Story, Photos & Recipes by Kaitlin Hill 

Spring will be here before you know it and with it, spring wedding season. It’s no mystery why spring is a popular time to get married in Hunt Country.  Warming weather, gorgeous blooms, and the promise of seasonally inspired food and drink are just a few reasons why spring is an idyllic season for nuptials. 

If you are looking to infuse a little springtime flavor into your cocktail hour, here are two drinks that would serve well as signature sips. My Blackberry Bouquet and Rose-Marry Me cocktails are inspired by the bright colors and fresh flavors of the season. 

The Blackberry Bouquet is a Cognac-based drink given slight sweetness from blackberry-scented simple syrup and a silky, frothy finish from whipped egg white. Top this tasty libation with edible flowers for an aperitif that screams spring. 

Serves 1 | Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ pint of blackberries 
  • 2 ounces of your favorite Cognac 
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice 
  • 1 egg white
  • edible flowers for garnish (optional)

Directions: 

  1. First, make the blackberry simple syrup. Place the sugar, water, and blackberries in a small saucepot set over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook, while stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved. 
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 10 – 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove the liquid from the heat. 
  4. Using a fork, crush the berries. This will help release their juices into the syrup.
  5. Strain the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to cool.
  6. This will make more simple syrup than you need for one drink. It can be stored in an airtight container or canning jar in the fridge for up to a month. 
  7. Once the blackberry simple syrup has cooled, combine 1 ounce of it with the Cognac and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add enough ice to fill the shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. One serving will fill a coupe glass. 
  8. Add the egg white to the shaker and shake vigorously for 1 minute until the egg white is frothy. Pour the egg white over the drink and garnish with edible flowers. Serve immediately. 

Rose-Marry Me is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. Rosemary simple syrup gives the drink an earthiness while grapefruit and lime juice add a punch of acid for a cocktail that is as drinkable as it is pretty. 

Serves 1 | Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of water 
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, more for garnish 
  • 2 ounces of vodka 
  • 1 ounce of freshly-squeezed lime juice 
  • 4 ounces of freshly-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice

Directions:

  1. First, make the rosemary simple syrup. Place the sugar, water, and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepot set over medium-high heat. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook, while stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Remove the liquid from the heat and let the rosemary sprigs steep for 30 minutes. 
  3. Strain the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to cool. 
  4. This will make more simple syrup than you need for one drink. It can be stored in an airtight container or canning jar in the fridge for up to a month. 
  5. In a tall glass filled with ice, combine half an ounce of the simple syrup with the vodka, lime juice, and grapefruit juice. Stir to combine. Add a sprig of rosemary for garnish. Serve immediately. ML

This article first appeared in the February 2020 issue of Middleburg Life.