Spring is an indecisive season teasing us with warmth then punishing us for our wishful thinking. To deal with the weather, an equally indecisive drink menu is required.
I like to keep a drink menu on the wall next to my bar so I don’t always have to scan through the Internet for drinks I can’t make. This helps me buy the ingredients I plan to use for the season without trying to match the variety and expense of a local bar. Check out the menu below and you can download a copy to print for yourself. In the meantime, enjoy this awful spring.
1. HOT BOURBON LEMONADE
For the cloudy days when the sun decided to give up. A hot bourbon lemonade will trick your body into thinking it’s a warm day (mostly it’s the bourbon).
- 2 lemons juiced (give or take depending on your lemon tolerance)
- 2 tbsp Bourbon Vanilla Sugar (buy online)
- 2 cups hot water
- Crushed mint leaf
- Bourbon to taste
Crush sugar and mint together, combine other ingredients and stir in a large pint glass or cocktail shaker (be careful they get hot!). Makes two mugs or one really big one.
2. BIG HUG
After a sick ride through the two feet of powder in late May on that day of the freak snow storm after you’ve been wearing shorts and sandals for a week already (dammit May!)
- 1 oz Irish Cream
- 1 oz Creme de Cacao
- Silly Cow Farms Chocolate Truffle Hot Chocolate (there is only one kind of hot chocolate and you can get it at Raley’s)
Build together in a mug, stir hardily, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
3. HOT BRANDY
Fight the freezing wind with dignity, keep it simple and don’t let on to your friends that you drink this every night regardless of the weather.
- 2 oz brandy
Pour boiling water into a rock glass. Pour Churchill Vineyards Brandy into brandy snifter and rest on rock glass to heat. Put your hands around the steaming glass. If your nose is cold too, stick your face into the snifter.
4. BLACK STRIPE
People always say, ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change’ so here’s a drink that is versatile enough to change with the weather.
- 2 oz spiced rum
- 1 tbsp molasses (black strap! GET IT!)
Build with some room temp water and stir to dissolve molasses into a rock glass. Add boiling water to warm the glass OR fill it with ice to chill it. Or make one of each incase the weather changes without warning.
5. WHISKEY JULEP
It’s not time for a Mint Julep, yet, so we’re going to cut all the good light-hearted happy parts out so you have something to look forward to
- 1 tbsp pulverized sugar
- 1 mint leaf
- 3 oz whiskey
- Jamaican rum
Press sugar and mint leaf in 2 tbsp of water, add whiskey, float Jamaican rum (ice optional). Do not enjoy merrily on the porch in a tall, icy glass in front of the grill, but think about how it might taste better with brandy and fruit at a BBQ in July.
6. SMOKEY SOUR
You’re out of firewood now that winter is over but that’s okay because you can still drink some
- 2 oz Islay scotch (the Islay region creates the smokiest of all scotches)
- ¾ oz sour mix (or lemon or lime or lemon-lime combo)
- 1-2 tsp powdered sugar
Pour over ice in cocktail glass, shake vigorously as if you’re trying to clean a dirty picture off an etch-a-sketch before your kids see it. Strain into rock glass. Pretend you’ve fallen face-first into a fireplace but it’s really quenching your thirst.