It’s official: We’ve finally caught that long-awaited first whiff of springtime. While the inspiration for that poignant sensation is unique for everyone, visions of budding flowers, dewy green grass, a warm breeze, and afternoons spent outside with friends and loved ones easily come to mind. The arrival of spring also means the return of patio weather and, thus, patio drinking.

Because springtime cocktails should be just as fresh as the season itself, the best spirit to reach for is ideally one that is super smooth. Our pick is a premium vodka like the original Ketel One, which is known for its crisp taste and soft finish.

Because of Ketel One’s superior taste, it’s the perfect base for all your favorite spring beverages — easily complementing everything from a zingy citrus cocktail to a minty refresher. So, in honor of the turn of the season, here are some of our favorite Ketel One vodka cocktails to enjoy this spring.

Grapefruit Julep (serves one)

While bourbon is the traditional spirit for a classic Mint Julep, this bright and citrusy grapefruit rendition instead calls upon the exceptional flavor of Ketel One Vodka. There’s still mint galore to refresh your palate, but this recipe kicks up the spring flavor with fresh grapefruit juice and a bit of sweet pomegranate syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¾ ounce pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 ounce pomegranate syrup
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1/3 ounce honey syrup (a mix of honey and water, either 2:1 or 1:1)
  • Garnish: sprig of mint, grapefruit twist

Directions:

  1. Combine the vodka, lime juice, grapefruit juice, pomegranate syrup, and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker before stirring in the honey syrup.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Strain into a julep cup or Collins glass filled with crushed ice.
  4. Garnish with a large sprig of mint and grapefruit twist.

Blackberry Vodka Gimlet (serves two)

Another vodka-based twist on a cocktail classic, this blackberry gimlet subs smooth Ketel One in place of the typically used gin. The result is a light and fruity sipper that’s perfect for an al-fresco brunch. If you’re not a blackberry fan or have another berry option on hand, like raspberries, feel free to sub.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 2 ounces cane sugar
  • 2 ounces filtered water
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • Garnish: lime wheel

Directions:

  1. Prepare a blackberry simple syrup by placing equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce heat and add blackberries.
  3. Simmer the mixture until it thickens, using the back side of a spoon to gently crush and macerate the berries.
  4. Strain out the berries and allow the syrup to cool completely.
  5. In a cocktail shaker, combine your blackberry syrup with vodka and lime juice over ice, and shake vigorously.
  6. Strain equally into coupe glasses and garnish with a lime wheel.

The Garden Party (serves one)

The name of this cocktail speaks for itself as the perfect springtime concoction — combining the classic flavors of mint and lime with herbaceous and bright green French herbal liqueur. Bubbly club soda and the clean taste of Ketel One finish the cocktail off. This one is perfect for, you guessed it, a garden party with good friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Ketel One Vodka
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce French herbal liqueur
  • 2 ½ ounces club soda
  • 4 to 5 fresh mint leaves
  • Garnish: sprig of mint 

Directions:

  1. Add mint, lime juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle lightly.
  2. Add ice and the French herbal liqueur and shake until chilled, at least 20 seconds.
  3. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top with club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Lavender Lemon Drop (serves two)

With its ultra-simple recipe, the Lemon Drop is a beloved cocktail classic with a sweet and zesty flavor that’s perfect for the warmer months of the year. Ketel One Vodka really allows the lemon to shine through in this drink, complemented by the floral, soothing flavor of lavender. Shake a few of these up to sip on a warm evening after the sun goes down.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Ketel One Vodka
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces lavender syrup
  • Garnish: lemon peel

Directions:

  1. Place Martini glasses in the freezer 30 minutes before shaking up this cocktail, as it’s best served chilled.
  2. When you’re ready, pour your ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice and give it a vigorous shake for at least 20 seconds.
  3. Strain the mixture evenly into your chilled glasses.
  4. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Cucumber Refresher (serves four)

 A pitcher of this Cucumber Refresher is exactly what you and your guests need on a sunny spring afternoon — and it couldn’t be easier to make. The cucumber and lime juice flavors stand out in this recipe, easily accompanied with Ketel One Vodka, and a fresh mint garnish.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Ketel One Vodka
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cucumber juice
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups seltzer water
  • Garnish: sprig of mint, wedge of lime

Directions:

  1. Pour vodka, cucumber juice, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup into a large pitcher over ice.
  2. Stir with a long spoon for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Pour each drink over crushed ice and top with cold seltzer water.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a wedge of lime.

This article is sponsored by Ketel One Vodka.