Take a Staycation with These Spring Cocktails

Even if a beach-filled vacation isn’t in the cards this season, celebrating the warmer weather with fun, tropical-inspired spring cocktails can be. Instead of going for the usual suspects, spice it up with a cocktail you may have never even heard of. Depending on the flavor profile or booze preference, we’ve got some seriously delicious, under-the-radar drinks. Whether you’re lying by the local pool, or just in need of a virtual spring break, whip up one of these festive spring cocktails and you’ll be transported far, far away…

If you love…

Creamy, decadent drinks like Piña Coladas and Eggnog:

Try the Coquito

This boozy elixir hails from Puerto Rico, where it is frequently consumed around the holiday season. Rich and indulgent, it’s made with coconut milk, rum, and sweetened condensed milk. (Makes 4 cups, adapted from Imbibe).

2 cups coconut milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups rum
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Ground cinnamon
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

1. Blend the milks, rum, and egg yolks until frothy.
2. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with cinnamon sticks.

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Bracing, tangy cocktails like a Margarita or Negroni:

Zingy, fruity, and effervescent, this summery drink is a favorite among our team. The campari and orange zest were inspired by the Negroni, while the citrus and tequila are essential Margarita ingredients. We combined them, and couldn’t be more obsessed. We recommend a pitcher for any get together—and make more, just in case.

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Sultry, gingery tipples like a Dark and Stormy:

Try El Diablo

After encountering El Diablo at a restaurant, it was clear that the boozy, fizzy drink would be a fast favorite. We love the rum/lime/ginger beer combination of a Dark and Stormy, but the addition of tequila (are you seeing a trend?) and black-currant liqueur takes things over the edge. Whether or not you use the thyme sprig, we know you’ll love this drink. (Makes 1 cocktail, adapted from Bon Appétit).

3 ounces tequila blanco
1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
½ ounce crème de cassis (black-currant liqueur)
Ginger beer
Thyme sprig

1. Combine tequila, lime juice, and crème de cassis in a highball glass.
2. Fill glass with ice, then top off with ginger beer. Garnish with thyme sprig.

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Rich, chocolatey beverages like the Mudslide:

Try our Boozy Frozen Hot Chocolate

After creating this winning Test Kitchen dessert, it occurred to us how terrific it would be as a spiked drink. So, we put it to the test and added some Kahlua. The results were unanimously fantastic. Feel free to skip the whipped cream if you like, but we think it makes it even more festive. (Makes 4 cocktails).

4 ounces Kahlua
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces milk, divided
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
6 ounces heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1. Combine granulated sugar and ½ cup milk in a small pot and place over medium-high heat. When small bubbles begin to form on the surface, remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, cocoa powder , and remaining milk.
2. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl and chill in refrigerator at least 10 minutes until ready to use.
3. While chocolate mixture cools, in a medium bowl, whip or whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar until thickened (if you want whipped cream).
4. When chocolate mixture is cool, remove from refrigerator and add to a blender with cups ice, Kahlua, and vodka. Blend until slushy, pour into glasses, and top with whipped cream.

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Tart, citrusy drinks like a daiquiri or mojito:

Try the Caipirinha

Not only is it super fun to say (ky-pee-reen-ya), the caipirinha, which is Brazil’s national cocktail, is exceedingly fun to drink. The main booze is cachaça (sugar cane liquor), which adds an invigorating note to the beverage. With just four ingredients (one is ice), this drink is a win-win. (Makes 8 cocktails, adapted from Epicurious).

4 limes
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups cachaça
Ice cubes

1. Quarter lime lengthwise, then cut each quarter in halve crosswise and divide pieces between 2 (6 ounce) glasses.

2. Add 1 tablespoon sugar to each glass, then muddle lime pieces by pounding and pressing with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved.

3. Fill each glass with ice and add 3 tablespoons cachaça to each, stirring well. Make 6 more cocktails in same manner.


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