Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Spring

11 Essential Cocktails for Your April Parties

Fresh, fruity and floral, these drinks are perfect for spring.

Aviation cocktail
Aviation Image: / Tim Nusog

What better way to celebrate the return of warm weather and new life than with a few good cocktails? Shed your winter coat and ditch the hot drinks in favor of these lighter, brighter and more spring-appropriate concoctions. These 11 cocktails will help you sip in spring style this month.

  • Gin Sour

    Gin Sour cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Whiskey Sours and Pisco Sours are fine and dandy, but this month, you should try something new. This recipe honors the classic mid-19th century sour format by incorporating a spirit, citrus and sweetener (gin, lemon juice and simple syrup, in this case). The real kicker here is in the optional frothing element. Add in an egg white if you want to go classic, or use aquafaba (the liquid you’d usually drain from a can of chickpeas) for a texture that’s rich and foamy yet still vegan. There’s really no way to make a wrong Gin Sour, so play around with ratios until you find the recipe that works for you.

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  • La Tour Eiffel

    Tour Eiffel cocktail / Tim Nusog

    What would a Sazerac taste like if it was invented in Paris instead of New Orleans? The late cocktail expert Gary "Gaz" Regan explored the possibility with this unique drink. Absinthe and cognac carry over from the Sazerac, while bitter liqueur Suze brings its distinct French flair to the party. Add a splash of Cointreau for a hint of citrus sweetness, and serve it in a Champagne flute to add a sense of sophistication and elegance.

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  • High Seas

    Nine Pound Hammer cocktail

    Elliott Clark

    What happens when you take a Boulevardier and incorporate two different kinds of vermouth? You get this cocktail. Created by Alex Jump, the head bartender at Death & Co in Denver, the combination of dry and blanc vermouth isn’t the only thing interesting about this drink. Nori-infused whiskey lends a uniquely potent flavor, while a little bit of Cappelletti aperitif and pear eau-de-vie bring it all together.

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  • Reverse Martini

    Reverse Martini
    Reverse Martini, Bartender’s Special at Starlight Room in San Francisco. / Tim Nusog

    Created at San Francisco’s Starlight Room, this version of a Reverse Martini is one you won’t want to put down. It follows the classic format, with the ratios of vodka and vermouth reversed from a usual Vodka Martini, but adds a barspoon of Luxardo maraschino liqueur and a brandied cherry garnish to sweetly tie it all together.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Bunny Mary

    Bunny Mary
    Eric Medsker

    Mix up your brunch with this spring spin on a Bloody Mary. Created by bartender Rob Krueger while working at the now-closed Extra Fancy in Brooklyn, this new drink takes the original’s savory spice and mixes it with carrot juice instead of the traditional tomato. Aquavit’s botanical qualities will enhance the juice, but vodka will work too in a pinch. Whichever spirit you use, combine it with lemon, honey syrup, hot sauce and caper brine, then serve in a pimenton-salt-rimmed glass. Of course, a good Bloody is nothing without its garnishes, so add whichever over-the-top toppings your heart desires.

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  • Nui Nui

    Nui Nui cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Invented by Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber bar, this cocktail’s recipe (and all of his others) was kept under wraps for a long time so other bartenders couldn’t steal his thunder. Luckily, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry was able to finally unlock the formula. Filled with rum, island spices and freshly squeezed juices, it’s the perfect drink to ease you into warmer temperatures and get you dreaming of summer.

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  • Girls Next Door

    Girls Next Door cocktail

    Pamela Wiznitzer

    Put a little spring in your step with this fruity and floral concoction. Homemade hibiscus-strawberry syrup stars in this recipe. It joins vodka, pear liqueur, lemon juice, bitters and an egg white to make a ruby red drink with a foamy crown. Finish it with a spritz of lemon bitters for additional bright aromatics.

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  • Last Word

    Last Word cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Said to have first been served at the Detroit Athletic Club a little over a century ago, this equal-parts mix of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice was resurrected by Murray Stenson of Seattle’s Zig Zag Cafe near the beginning of the current century. It has since spread around the world and become beloved for its spiky sweet, sour and herbaceous flavors.

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Lion’s Tail

    Lion's Tail cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This drink has been around since 1937, when it first appeared in “The Café Royal Cocktail Book.” Bourbon forms the backbone of this cocktail, while allspice dram and lime juice give it an almost Tiki-like taste. Mix in a little simple syrup and some Angostura bitters and top with the expressed oils from an orange twist.

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  • Waterfront Cooler

    Waterfront Cooler cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If a Pimm’s Cup and an Arnold Palmer (or a John Daly) joined forces, they’d produce this sipper created by San Diego bartender Veronica Correa. Earl Grey tea (or chamomile, peach or any other kind of tea you prefer) lends a subtle floral flavor to strawberry, lemon and orange, while fresh mint and Jägermeister perk it up. Top with ginger beer for fizz, and you’ll have a patio pounder that’s basically sunshine in a glass.

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  • Aviation

    Aviation cocktail / Tim Nusog

    April’s Easter eggs have nothing on this lavender-hued, floral-flavored classic cocktail. A splash of creme de violette contributes its signature color, while gin, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice add a sweetly balanced freshness. Add a cocktail cherry as a finishing touch for the perfect accent.

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