The Best Cocktails For Spring, According To A Bar Manager

Some define spring cuisine based on iconic flavors of the season. Taste of Home lists classic combinations of lavender and lemon, strawberry and rhubarb, and lemon and blueberry as classic pairs that embody the return of warmer weather. Mixologists have also spun some of these combinations into drinks, creating a number of signature cocktails over the years that celebrate the return of the season. According to Town & Country Magazine, bartenders have thought up craft cocktails that mix together rose water and tequila, mezcal and pineapple, bourbon and peach liqueur, and much more.

No one knows seasonal craft cocktails better than bartenders, and James MacInnes, the Liquor Boss at Miami's Klaw (set to open soon), caught up with Mashed to lay down the basics of what makes a good spring drink. According to MacInnes, ingredients and garnishes define great seasonal drinks. Ingredients like strawberries, raspberries, apricots, bananas, and apples help evoke the spirit of spring and emphasize the return of fresh fruit to the market. MacInnes even recommends Googling "strawberry rose garnish" for some added inspiration. Here are more of his picks.

The most underrated spring cocktail, according to MacInnes

For those who want an iconic cocktail off the beaten path that really celebrates the spring season, MacInnes recommends The Clover Club. This gin sour drink has recently made a comeback over the past two decades, but MacInnes notes that you might not see the item on cocktail menus frequently so you'll have to specially request it. "I'll never stop championing this beautiful gin sour," MacInnes says. According to, you can also attempt to make this drink at home by combining gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and a frothed egg white together with a simple garnish of three raspberries.

While The Clover Club slowly retakes lost ground, MacInnes notes that other beverages that have really made an impact lately include craft takes on gin and tonics. "Despite being one of the most ordered highballs abroad, gin and tonics have started to pop up on menus everywhere with a newfound concentration on the creativity and execution of its limited ingredients," says MacInnes, noting that the emphasis on this simple mix falls on how bartenders mix together the ingredients, what liquors and mixers they use, and generally on how they present this very standard cocktail. For a tried-and-true standard, you can't go wrong with this trending beverage, but either way, it looks like gin-based drinks will define the season this year.