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An Emerald For May, 5 Birthstone-Based Drinks To Try

By: Shireen Jamooji

emerald cocktails

To many, birthdays are more than just a yearly opportunity for a party and presents, it's a chance to delve into the cosmic connections that shape your life. If you believe in astrology, then Zodiac signs are a wonderful way to explore your personality, and each month has its own special gemstone to make you feel treasured too. But who says that the only way to honour your birthstone is by wearing it? From fiery ruby reds to serene aquamarine blues, you can explore your spiritual connections through the world of colourful mixology with some unique, birthstone-inspired cocktails.

History of Emerald and its Birthstone Meaning

The name "emerald" originates from the Latin terms 'esmaralda' and 'esmaraldus', which in turn comes from the Greek word ‘smaragdus’ which loosely translates to ‘green gem’. While the name may seem a bit basic, it’s a fitting tribute to the deep hue that evokes thoughts of springtime and rejuvenation. It was originally thought to symbolise fertility and was associated with the Goddess Venus, the purveyor of love. 

Emeralds are usually attributed to those born in May who fall under the sign of Taurus, a zodiac sign known for its practicality, determination, and level-headed approach to life’s challenges. The emerald's presence is believed to amplify these traits, fostering a sense of balance and stability in the lives of Taurus individuals.

For those born in May, there are many ways to evoke the power of your birthstone in your drinks, here are 5 wonderful ways to bring a touch of emerald’s magic to your bar. 

mint julep

1. Mint Julep:

A classic cocktail usually associated with the old-world southern states of the USA, this iced refresher is a particular favourite during the warm summer months. Originally made with bourbon, you can also substitute whisky for a more modern version.

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Signature whisky
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sugar syrup
  • Crushed ice

Method: Muddle mint leaves and sugar in a glass. Add bourbon and fill the glass with crushed ice. Stir well and garnish with a mint sprig.

Green Apple Martini

2. Green Apple Martini:

A popular staple of the 2000s, this flavoured martini became on of the trendiest reinterpretations of the classic martini. With a sour tang and a beautiful green hue, it’s still a favourite for many who enjoy a fruitier flavour in their cocktails/

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Smirnoff Vodka
  • 30 ml Sour apple liqueur
  • 15 ml Lemon juice
  • Green apple slice for garnish

Method: Shake vodka, sour apple liqueur, and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a green apple slice.

Cucumber Basil Smash

3. Cucumber Basil Smash:

Herbaceous and refreshing the combination of cucumber and basil makes for an earthy and hydrating cocktail. Pair it with a botanical forward gin for even more complexity.

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml Tanqueray No Ten Gin
  • 15 ml Simple syrup
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 25 ml Lime juice

Method: Muddle basil, cucumber, and simple syrup. Add gin and lime juice. Shake well, strain into a glass with ice, and garnish with a cucumber slice.

Matcha Mojito

4. Matcha Mojito:

Matcha is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that can delight in everything from desserts to ice creams. And in a cocktail it provides a unique verdant flavour that perfectly encapsulates the essence of emerald.

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Gordon’s London Dry Gin
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 20 ml Simple syrup
  • 15 ml Lime juice
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Soda water
  • Ice cubes

Method: Dissolve matcha powder in simple syrup. In a glass, muddle mint leaves with lime juice. Add gin, matcha syrup, and ice. Stir well, top up with soda water, and garnish with mint.

Virgin Green Sparkler Mocktail

5. Green Sparkler Mocktail:

If you’re skipping out on the alcohol, then there are still plenty of options to honour your birthstone. This refreshing sparkler pairs green apple, lime and mint for a drink that will truly light up your senses. 

Ingredients:

  • 60 ml Green apple juice
  • 30 ml Sparkling water
  • 15 ml Lime juice
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Method: Mix green apple juice and lime juice in a glass with ice. Top up with sparkling water and stir gently. Garnish with mint leaves.