IMBIBE: Cocktails & Mocktails

By on April 12, 2017

Easter libations to make your bunny hop.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – In recent years Easter has become a popular brunch holiday. Given that Easter is also synonymous with spring, we should look towards lighter, fresh-tasting libations for the holiday. Here are some great cocktails and mocktails that are terrific for springtime sipping—at Easter or anytime.

The holiday often involves egg hunts and kids, so let’s not leave out those who are not yet of legal drinking age. To make a Blackberry Lemon Mocktail, begin by mashing 1/2 cup fresh blackberries with 1/4 cup sugar in a small sauce pan to break the berries down into small pieces. Add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup lemonade (pre-made is fine) and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a container and add the juice of 1 lemon. Refrigerate; once the fruit liquid has cooled, divide it into four glasses filled with ice cubes. Top each glass with club soda or seltzer and mix. Garnish with lemon slices, mint leaves and whole blackberries.

I really like this simple—and almost healthyBuzzed Bunny Easter Cocktail from a food and drink web site called Giggles, Gobbles & Gulps. Into a cocktail shaker with ice, grate 1 small piece of fresh ginger root. Add 1 ounce sweetened pineapple juice, 3 ounces fresh carrot juice, the juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1 1/2 ounces gin (try Beehive Distilling Jack Rabbit Gin). Shake vigorously and strain over ice into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint sprig and lemon slice.

Each bottle of St-Germain is individually numbered and reflects the year (or “vintage”) that the elderflower blossoms used to make it were picked in the French Alps. This gorgeous-tasting liqueur is one of my absolute favorites. A very simple but delicious drink for your Easter outing is the Left Bank Martini. Into a cocktail shaker with ice, pour 1 1/2 shots gin, 1 shot St-Germain and 1 shot Sauvignon Blanc wine. Shake, strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a lime zest twist and make a toast to your good taste.

Another of my favorite springtime sippers comes courtesy of the folks at Tommy Bahama Rum. It’s called a Velvet Rosa, and it’s as tasty and gorgeous as it sounds. Pour the following into a cocktail shaker with ice: 2/3 Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum (or your favorite white rum), 1/3 peach schnapps and 1 part cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a chilled Champagne flute. Top off the drink with Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine.

This Cucumber and Mint “Fauxjito” is a refreshing, non-alcoholic take on the mojito. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together 6 thin slices of English cucumber with 6 large mint leaves. Once muddled, add 2 ounces fresh lime juice and 1/2 an ounce agave nectar; fill with ice and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass, add 4 ounces club soda, stir and garnish with a cucumber slice and sprig of mint.

Here is a very easy, pleasing Champagne Punch recipe that you could modify to suit your tastes. In a punch bowl, pour 1 bottle chilled sparkling wine like Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, etc. (or use fruit-flavored sparkling wine). Slowly (so it doesn’t fizz up too much) stir in 3 cups cold ginger ale and 2 tbsp orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec). Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a couple of handfuls of frozen cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a combination. Add some ice to the bowl and serve. PJH

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