BY CELINA KAREIVA
Spring is as much the season of flowers as it is bridal showers. And while your wedding day may be the main event, a bridal shower is a chance to bring your closest friends and family together, while taking a break from that exhaustive planning. These drinks mimic the warmer months of spring and summer with sophisticated tastes and a colorful palette.
For a flavorful take on an old favorite, add grapefruit to your favorite mojito recipe. The end product is colorful and more refreshing than the syrupy mixtures you might be used to from most bar menus.
2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice
½ cup of sugar
1 lime (for zest and juice)
2 cups of white rum
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 large grapefruit
Add grapefruit juice, sugar, lime juice and the zest of your lime in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until sugar is melted. Remove from stove-top and allow to cool. Muddle mint leaves and grapefruit segments with the simple syrup made earlier. Add rum and ice, and decorate to taste.
Pineapple cooler (with lavender)
1 large pineapple
1 ¼ cups of sugar
11 sprigs of fresh lavender
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
Cut pineapple into one-inch pieces, after removing the core of the fruit. Pulse the slices of pineapple in a food processor until the mixture is lightly crushed, but not pureed. Move ingredients to a pot and add sugar, 4 cups of water and 3 lavender sprigs (try rosemary or lemon verbena as an alternative). Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce to a lower temperature and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve; allow to cool and add lemon juice.
Hibiscus iced tea
Iced tea practically makes itself, and when refrigerated can keep for up to a week. Use hibiscus tea bags to add a beautiful vibrant red color to your buffet table. For a variation on this recipe, add one cup of rum.
6 hibiscus tea bags
½ cup of honey
1 cup fresh lime juice (requires 8-10 limes)
In a large pitcher add tea bags, honey and 5 cups of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes before tossing tea bags and adding lime juice and 3 cups of cold water. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ginger Pear Bellini
It can be easy to get caught up in the planning for your big day, so for a simple, easy recipe that requires little prep, try this blend of ginger and pear (in season through the end of spring). These drinks will make you ache for summer.
For ginger simple syrup:
6 inches fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
½ cup ginger simple syrup
2 large, cored pears, pureed and well chilled
6 ounces vodka
1 bottle of champagne or sparkling wine
Combine ginger, sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Boil until the sugar dissolves, then cover and let simmer for a half hour. Strain and refrigerate until you’re ready to use your simple syrup mixture. When ready, combine ½ of mixture with pureed pears and refrigerate. Pour in glasses, leaving room for an ounce of vodka. Add champagne to taste.