[ Camille Barnett ]

Refreshing Craft Cocktails Mixed at Home

09:00 March 18, 2022
By: Camille Barnett

Whenever I go out for a cocktail and ask the bartender for a drink recommendation, I usually ask for the same type: "Do you have anything on the lighter and floral side?"

Even in the dead of fall and winter, I request the same. With that said, I absolutely love springtime because I don't feel so "off-season" enjoying my favorite flavors. I may not always have the energy or budget to get up and out to a bar, but I'm always up for a refreshing cocktail. In those moments, I opt to mix one (or a few) up in the comfort of my own home. I'd recommend investing in some pretty edible flowers to feel even closer to being at a real deal craft cocktail bar, such as the flowers by Jo Jo's Garden, which is owned by Jo LaRocca.

Many of the recipes below call for pretty specific syrups. Although local liquor stores (my go-to is Martin's Wine Cellar) sell specialty syrups that may be more convenient, making your own syrup at home can be easy and just as fun and rewarding as making the cocktail itself. As shown in the lavender simple syrup recipe below, only three ingredients are required: water, sugar, and edible flower, fruit, or herb.

If you're like me, you may love the sweetness that juice brings to a mimosa but may not necessarily love having to sacrifice a fourth to a half a glass of champagne to make room for juice. My solution: syrup instead of juice. You get the same yummy sweetness but get to retain close to a full glass of bubbly. It's a win-win. Depending on sweetness preference, simply add anywhere from a quarter to a full ounce of your favorite fruity or floral syrup or liquor to a close-to-full glass of champagne, and voila.

Violette 75 (Camille Barnett)

Violette 75

Take everyone's favorite, the French 75, and add a hint of crème
de violette for beautiful color and
floral flavor.

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces of gin

1 ounce of lemon juice

½ ounce of crème de violette

¼ ounce of simple syrup

Brut champagne

Lemon twist for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (gin, crème de violette, and lemon juice), excluding the champagne, in a shaker. Shake until cold.

Strain into a champagne flute and top with champagne.

Add a twist of lemon to garnish.

Lavender
Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup of water

1 cup of white sugar

1 tablespoon of fresh
lavender blossoms

Directions:

Combine water, sugar, and lavender blossoms in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Simmer for one minute.

Remove from heat and let the syrup steep for about 30 minutes.

To remove lavender blossoms,
strain the syrup into a glass container and save.

Lavender Lemon Drop

Lemon drops are always a personal favorite when I'm craving something both boozy and refreshing. A hint of lavender adds just the perfect spring-time flare.

Ingredients:

2 ounces of vodka

1 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ounce of lavender syrup

Lavender or lemon peel for garnish

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a fresh lavender spring or lemon peel.

Chamomile Tea Cocktail

This one requires some well-worth-it prep for chamomile-infused vodka. Consider using the leftovers to experiment with other cocktails.

Ingredients:

Chamomile-infused Vodka Ingredients:

250 ml vodka

3-4 chamomile tea bags (or 3 tablespoons of loose Chamomile if available)

Cocktail Ingredients:

2 ounces of chamomile-infused vodka

1 ounce of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of honey (2 tablespoons for a sweeter cocktail)

Lemon peel or loose chamomile
for garnish

Directions:

For vodka:

Combine vodka and loose tea in a glass container and cover tightly.

Shake occasionally and steep for 12 hours.

Get rid of chamomile remains by straining the infused vodka into a separate container for saving.

For cocktail:

Pour all ingredients (vodka, lemon juice, and honey) over ice and stir thoroughly.

Garnish with loose chamomile and/or lemon slices.

Hibiscus Jalapeno Margarita (Camille Barnett)

Hibiscus Jalapeno Margarita

Sweet and floral meets spicy with this delicious margarita. Consider strawberry or watermelon syrups for a fruity-spicy combination too.

Ingredients:

2 ounces of tequila

1 ounce of triple sec

1 ounce of lime juice

1 ounce of hibiscus syrup

1 jalapeno, sliced

Salt for rim (optional)

Directions:

Combine tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and hibiscus syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold (tip: for even more of kick, muddle a few jalapeno slices at the bottom of the shaker before adding ice and ingredients).

Salt margarita glass rim.

Pour from shaker, over ice, and top with jalapeno slices.

Paloma (Camille Barnett)

Rose Paloma

Have a try at this light, simple, and refreshing spin on a paloma. Nothing screams spring quite like the flavor of rose.

Ingredients:

2 ounces of silver tequila

2 ounces of grapefruit juice

1 ounce of rose syrup

2 ounces of ginger ale

1 ounce of lime juice

Dried rose petals and/or lime wedge for garnish

Directions:

In a shaker, combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rose syrup. Shake with ice until cool.

Pour over ice and top with sparkling water.

Garnish with a lime wedge and/or rose petals.

Mojito (Camille Barnett)

Grapefruit Mint Mojito

Mojitos are light, fizzy, and refreshing. Add some extra freshness with a hint of grapefruit for a perfect spring cocktail.

Ingredients:

6 fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 tablespoon of simple syrup

2 ounces of white rum

3 ounces of grapefruit juice

2 ounces of club soda

Grapefruit wedge for garnish

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves, simple syrup, and lime juice together.

Pour grapefruit juice and white rum into the shaker.

Add ice and shake until cold.

Strain into an ice-filled serving glass and top with club soda.

Garnish with grapefruit wedges and/or any remaining mint leaves.

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