All About Flavor
Seasonal Cocktails: The Perfect Time for a Change
The change of seasons usually ushers in new weather, new wardrobes and new attitudes, as people are naturally ready for the upcoming changes. Just like chefs who adapt their restaurant menus seasonally to take advantage of the freshest ingredient offerings, you too should consider introducing seasonal splendor into your cocktail mixing.
The days start to get longer, the weather starts to get warmer, and fantastic ingredients start growing out of the ground in the early harvest. It’s Julep time! April and May are when berries come into season and are great ways to enhance your spring drinks. At the same time, fresh herbs like mint, basil, cilantro and sage are sprouting. These ingredients add an element of ‘brightness’ to spring cocktails. Toast to warm weather by serving a refreshing Moscow mule, Spring Sangria and Julep at your next party.
When hanging out around the barbeque with friends, lounging Adirondack-style poolside or stretching your toes in the sand become higher on your list of priorities, it’s got to be summer. July through September are the hottest months, and the best time for cool, fresh concoctions. Think about adding seasonal ingredients like ripe peaches, apricots, cherries and cucumber, and your summer drinks can take on a whole new level of refreshing tastes. Guest will love keeping cool with Watermelon Punch, Hard Lemonade, Mojitos and Piña Coladas, to name a few.
The temperatures drop, as do the leaves right along with them. Fall brings holiday ingredients like pumpkin, pomegranate and persimmons, these allow for a variety of fall cocktail recipes, like Pumpkin Punch, Pomegranate Bourbon or a phenomenal Spiced Persimmon Old Fashioned. Cocktails featuring fresh apples, pears and butternut taste and smell amazing. As the weather gets cooler, many people prefer fall drinks to be richer in flavor, thicker in body and served heated. A Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee or Warm Apple Brandy will always be appreciated when the weather changes.
While there aren’t as many fresh ingredients to choose from during this time of year, winter is a true cocktail lover’s season. When the blustery winds start blowing, break out the brown spirits, warm spices and even dried fruits. Whiskey, cinnamon and cranberries feature prominently in many winter cocktail recipes. Holiday inspired flavors work for this season, like a Peppermint Martini, Hot Buttered Rum or a Ginger Snap served with a rim of crushed gingerbread cookies. Garnishes that include candy canes, chocolate and whipped cream are crowd pleasers. Gin is a great winter spirit with an aromatic hint of juniper, anise and cardamom. And for New Year’s Eve, champagne-based cocktails add elegance and are the perfect way to ring in the New Year.