10 Spring Cocktails and Drinks to Try This Season around Town

Now on the menu at local establishments: Flower- and herb-forward cocktails and mocktails that take advantage of the warming season. 
By Emma Deal

Rosemary Bambino (courtesy of Colletta)

With the days becoming longer and the scent of flowers on the wind, the excitement of trying something new comes with the spring season. From non-alcoholic refreshers to floral and fruity cocktails, we’ve compiled a list of some of the sweetest drinks to enjoy this spring season.

Irregardless Café’s Bloom Spritz Cocktail

Irregardless Café has flower-themed cocktails perfect for the spring season. Their floral, Bloom Spritz cocktail, made with vodka, lemon, hibiscus lavender syrup, violette liqueur and cava is both refreshing and delicious. For a spirit-free option, check out their Puttin’ on the Spritz, made with hibiscus lavender syrup, lemon and lemon-ginger kombucha, to enjoy the floral notes alcohol-free. While you’re there, you can also try their Spanakopita, a Greek inspired mixture of spinach, feta and sauteed onions folded in phyllo dough, made with garden fresh ingredients. 901 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh; irregardless.com

Raleigh Raw’s Strawberry Patch Smoothie

Raleigh Raw, known for their cold-pressed juices and smoothies has plenty of selections made with spring-fresh ingredients. Their Strawberry Patch smoothie is especially perfect for the spring. Made with dragon fruit, strawberry, ginger, house-made almond mylk, banna, beet juice, maple and topped with coconut flake garnish, this blend of fruity flavors will brighten your day. For a larger, less blended option check out The Khaleesi Acai smoothie bowl made with acai, banana, dragon fruit, strawberry, pineapple and topped with kiwi, mango, strawberry, banana, bee pollen, chia seeds, gf granola and chocolate cashew butter. Focused on providing the community with “super free” foods to improve metabolic health, Raleigh Raw has a range of menu options for various diets, great for getting the fuel you need this spring. 7 W. Hargett Street, Raleigh; raleighraw.com

Capital Club 16‘s Old Fashioned Cocktail

For a European influenced dining experience, visit Capital Club 16. With decor inspired by the building’s history as a 1929 social and literary club, their atmosphere and drinks like their fruity cocktail CC 16 Old Fashioned are classic. Old Fashioned is a smooth house bourbon crafted with sugar cube, angostura, crude “sycophant” orange and fig, bourbon-soaked cherry and orange peel. 16 W. Martin Street, Raleigh; capitalclub16.com

Rosemary Me (courtesy of the Parlor at Heights House Hotel)

Heights House‘s Rosemary Me

The Parlor at Heights House Hotel’s has a new spring menu boasting delicious, bubbly libations perfect for the spring season. Two of our favorite new Heights House cocktails are the White Lotus, made with haymans gin, cocchi ameircano, vermouth and lemon, and the Rosemary Me, featuring vodka, rosemary, lemon and, as the name implies, brut rose. Visit the Parlor to try the rest of the menu as well from the pineapple and rum themed Italian Coast to the smooth bourbon with hibiscus, Endless Summer.308 S. Boylan Avenue; heightshousenc.com

The Pompelmo (courtesy of Colletta)

Colletta‘s The Pompelmo

Visit Colletta for their new summer spritz menu. Colletta’s summer spritz menu welcomes the warmer months with floral and fruity options such as The Pompelmo, made with grapefruit vodka, grapefruit, lemon, grapefruit bitters, prosecco and soda, and Rosemary’s Bambino, featuring rosemary infused campari, prosecco and soda. 1 Fenton Main Street, Suite 170, Cary; collettarestaurant.com

Hummingbird Fizz (courtesy of Jme photography)

Hummingbird Fizz at Hummingbird 

Inspired by the energetic, ever-busy little bird, Hummingbird Fizz is a hibiscus-infused vodka, with lime, peychaud’s, simple and soda sure to invigorate you with spring fever. Visit Hummingbird to try their namesake drink and help others as $2 of each cocktail benefits the non profit. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road Suite 11, Raleigh; hummingbirdraleigh.com

Strawberry Mint Gin & Tonic (courtesy of Natalia Weedy and Alex Craig)

Alley Twenty Six‘s Strawberry Mint Gin & Tonic

For a menu with a wide range of spirited options from cocktails to wines, ciders, beers and more, head to Alley Twenty Six. This spring season is the perfect time to try their Strawberry Mint Gin & Tonic. Made with Hendrick’s gin, Alley Twenty Six Tonic, strawberry, lime, mint and soda, this drink is both refreshing and flavorful. For another spring drink that goes well with brunch try their Earl Wray, made with Wray and Nephew overproof rum, Earl Gray tea, passionfruit, ginger and lime (for a spirit free option ask for the Earl minus the rum). 320 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham; alleytwentysix.com

