Simple Spring Cocktails (Greened for St. Patrick’s)

I’m afraid I can’t say I’ll be making any St. Patrick’s day crafts next week—do most people? It’s news to me! When we were living in New York, I’d always make a point of following the sound of bagpipes to see the St. Paddy’s day parade; and when I was younger I’d of course be sure to wear green so as to avoid being pinched. But come this Tuesday you’re more likely to find me baking a cake that calls for a chocolatey stout (so that I can sip it while the oven’s warm), or drinking a cocktail and revisiting photos of Ireland to celebrate.

It got me thinking: what does a good St. Patrick’s Day cocktail look like if you prefer to steer clear of Crème de Menthe, and Midori Sour?

Here are five cocktails that would be equally suited to St. Patrick’s as to a spring fling.
I looked to limes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs for a hint of green instead.

So Sage 
(Pictured at top)
2 ounces Gin
1 ounce Lime juice
3 sage leaves (reserve one for garnish)
4 ounces (or to top) Champagne or other sparkling wine

Muddle sage and lime (you can add a pinch of sugar if needed). Add gin and ice and shake. Strain drink in glass and top with champagne. Garnish with sage leaf. 

Rosemary Bourbon Back
(Adapted from a Back Forty, one of our favorite cocktails from New York)
2 ounces Bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
4 dashes bitters
4 teaspoons maple syrup, diluted with 2 teaspoons hot water
2 sprigs Rosemary (1 for mixing and 1 for garnish)

Mix syrup with hot water in a shaker. Add bourbon, lemon juice, rosemary sprig, and bitters. Add ice and shake. Strain over ice in a glass. Garnish with rosemary.

Clean Sweep
1 ounce Pimm’s
1 ounce Ginger Ale
3 onces juiced greens (including celery, cucumber, and mint)*
Cucumber, Celery, and Mint for garnish
*Note: You could make your own green juice, but I cheated and used a bottle of Evolution Essential Greens.

Layer your drink as best you can: Pour the Pimm;s first, followed by the ice and cucumber slice. Pour the Ginger Ale slowly, aiming for atop the cucumber slice, followed by the green juice. Garnish with celery and mint.

Whiskey Smash
3 ounces Whiskey (Irish)
4 mint leaves
1 lime cut into small wedges
3/4-ounce Simple Syrup

Muddle the mint leaves and the lime until all of the juice from the lime is extracted. Add the whiskey and ice and shake, then strain into a glass filled with ice.

Chartreuse Smash
2 ounces Chartreuse
10 Mint leaves
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
Ice or Soda (see below)
(Optional: add 1/2 once gin if you are a fan.)

Muddle the mint leaves and the lime until all the juice from the lime is extracted and the mint is well bruised. Add ice and shake. Strain drink and pour. Traditionally, you’ll pour it over ice in an old-fashioned glass; I strained and served up, topping with a bit of soda. Garnish with mint if desired.

Elderflower Fizz
3 ounces Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)
2 ounces Elderflower Cordial
Edible flowers (check your herb garden or the salad section of your grocery)
(Optional: Substitute St. Germain (an Elderflower liqueur) for the non-alcoholic Elderflower cordial to make this a stronger drink.)

Pour the Elderflower cordial in the glass, followed by the champagne. Top the drink with soda water for those who prefer a slightly more subtle flavor.  Garnish with edible flower. 
*Note: You could make this green by pureeing cucumber and adding the strained liquid.

P.S. Non-Alcoholic beers, if you’re abstaining. A beer professor shares the proper way to pour. And a wonderful translated map of Ireland.

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