Best Seasonal Spring Cocktails and Beers
Spring means its time to take your five o’clock happy hour outside. It’s a time for new bars to open, and patios to come alive again. This time of year, everyone is itching for summer to hit so they can start drinking their favorite summer ales on tap. Many bars and pubs start offering summer ales during the spring, so those are definitely some top picks for seasonal spring beers.
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Sam Adams summer ales are also two great sellers. Blue moon drafts with an orange slice or Boulevard Wheat with a lemon slice sell just as well. All of these have sweet tastes and finishes that make you think more about what time of year it is and bring on the great vibes that the season has to offer. Generally any beers with a nice citrusy taste are very good in the summer time: Blue Moon, Boulevard wheat/pale ale and O’Fallon Wheach are the three most popular summer beers in Missouri.
Spring is also time for the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps. Mint juleps might look very complicated to make at first, but they can really be quite simple. They’re essentially just sugar, mint and bourbon all mixed together to make for a refreshing drink. Following is a quality recipe for a mint julep:
8 to 10 mint leaves
1 Sprig of mint for garnish
1 Tablespoon sugar, more or less to taste
1 1/2 Ounce clean fresh Kentucky spring water
3 Ounce premium Bourbon
Rinse the mint and leave it wet because water helps flavor the cocktail. Put the leaves in a 12 ounce cocktail glass and pour the sugar on top. Muddle them together with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. When the leaves and wet sugar begin to turn to paste, add water and bourbon, and stir with a fork until the sugar dissolves. Top with crushed ice and garnish with the sprig of mint.
But this drink isn’t just for the Kentucky Derby — you can drink it anytime outside on a patio or when you’re looking for a fresh tasting cocktail. There are also other types of juleps if you don’t like mint, like kiwi and pineapple. These variations are slightly different to make, however. Some people also like making their mint juleps into more of a dessert cocktail by adding chocolate. For such a cocktail you will need crème de menthe. You’ll need to first strain one shot of bourbon, add one shot of creme de menthe and one shot of Godiva liqueur over ice, ultimately pouring the concoction into a martini or cocktail glass. Finally, garnish the drink with a sprig of mint. While this one is not as popular as a regular mint julep, it can be a good after dinner alternative.
If you’re looking for a simpler cocktail that requires little to no preparation, many cocktails with a lemonade base are good for spring. If you want to try something new, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey mixed with lemonade is pretty good as well, and it’s not usually a cocktail many people think of when they think of whisky drinks.
These are just a few spring cocktails and beers you can try as you make your transition from winter clothes and warm pubs to summer outfits and outdoor patios.
Written by the staff at Willie’s Pub and Pool. Willie’s has great drink specials and is one of the most atmospheric sports bars Columbia Mo has to offer.