20 Bright, Refreshing Spring Cocktails to Welcome the Season

Chock-full of fresh seasonal ingredients, these drinks are the perfect way to ring in spring.

Spring is finally upon us! For most of the country, at least. It’s officially time to (safely and responsibly) frolic with (small groups of) friends, and we can’t think of a better way to do that than with a well-balanced cocktail in hand. Whether you reach for vodka, gin, or whiskey, edible flowers are always a solid move when getting into the swing of spring, from pretty-in-pink cherry blossoms to delicate pastel pansies. Not feeling flowery? No biggie. Fresh basil is always a solid choice (and easy to find in the supermarket), or turn up the volume with a whole bunch of herbs. You can’t go wrong with any of our favorite spring cocktails—the vibrant colors and fresh flavors are just the thing for celebrating the end of winter…and helping us get back into the swing of things.

Sakura Martini

Tokyo native Kenta Goto of Bar Goto in New York City has elevated the once-maligned saketini to a state of floral elegance by mixing Plymouth gin with oak-aged Junmai sake, sweet maraschino liqueur, and salted cherry blossoms. Get the recipe for the Sakura Martini »

Hibiscus Rose Vesper

To kick its flavor up a notch, this rosy pink cocktail calls for craft-distilled, Plantation vodka. Get the recipe for Hibiscus Rose Vesper »

Basil Martini

Herbal flavors have a natural affinity for gin, so we’re using basil in this martini riff. It’s a real illustration of how dramatically an herb garnish can affect a drink—there’s no basil in the drink itself, just a good gin, dry vermouth, and the aperitif Cocchi Americano—but the bright burst of basil scent on the nose brings an herbal element to the entire cocktail. Get the recipe for Basil Martini »

Everything’s Coming Up Rosé

Natasha David, head bartender of New York City’s Nitecap, grew up in Germany, where everything from wine to apple juice got gespritzt. Her bright fuchsia aperitivo mixes tannic hibiscus tea, sweet Lillet Rosé, and dry rosé with a hit of Prosecco. Get the recipe for Everything’s Coming Up Rosé »

Golden Chrysanthemum

Another from Kenta Goto, this drink pays tribute to the Japanese golden chrysanthemum flower with this amber, pear-flavored Champagne elixir. Get the recipe for Golden Chrysanthemum »

Floral Old Fashioned

Cameron Johnston of Gleneagles Hotel designed this drink for those who don’t usually go for a Scotch drink; chamomile syrup and Dalwhinnie 15 combine for a delicate cocktail with a still-smoky finish. Get the recipe for Floral Old Fashioned »

Sweet Talking Son Cocktail

A cross between a sazerac and a whiskey smash, this cocktail recipe by Suffolk Arms head bartender Caitlin Ryan highlights the versatility of Copper & Kings American Craft Brandy, a brandy made in the American bourbon tradition. Unbeknownst to many, the traditional sazerac recipe called for brandy, as opposed to rye. Playing off Copper & Kings’ musical ethos—all barrels are sonically-aged, with music used to agitate the spirit—the name of the cocktail comes from a line in Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man.” Get the recipe for Sweet Talking Son Cocktail >>

Gin Campari Sour

Gin, Campari, and lemon are three ingredients that pair beautifully, but all have their sharp edges. Adding an egg white helps mellow and integrate these flavors without muting them, while also contributing a silky texture and an opacity that’s quite elegant in a vividly colored drink. Get the recipe for Gin Campari Sour »

Antilles Cocktail

Inspired by a cocktail at the now-closed Manhattan restaurant The Beagle, this delicately sweet, subtly floral cocktail is perfect as an after-dinner drink. Orange flower water makes a wonderful accent to armagnac’s notes of dried fruit and vanilla, while dry vermouth keeps the whole thing from becoming cloying. Get the recipe for Antilles Cocktail »

Gin: Bee’s Knees

The phrase the “bee’s knees” was used in Prohibition times as slang to mean “the best.” This cocktail, a gin sour that’s believed to have been created around that time, used lemon and honey to mask the harsh smell of bathtub gin. If your guest wants something refreshing with gin, look no further. Get the recipe for the Bee’s Knee’s cocktail »

The Verbena and Mint

Bar manager Jon di Pinto of Street ADL in Adelaide, South Australia, combines lemon verbena and gin for a crisp, refreshing summer cocktail. Get the recipe for The Verbena and Mint »

Elderflower Old Fashioned

Elderflower liqueur replaces the traditional sugar cube in this floral twist on an old favorite. Get the recipe for Elderflower Old Fashioned >>

Lavender Sour

JB Bernstein, bar manager at Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia, celebrates summer with this simple, floral gin cocktail, sweetened with lavender-infused syrup and garnished with lavender dust. Get the recipe for Lavender Sour >>

Water Lily

Crème de violette adds sweetness and an arresting purple color to a tart mix of gin, lemon juice, and triple sec in a cocktail based on one from Manhattan bar PDT. Get the recipe for Water Lily >>

Pendennis Cocktail

Pretty in pink with a delicate froth, this apricot-gin cocktail has a mesmerizing balance of floral, citrus, and fruity flavors. Get the recipe for Pendennis Cocktail >>

Rhubarb Fizz

This bubbly cocktail makes the most of rhubarb season. Get the recipe for Rhubarb Fizz »

Lavender Paloma

Our twist on the classic tequila and grapefruit cocktail uses mezcal, fresh grapefruit juice, and lavender simple syrup for a drink that’s simultaneously smoky, bright, and floral. Get the recipe for Lavender Paloma >>

Thousand-Dollar Mint Julep

This version of the classic three-ingredient cocktail—which combines three parts bourbon to one part of a simple syrup bracingly infused with fresh spearmint—is sanctioned by the Kentucky Derby itself as their official mint julep recipe. Get the recipe for Thousand-Dollar Mint Julep »

Blooming Champagne Cocktail

A single hibiscus flower scented with a drop or two of rose water turns a simple glass of sparkling wine into a showstopper of a cocktail. Get the recipe for Blooming Champagne Cocktail >>

Pink Negroni

Light, orangey Lillet Blanc and fresh lemon juice brighten a springlike twist on the Negroni. Tarragon and tart, hibiscus-based Burlesque Bitters from Bittermens add floral, herbaceous notes. Get the recipe for Pink Negroni »