashioned” because of its apple infusion, there’s no bad time to sip one of these spicy concoctions. To construct the ideal American Trilogy, which was invented in New York in 2007 by legendary bartenders Richard Boccato and Michael McIlroy, Warren places a brown sugar cube in a whiskey glass and soaks it with two dashes of orange bitters and soda water. He muddles the sugar, then adds the rye, applejack and a large ice cube.
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A fruity, vodka-based twist on the classic Brazilian caipirinha, this is the ultimate poolside refreshment, especially since most Americans don’t have cachaça (the standard liquor for making caipirinhas) lying around the house. For best results, forage your local farm stand or farmers market for the choicest strawberries, or pick them yourself Get the Recipe
Raise a toast to civil liberties! We did by enjoying the Seelbach while visiting Trestle on Tenth. “It’s a classic pre-Prohibition era bourbon-based drink. We chose it as part of our celebration of the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition,” said Trestle’s general manager, Nikki Ledbetter. The drink, named after the legendary Louisville, KY hotel, was created circa 1917 but was lost to Prohibition until it was resurrected by the hotel’s manager in 1995. It’s a southern transplant and a welcome refreshment come the warmer months of spring. “We top it with prosecco and it’s light, kind of citrusy and refreshing,” said Ledbetter. Enjoy it for what it is—a delightful and enduring classic with bourbon roots, sweet and bitter flavor and just enough bubbles to keep things interesting. It’s emblematic of our right to a proper beverage.
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Rum is a distilled spirit made from substances taken from sugarcane, either molasses or sugarcane juice. Sugarcane is a tropical crop and rum producers straddle the equator worldwide, but the most desirable rums are produced in the Caribbean, where it was created in the 17th century. The name became notorious when Prohibition-era booze smuggling became known as “rum running.” Freeport, Montauk, Greenport, Fire Island and Shelter Island were centers of “Rum Row,” destinations of William “the real” McCoy, his boat packed with high-quality hooch from Canada. Claudio’s in Greenport is a unique example of an LI speakeasy, its stilt foundation allowing booze-laden boats to sail under the French eatery. Two decades after the repeal of Prohibition, the lingo was revived in the Florida Keys with the invention of a rum-centered cocktail Get the Recipe