Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Spring

11 Essential Cocktails to Try in May

These refreshing cocktails will take you into the unofficial start of summer.

Sorrentino Image: / Tim Nusog 

Spring is in full force, and your cocktails should be too. While enjoying May’s new blooms or simply taking in the springtime sunshine, these are the cocktails for raising a glass—and your spirits—this month.

  • Pimm’s Cup

    Pimm's Cup / Tim Nusog

    Welcome the unofficial start of summer at the end of the month with this fruity concoction straight from London. Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, Sprite (or 7Up or ginger ale) and cucumber come together in this cocktail and then are garnished with strawberries, lemon and oranges for extra appeal. 

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  • Bee’s Knees

    Bee's Knees 

    The secret to the buzz this cocktail is sure to bring? Honey. It adds a delicate sweetness (in the form of honey syrup) to gin and fresh lemon juice, and the combination is perfectly refreshing when shaken with ice, strained and garnished with a lemon twist. 

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  • Lemon Drop

    Lemon Drop / Tim Nusog

    With roots in 1970s San Francisco, this cocktail has stood the test of time as a perfect mix of tart and sweet. Just shake vodka, triple sec, simple syrup and lemon juice with ice, then strain into a sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.

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  • Girls Next Door

    Girls Next Door

     Pamela Wiznitzer

    This fruity drink is inspired by spring and perfect for backyard sipping. Vodka, pear liqueur, hibiscus-strawberry syrup, lemon juice and Bittermens Burlesque bitters get a creamy lift when shaken with an egg white. Strain and top with a spritz of lemon bitters.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Green Margarita

    Green Margarita

    This is the perfect twist on the Cinco de Mayo staple. Blanco tequila, Combier, St-Germain and fresh lime juice get a hit of springy flavor and green color from pea purée. Shake with ice, strain and garnish with a lime wheel.

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  • Rosé All Day

    Rosé All Day

    Treadwell Park

    It’s that time of year again. Naturally, rosé wine is the star of this cocktail, but white rum, rosé liqueur, orange liqueur, pomegranate liqueur and fresh lemon juice help to bring out the wine’s juicy flavors. Rhubarb bitters and seltzer help to keep everything from veering toward overly sweet.

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  • Mint Julep

    Mint Julep

     Erick Castro

    Mint Juleps are a May tradition, and this recipe is the only one you’ll ever need. The classic combination of bourbon, simple syrup and mint is easy to bring together, and a topping of bitters helps to bring it to new heights. Don’t forget the crushed ice! 

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  • Cucumber Basil Lime Gimlet

    Cucumber Basil & Lime Gimlet / Tim Nusog

    Your classic Gimlet gets a springtime upgrade in this recipe. Simply muddle fresh cucumber and basil, then add in vodka, lemonade and lime juice and shake. Serve over ice with a cucumber wheel garnish. 

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Moscow Mule

    Moscow Mule / Tim Nusog

    This gingery drink is a classic for a reason. Combine vodka, ginger beer and lime, then top with club soda. Bonus points for drinking it from a traditional copper mug.

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  • South Side

    South Side

     Kevin Diedrich

    Get your muddler ready. Fresh mint and bright lemon juice render this gin drink the most refreshing of cocktails. Muddle mint leaves with simple syrup, add gin and lemon juice, shake and serve up. A mint sprig makes for a jaunty garnish. 

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  • Sorrentino

    Sorrentino / Tim Nusog

    This classic cocktail from southern Italy is sweet, bitter and citrusy in just the right way. Sweet vermouth and limoncello are tamed by a dash of Campari, while a soda water topper helps to keep everything light. Garnish with a thyme sprig and an orange slice, and you’re good to go.

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