The flowers are blooming, the temperatures are rising, and Instagram is flooding with photos of vaccination cards. The result? Outdoor bars and restaurants are beginning to see customers starved for social interaction and thirsty for a cocktail made by anyone other than themselves.
As the VinePair team is receiving our vaccines, many of us are ready to embrace the warm weather with cold beverages. From classic Spritzes to celebratory rounds of tequila shots, here’s what the VinePair team is sipping this spring.
“Despite recent backlash, I believe that hard kombucha is the best drink for spring 2021. It’s great on its own if you love sour cherry beers, or probiotics in any form, and can add a spicy sparkle to cocktails. Flying Embers recently released a ‘Kombucha Bubbly Brut Nature’ that channels Champagne without residual sugars — and ensuing headache — so you can take a happy swig and wash down all your bougie, mail-order vitamins with ease.” —Emma Cranston, assistant editor
“I’m going to get put on blast for this, but I do think it’s finally time we give the Aperol Spritz a break. I get the appeal of light, sessionable, and bright Spritz cocktails, but after being in a pandemic for this long, I don’t quite long for La Dolce Vita as much as I just desire the basic, run-of-the-mill Vita. That’s why I will be stopping by every gnarly dive bar I missed during the past 12 months for shots of well whiskey and tequila. Sometimes, simplicity is bliss.” —Jeff Licciardello, marketing director
“If you can get your hands on any of Casamara Club‘s amaro club sodas, they make for pleasantly herbal whiskey Highballs (though I’m sure other spirits would be good, too). I recently tried the Onda flavor, made with a compelling mix of extracts, roots, and botanicals, and added some whiskey and a squeeze of lemon. It was faintly bitter and exceedingly refreshing and will likely be my go-to drink for the season.” —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor
“Now that we’re all (hopefully) getting vaccinated as soon as we can, this spring will be all about outdoor bar hopping for me. When the weather gets warm, my craving for tequila grows even stronger than usual, and I typically drink extra spicy Palomas. When I’m drinking at home, I’ll make a take on Ranch Water using Topo Chico, tequila, lime juice, and fresh-squeezed OJ.” —Katie Brown, associate editor
“This is an easy one: Springdale Brewing Co. Lavenade tart lemon lavender ale. I tasted this for the first time in April and immediately got excited (I love lemon and lavender, and seeing them used in beers!). It hit me with fresh-squeezed lemon juice — tart, but not sweet — and I felt like I could drink it by the pitcher if I had the chance. It’s a perfect pier beer or boat beer (if that resonates, DM me — I haven’t been on a boat that wasn’t a NYC commuter ferry in about two years). Regardless of where you find it, know that I’ll be stocking this in my lakeside cooler as soon as I go on that ever-elusive ‘vacation’ I keep telling myself about.” —Cat Wolinski, senior editor
“This spring, I’m obviously getting back into Spritzes. I’m not married to any specific one in particular, but I’m all about experimenting with flavors of the season. The other day I was eating at Sant Ambroeus in Southampton and had a delicious Spritz with pear and pomegranate in it. I definitely want to experiment with those myself and maybe add in some St. Germain.” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“An Aperol Spritz is my go-to spring cocktail. This year, any riff off the Spritz will be great as well — adding fresh citrus, a flavored soda water, or swapping out the Prosecco for something else like Kombucha!” —Jenny Riddell, director of brand partnerships & events
“I’m sticking with Ranch Water and Tommy’s Margaritas. They were two of my core three drinks last summer. Made my first of each two weeks ago.” —Josh Malin, co-founder
“I’m going to go with a passion fruit Mojito. I had one last weekend and it was crazy.” —Elgin Nelson, podcast intern
“Chilled red wine! Give it to me! Any young red wine with good natural acidity, like a Gamay or Pinot Noir cooled down a bit and sipped with a chill is one of the finer things in life.” —Keith Beavers, tastings director