Spring Cocktail Season is Here!

As the window of opportunity to enjoy Winter cocktails with their warmth and spice closes, it’s time to look forward to bright and refreshing Spring cocktails. These seasonal flavors associated with the start of Spring often lend themselves to lighter cocktails that feature gin and vodka as base spirits. I decided to browse through my cocktail books to find a recipe.

I came across a perfect Spring recipe in Mason Shaker’s Shake – the Cel-Ray Spring Tonic. The bright green color from the fresh celery leaves, cucumber, and limes is the essence of Spring. (Sidenote: I’d highly recommend Shake as a perfect coffee table cocktail book. It doesn’t have a long list of recipes, but it does have solid recipes organized by season along with beautiful photography.) With only an ounce of vodka yet plenty of flavor provided by the other ingredients, the Cel-Ray Spring Tonic is a great lower-alcohol drink that anyone will find approachable. That said, I couldn’t help but make a spin-off of their recipe using some cucumber soda that I’ve been eager to incorporate into a drink. In my spin-off I swapped the vodka for Hendrick’s gin as its flavor plays with cucumbers well. Instead of using ginger ale, I used Mr. Q. Cucumber Soda. While both cocktails were good, I’d say mine fell a bit flat. By no means was it a bad variation, but I’d prefer the Cel-Ray Spring Tonic because it had more complexity. If I made the spin-off again, I’d revise it by adding a pinch of salt and some celery bitters. I also slightly altered their recipe by adding two dashes of celery bitters and also double straining to remove all the celery leaves from the finished product.

I’ve included both recipes below, and would particularly enjoy hearing feedback on how you’d make the spin-off differently. Comment here or on social media. Be sure to tag The Humble Garnish so I’ll see your results.

– Cheers!



The Cel-Ray Spring Tonic
 
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Author:
Recipe Type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • .25 ounce lime juice
  • 2 sprigs of celery leaves (one for garnish)
  • several slices of cucumber
  • 2 slices of lime
  • ginger ale
Instructions
  1. Muddle 1 celery leaf sprig, 3 slices of cucumber, and limes slices.
  2. Add vodka and lime juice; shake.
  3. Double strain into Collins glass filled with ice and a few cucumber slices. Top with ginger ale.
  4. Garnish with remaining sprig of celery.
 
Mr. Q’s Spring Fling #1
 
Cook Time
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Recipe Type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1.5 ounce gin (Hendrick’s preferred)
  • .25 ounce lime juice
  • 1 sprig of celery leaves
  • several slices of cucumber
  • 2 slices of lime
  • cucumber soda
Instructions
  1. Muddle celery leaf sprig, 3 slices of cucumber, and limes slices.
  2. Add gin and lime juice; shake.
  3. Double strain into Collins glass filled with ice and a few cucumber slices. Top with cucumber soda.
  4. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.
 


Additional Resources:
Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

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