Can’t Spell Spring Without G.I.N.!

By Darren Scott

Can you feel the changes outside? The air is finally shaking off its cold and beginning to waft crisp breezes towards us. The sun is starting to act not just as a furnace, but a soul rejuvenator. Leaves are starting to throw shade again and flowers are offering up a beautiful spectrum of color and aroma. The feelings are just so unmistakable that you can officially feel confident enough to pack away your heavy coats. Spring is here!

How can anyone not love this time of year? Even people with the most sensitive allergies still dust off their patio furniture and kick up their feet in sun soaked natural bliss. They’ll even sacrifice sinus comfort to roll down their car windows just moments after the engine has cranked. This weather is certifiably therapeutic. It’s what we’ve been craving for months on end.

So what can we do to accentuate these sublime seasonal feelings? Dust off that drink recipe book and concoct some truly delicious cocktails that beg to be enjoyed in some afternoon sunshine!

I, for one, am a lover of gin. However, it most certainly wasn’t the first type of liquor I explored because I thought it was what grandparents drank to unwind and that didn’t seem like fun to me! I believed it to be just a juniper soaked spirit that only had a home in a martini glass mingling with olives and dry vermouth. But once I got through my stubbornness, I noticed that no two gins on the shelf were really alike. Sure, some of them were the typical Christmas pine needle tasting spirits that I didn’t gravitate towards, but some of them had other fantastic botanicals like Grains of Paradise, coriander, angelica root, and even Douglas fir. Many even incorporated citrus peel, orange rind, or cucumber to give their spirit a more refreshing angle. These were the types of gins that springtime cocktails seemed to be begging for!

So, at your next patio party, try making one of my favorite gin cocktails, “The French75.”

  1. Fill a shaker with ice and pour in 3 ounces of gin (I like Bombay Sapphire for this one).
  2. Add to the shaker 1½ ounces of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar or simple syrup if you have it.
  3. Shake it up and strain into a highball glass.
  4. Top with 2 ounces of sparkling wine.
  5. Finish it off with a lemon garnish and you will have made one heck of a relaxing cocktail!
  6. If you’re in the mood for a drink with an orangey twist, try the “Will Rogers.”
  7. Once again, fill a shaker with ice and add 1 ounce of dry vermouth and 2 ounces of gin (try Atlanta’s own Old Fourth Distillery).
  8. Then add 1 ounce of fresh orange juice and just a tablespoon of orange liqueur.
  9. Shake it up and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist and voila!

I bet either one of these recipes will surely get you in the springtime mood in no time. For more ideas and for all of your favorite beverages, stop by Village Wine & Spirits one day. As I said last column, dare to explore everything that the world of spirits has to offer.