7 Easy Spring Cocktails for Beginners

7 Easy Spring Cocktails for Beginners


We’re partnering with Hilton Garden Inn™ to help you bring hotel hospitality into your home with recipes that are perfect for sharing. Here, we’re highlighting a few cocktails that would fit right in at your favorite bar, but can be easily mixed up in your kitchen.

I’ll be the first to admit that while I love a good cocktail—from a frothy pisco sour to a briny dirty martini (with gin, of course)—I rarely ever make one at home. I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of getting the proportions just right, or the fact that I’ve got a limited lineup of syrups, bitters, and spirits, but mixing drinks is usually something I like to leave to the professionals.

Unless I’m entertaining.

When I know guests are coming over, I suddenly feel the urge to shake (or stir) up at least one type of specialty cocktail for the occasion, in addition to beer and wine options. But what to make? I try to stick with recipes that look impressive but are actually pretty hard to mess up (and don’t require a laundry list of hard-to-find tinctures and garnishes).

Photo by Julia Gartland

You might think that criteria would limit you to overdone combos like gin and tonic or cranberry vodka, or exclude some of your go-to orders, but you’d be wrong. In fact, some of the prettiest (and tastiest!) cocktails you’ll find at the bar are actually the easiest to make, including all of the ones on this list.

From a smoky riff on the classic Michelada to a non-alcoholic orange and mint soda, these seven cocktails are sure to impress your guests, whether you’re hosting a weekend brunch or special-occasion dinner.

1. Lemon Lavender Gin Rickey

With its freshly plucked lavender sprig (you could also use fresh basil or mint) and soft yellow hue, this tart spring sipper might look too beautiful to drink. Luckily, it’s quite simple to make—all you need are a few ingredients and a cocktail shaker.

2. Mezcal Michelada

I’m a sucker for a regular Michelada (essentially a Bloody Mary with beer), so you can imagine how excited I was to discover this mezcal version, which brings a spicy-smoky depth you won’t necessarily find in the original.

3. Orange Ginger Mint Sodas

This citrusy, hot-weather soda makes the perfect brunch mocktail, thanks to its punchy flavors (fresh orange, ginger, and mint) and bubbly effervescence.

4. Rick Pick’s Bloody Mary Mix

I used to think that the best Bloody Marys were the ones served in restaurants—until I made this sublimely spicy mix with Worcestershire, hot sauce, and freshly ground horseradish (plus a few extra secret ingredients) at home.

5. Cucumber-Fennel Fizz

This tangy, herbal drink looks like it belongs on the menu of a spiffy cocktail bar, but it actually comes together in 10 minutes or less and tastes best on hot summer days.

6. The Desert Bird

This sweet-yet-bitter Desert Bird cocktail was born at a bar in San Antonio, Texas, so you know it’s going to be refreshing. With mezcal (or tequila, if you like), pineapple, Campari, lime, and mint, this one-of-a-kind drink is a warm-weather winner.

7. Berry French 75

While a traditional French 75 will have gin or Cognac, other spirits work just as well, especially a berry-infused vodka for a fruity, seasonal kick.

What’s your favorite cocktail to mix up at home? Tell us in the comments below!

Whether you’re hosting friends for a laidback brunch or whipping up a special-occasion breakfast for family, take your next celebration up a few notches with a festive cocktail. For inspiration, we’re turning to our partner Hilton Garden Inn™, where you can always find a delicious, Instagram-ready drink waiting for you at the bar. From decked-out cheese boards to party-ready flatbreads, we’re sharing our favorite entertaining-friendly recipes and tips from the hospitality experts at Hilton Garden Inn™.

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