Spring Celebration Cocktails Pt. I and II by KC

Learn more about FOREVERXXXIX on her blog. 

PART I - HUMMINGBIRD AND RASPBERRY LIMONCELLO PROSECCO COOLER

I am in spring celebration mode, as many of you might be – graduations, Mother’s Day, or just brunch with family and friends. Of course, every celebration calls for a festive beverage. I am in the midst of preparing for my big boy’s First Communion. The whole family will arrive in two weeks and they will hope for (or, perhaps, expect) a drink. This is my inspiration for the month’s experiments.  So far I have tried The Hummingbird and the Limoncello Raspberry Prosecco Cooler.

The Hummingbird is a classic cocktail. Fill a tall Collins glass with ice and add 2 oz of Champagne or dry sparkling wine, 1 ½ oz. St. Germain, and 2 oz. club soda. Stir together. Garnish with a lemon twist if desired.

This is light, the bubbles are fun and celebratory. I LOVE St. Germain but I feel like it is missing something.  I would like to experiment a little more with this one – maybe add in a little lemon or lime juice, or try a rose champagne.  I’ll keep you posted.  Overall, good choice, probably won’t be my final choice for Communion lunch.

Going along with the bubbly theme, next I tried the Limoncello Raspberry Prosecco Cooler. The recipe I have recommends chilling the cocktail glasses…I will be using plastic for this party, so I skipped this step. You will also want to freeze some raspberries before you make this drink. When you are ready to make your drink, put 1 oz of limoncello in your glass and top with Prosecco. Add raspberries and a sprig or two of mint.

This was good. At first sip, I got none of the raspberry taste so I decided to muddle the raspberries in the glass. This definitely gave more of the raspberry flavor but didn’t look as pretty. If you plan to serve this at an event, I recommend trying it beforehand to decide if you want to add more or less limoncello. I might add a little less – I thought the drink was refreshing and light, but maybe a little too lemony. It’s really a matter of personal preference.

PART II - THE SPARKLING LEMON DROP MARTINI

I guess I am becoming a purist in my old age because, like many other “martini” drinks, I feel that the only thing that makes this a martini is the fact that it is served in a martini glass.  So, I may have issues with the name, but I certainly don’t have issues with the drink.  This has to be my favorite so far to serve at the Communion party.

You’ll find the recipe I used by clicking here.  The writer has some fabulous and useful tips for making this amazing drink – 1) Fresh lemon juice, 2) Pinch of sugar (helps to make the drink less tart, but don’t overdo it), 3) Good vodka (I used Absolut Citron – but Grey Goose and Belvedere are as good or better), 4) Don’t skimp on the shaking – she recommends 15 seconds, I generally shake my drinks for 15-30 seconds, 5) Sugar rim (I agree with her, it really adds to the drink).

Start by preparing the rim of your martini glass.  Use rub a lemon wedge around the rim or dip in simple syrup, then dip into sugar to coat.  Put 1.5 oz lemon vodka, 2 oz fresh lemon juice, and a squeeze of liquid stevia (or a pinch of sugar) into a shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake for 15-30 seconds.  Strain into the prepared martini glass.  Top with 2 oz of sparkling water (I had to use club soda).  Garnish with a lemon twist or lemon wedge if desired.

This is just WOW!  It is tart but the stevia (or sugar) really tempers that.  It is not sugary sweet either.  Of course, the stevia/sugar is optional so you may omit it if you prefer.  The sugar on the rim nearly glistens like glitter.  The drink is festive and fun, sophisticated but simple, refreshing and smooth.  This is definitely appropriate for spring or summer…and for serving at any time of the day with brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or dessert.

In the meantime, I head back to the shaker tonight (thank goodness for kids’ vacation days) for more experimenting.  I forewarn you, I have four more drinks to try over the next seven days.  Cheers!