Winter Warmers To Spring Sippers: A Guide To Transitioning Your Drink Menu
When the snows melt and the frost gives way to fresh soil from which sprout the first blossoms of a new season, it brings a happy smile on our lips and a ‘spring’ in our step. The shift in seasons from chilling winters to pleasant spring is a very beautiful one and involves enjoying the slow rise in temperatures as cold winds recede, to be replaced by welcome spring breezes. And amidst these shifts in nature, what undergoes a transition are our gastronomic adventures too, so that food preferences often change with the changing seasons. So goes with our drinking patterns too and the intense, indulgent drinks we enjoy during winters are soon replaced by light, fruity, airy delights, come spring.
This transition to our drinking menu is interesting because it involves doing away with winter ingredients to slowly replace our pantries with lemons, zesty oranges, herbs and florals that would be added to spring cocktails. But this transition has to happen over time so you can enjoy the shifting seasons gradually as the chill ebbs steadily and the springtime cheer walks in at a leisurely pace.
Here is a comprehensive guide to making this transition from wintertime drinks to spirited spring concoctions:
Move From Warm To Cool
One of the most delicious delights of the winter season is enjoying drinks like mulled wine, hot toddy or Baileys Irish Cream infused hot chocolate and marshmallows to warm you up as the mercury drops. But as the temperatures begin to spike, one major transition in your drinking menu has to be the shift from warm to cool drinks. Do this slowly, so you can first replace your mulled drinks with a simple martini before turning to chilled negronis or pastis that are cooling springtime delights.
Look For Seasonal Produce
Incorporating seasonal ingredients into your drinks always carries a very pleasing appeal into the cocktail glass. When winter eases away and spring starts to reveal itself, go for seasonal produce like strawberries and citrus fruits and herbs like mint and basil to add a refreshing quality to cocktails. Slowly but surely, you can also infuse these drinks with other cooling elements like cucumber or elderflower which are fresh ingredients suited to the spring season.
A cool hack while preparing your drinking menu for a smooth winter to spring transition is to blend seasonal ingredients during the in-between period. This means you can incorporate floral elements like an elderflower liqueur into a classic winter drink like a whisky sour so you can enjoy the magic of both seasons in your cocktail glass. And if you have some herbs like rosemary or sage leftover, you can turn them into dark syrups that can be incorporated into these transitional cocktails. Another alternative is to add these herbs to simple syrup to make your cocktail making process simpler.
Outdoor Bar Choices
A lovely transition from winter to spring involves taking your bar chairs outdoors onto your lawn or patio to enjoy a drink in the cool breeze. You can make outdoor arrangements especially when you are home hosting during this season-change and decorate your garden with pretty fairy lights. Here you can serve aperitifs and lighter wines like rosés or refreshing options like a sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio that are perfect as the temperatures begin to rise.
Slow Drinking Pleasures
While sipping on a single malt by a cosy fire during winters is a very inviting prospect, come spring, you would want to take pleasure in embracing slow drinking of a different kind. As the cold winds move away to be replaced by clear skies and chirping birds, you can sip on fragrant drinks like pastis or negronis in the outdoors at a very slow pace. This can be achieved by making a concentrated drink and adding ice at regular intervals to the same glass in order to enjoy the transitioning flavours of the concoction.