Aguas Frescas, which translate literally as "fresh waters," are iced drinks made from infusions of water and herbs, grains, fruits, or vegetables. They're perfect for this time of year because they practically beg to be sipped outside and they're very easily scaled up to make a refreshing pitcher drink.
Everyone has their spring rituals—mine is getting my hands on some rhubarb. I start circling my favorite greenmarket stands in mid-April, waiting less-than-patiently for the humble pink stalks to show up. A homemade shrub syrup is the ideal way to feature rhubarb in cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.
Just like the bitter greens that start showing up at greenmarkets this time of year, Cynar is a delicious palate refresher. Although it's often consumed alone or with a splash of soda, it can also make cocktails much more interesting. Here are three great recipes to try.
Some people refer to kefir as 'runny yogurt', but this fermented milk drink might actually have more in common with kombucha. Although the rich, sour drink is strangely addictive on its own, kefir also makes a perfect tart background for both sweet and savory smoothies. Get your blender ready!
I'm definitely prone to focus too much on the utilitarian side of tea. I sip English Breakfast to wake up and turn to my favorite echinacea infusion not because I especially enjoy the taste, but because I've convinced myself that if I drink enough of it, a winter cold won't last as long. But tea also offers a myriad of flavors: there's rich, earthy pu-ehr, grassy and bittersweet green teas, malty black teas, smoky and bacony Lapsang souchong, not to mention the wide range of herbal options available. In an infusion, a syrup, or a straight-up brew, tea goes way beyond function and brings delicious and complex flavors to these 3 super-simple cocktails.
Crème Yvette, which dates back to the 1890s and went out of production in 1969, was revived in 2009 by Rob Cooper (the force behind St. Germain) in response to requests from bartenders around the country. While it's no surprise that something made from violet petals in France feels super fancy, Crème Yvette also completely at home in more everyday cocktails like these. Let's get mixing, shall we?
I can't remember a time when soda wasn't vilified. Of course, there have been some memorable gimmicks (remember Crystal Pepsi?), but mostly just a whole lot of high fructose corn syrup and not a lot of fun. Needless to say, the idea of returning to a time when soda was without as much baggage is definitely appealing. These three homemade sodas are contemporary takes on classic soda fountain drinks: a rickey, a phosphate, and an egg cream.
I was well into my twenties before I first saw citrus growing on a tree. But even under fluorescent grocery store lights, blood oranges, grapefruits, and Meyer lemons seem like small miracles, coming into season just as we're deep enough into winter that we start believing that nothing will ever come into season again. These 3 booze-free drink recipes are a great excuse to treat yourself to some bright, fresh citrus.
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