Which drinks for springtime?
April 16, 2011 5:01 PM   Subscribe

What are some seasonally-appropriate beverages for spring?

In the winter, its both traditional, and pleasurable, to drink hot cider, mulled wine, hot chocolate, glogg, eggnog, hot buttered rum, hot toddys, and dark strong beers.

For the summer, you have lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, gin+tonic, mint juleps, sangria, pale beers, shakes, malts, and assorted fruity drinks.

Spring is such a nice season, it seems like there should be many drinks to go along with it. But all I can think of is 'shincha', which is a bit obscure outside of Japan. (Its the first harvest of green tea, taken around the time the cherry trees blossom.) And a few blogs mention wines like Riesling.

What else is there? Floral meads would make sense, but I've not heard of them being associated with the spring.
posted by Hither to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A nice wheat beer (http://goo.gl/VfpJw) and a slice of orange always make me happy in the springtime. Of course, these are probably better known for their summer seasonality, but especially when it starts to warm up in the spring, I like to enjoy one of these--it helps to usher in the warmer days to come.
posted by robobrent at 5:24 PM on April 16, 2011

St Germaine is an elderflower liquer that mixes deliciously with grapefruit and champagne and other tangy/citrusy ingredients. My favorite spring drink.

I also had a drink this week that was a lavender syrup of some kind mixed with vodka in a glass lined with very small bits of dried lavender and sugar. Couldn't drink more than one, but it was refreshing and delicious.

Though a Dark and Stormy is best when it is hot out, I think it could pass as a spring drink.
posted by anthropoid at 5:26 PM on April 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Drinking mimosas outside once the local cafes start reopening their outdoor seating says "spring" to me.
posted by quiet coyote at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fall has apple cider and other spicy things. In my experience, spring just gets the less-extreme summer stuff (lemonade, especially with strawberries, for instance.)

In general, it seems to me that because spring and fall are less consistent (weather-wise,) they have fewer food and drink traditions than winter or summer. I mean, iced tea and hot chocolate are practical drinks more than anything else.
posted by SMPA at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2011

And of course the strawberry cucumber Pimm's Cup cocktail!
posted by anthropoid at 5:50 PM on April 16, 2011

I made some beautiful rhubarb syrup last year-delicious in soda water, or with gin and tonic and lime.
posted by purenitrous at 5:53 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Rob Roy is one of those cocktails that have various seasonal incarnations, and for late spring or summer, the Dry Rob Roy is a perfect apertif/accompaniment to sunsets in longer days on Daylight Savings Time, fresh seafood grilled out, salads, spring soups, and fresh cream sherbets as desserts...
posted by paulsc at 5:56 PM on April 16, 2011

Chanh muoi (Vietnamese salty lemonade)!
posted by easy, lucky, free at 6:02 PM on April 16, 2011

Bock beers have a traditional association with the end of winter. Maibock, a lighter version, is probably closer to what you would be looking for.

A wheat beer is also an excellent selection as Robobrent suggested.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:33 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

My first outdoor drink of patio season is usually a Caesar. yummy, refreshing, yet sort of hearty, as well, to offset the fact that I'm generally anxious to start patio season, and it's still probably still a bit chilly out. this is probably a Canadian thing.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 7:39 PM on April 16, 2011

More of a summer than spring drink, but I do like a Mint Julep or a Mojito. (Hey, in the Pacific NW we'll take every sunny day we can get!)
posted by xedrik at 7:44 PM on April 16, 2011

Dog Fish Head Aprihop is my idea of a good spring.
posted by Felex at 8:44 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Michigan-based Bell's Beer has traditionally released their Oberon ale in the late-March, early-April timeframe.

Its actual release date is preceded by great excitement, at least among folks from Michigan, and a weird kind of mythology is woven into the day. A lot of prognosticating goes into when, exactly, the current year's batch will arrive. But, much like spring, they show up when they show up.

The sudden, jarring presence of a wall of shiny blue Oberon six packs in your local party store is as indicative of the season as a tree budding out with new flowers or robins rooting for worms in your yard. They sell out very quickly.
posted by shiggins at 8:51 PM on April 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

1 part Aperol, 1 part DRIEST orange soda you can find, 3 parts fizzy - prosecco or cava. Serve in a wine glass (no ice). The Aperol is like Campari-lite - it has a little of the bitterness you get in Campari, but the orange comes through when you use a good dry soda. If it were more bitter or more sweet, either way it would go "summer" to me. Like this, well, seems like spring.

I also like 1 part ruby-red grapefruit juice and 3 parts fizzy over ice in a tall skinny glass with a straw. Had this at a painfully trendy hotel in Austin and went absolutely bananas for it. I find it very spring-y.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:15 AM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm certainly going to try out a lot of these ideas, but what I'm really looking for are things that are concretely associated with spring, either through restricted availability, documented tradition or sheer popularity. So I marked as 'best answer' those that seemed to fit any of those criteria.
posted by Hither at 9:15 AM on April 17, 2011

Orange Blossom Cream Ale comes out in late March, I believe (at least it does around these parts), and it is very springy.
posted by quiet coyote at 6:54 PM on April 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

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