Rosewater Kitchen and Bar‘s Rosewater Martini

As a garden-inspired bistro, Rosewater Kitchen and Bar boasts a namesake martini that guests love for a reason. Its sweet flavor is perfect for the spring season. Made with grey goose white peach and rosemary, st. germain, lemon, pomegranate and, of course, rosewater, this martini and the fresh flowers and herbs at the center of your table will put you in the mood to frolic through gardens. 110 Park at North Hills Street, Raleigh; rosewaterraleigh.com

Spring Cocktail Menu at Killjoy

Killjoy just dropped their new spring cocktail menu with themed drinks for the season. While every cocktail is great for the warmer weather, here are two to try out: the Matcha Matcha Man, a blueberry-matcha marvel featuring haku vodka, tia maria matcha cream, house-made blueberry jam, absinthe rinse and culinary grade matcha powder; and the Hello Dolly made with house-infused passionfruit hibiscus light rum, flor de cana dark rum, orange juice, pineapple, ginger, lime and remedy cocktail company tiki bitters. 116 N. West Street, Raleigh; killjoycocktail.com

Bittersweet‘s Saturn Returns

The cocktail and dessert lounge, Bittersweet has dozens of delicious delicacies to try. Their Saturn Returns cocktail is a must-try this spring as it’s made with iced jasmine, green tea, honey, lemon, black rose tea, grapefruit, rye whiskey, st. germain’s elderflower liqueur, empress 1908 gin, crushed ice, mint and topped with an edible flower. While you’re there, also try their blueberry lavender crème brulée made with fresh blueberries. 16 E. Martin Street, Raleigh; bittersweetraleigh.com

Aperol Spritz (courtesy of Brookside Bodega)

Brookside Bodega ‘s Frozen Aperol Spritz

Brookside Bodega, a favorite of patio and dog lovers alike, has just launched new frozen delights, Aperol Spritz and Pineapple Mule. Both the Frozen Aperol Spritz, made with sparkling wine, orange liqueur and aperol, and the Frozen Pineapple Mule, made with vodka, lime juice, pineapple juice and ginger beer, are invigorating and delicious, perfect for the warmer months. 1000 Brookside Drive Suite 119, Raleigh; brooksidebodega.com

Skylight Painkiller (courtesy of Sam Jones BBQ)

Sam Jones BBQ ‘s Frozen Skylight Painkiller

Along with mouth-watering barbeque, Sam Jones BBQ has two frozen treats perfect for spring as well. The frozen and blended Cheerwine Bourbon and the Skylight Painkiller, made with rum, pineapple, orange, coconut and dusted with nutmeg are best enjoyed in the outdoor air beside a tray of slow smoked BBQ pork. 502 W. Lenoir Street, Raleigh; samjonesbbq.com

Pomegranate Paloma, Fancy Ranch Water and Blueberry Bourbon Smash (courtesy of Midwood Smokehouse)

Midwood Smokehouse ‘s Pomegranate Paloma

Recently opened in Raleigh’s Smoky Hollow district, Midwood Smokehouse has a gorgeous new patio with an indoor/outdoor bar which opens to the exterior for guests to enjoy the spring air. We have three drinks to try when visiting the Smokehouse this spring: Fancy Ranch Water, made with El Jimador Blanco, club soda, pineapple juice, lime juice and Aperol with a Tajin rim; the Pomegranate Paloma, made with Lunazul Reposado, pomegranate and grapefruit juice, pomegranate simple syrup and club soda; and the Blueberry Bourbon Smash, made with Woodford Reserve bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, muddled blueberries and mint. 409 W. Johnson Street, Raleigh; midwoodsmokehouse.com

Peach Tea Cocktail (courtesy of Raleigh Wine Shop)

Raleigh Wine Shop‘s Peach Tea Cocktail

There’s not much more that’s quintessential southern porch drinking than some ice-cold sweet tea. Raleigh Wine Shop’s Peach Tea Cocktail is crafted with house-infused peach sake to take the place of your higher ABV spirits making this perfect for ‘session’ drinking. Combined with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and garnished with fresh basil, this might not be as sweet as grandma’s, but it definitely is thirst quenching! 317 S. Bloodworth Street, Raleigh; theraleighwineshop.com

Hemingway Daiquiri (courtesy of Carolina Stamey)

STIR’s Hemingway Daiquiri

Known for elevated craft cocktails and artisanal ice, STIR is the perfect spot to raise a toast, especially with their Hemingway Daiquiri in hand. This beautifully crafted pink drink is a STIR classic and known for its fresh yet tart tasting notes. Made with aged rum, luxardo liqueur, fresh grapefruit, lime juices and simple syrup, this drink is a perfect late spring or summer sip! 242 Six Forks Road, Raleigh; stirraleigh.com

This article was originally published on March 30, 2023 on waltermagazine.com