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Fruity Cocktails for the Month of May

You’ve got to hand it to moms everywhere – they have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and only get one national holiday to demand the appreciation and pampering they rightly deserve. Coincidentally, National Fruit Cocktail Day falls upon Mother’s Day this year. While the word “cocktail” here doesn’t necessarily refer to a boozy, fruity libation, for the intents and purposes of this article, (and for the wonderful mothers in need of a good drink) it’s left to interpretation. Who doesn’t like a delicious, cold drink, anyway? Continue reading for a few good cocktails to show your appreciation and put into your mom’s hands this Mother’s Day.

#1 – Strawberry Mint Daiquiri

I’m not talking about the blended, trope-ridden smoothie that people drink on the beach with a little umbrella sticking out of it. This is a fruity version of the classic daiquiri, former president JFK’s favorite cocktail. A few strawberries and sprigs of mint go a long way in any drink, and this one is just simple and clean enough to make even the preparation enjoyable. See below for a quick recipe.

1.5 oz. Havana Club Silver
1 oz. Lemon or Lime Juice (whatever you prefer)
½ oz. Sugar Syrup, Honey or Agave (reduce or increase to taste)
3 Sprigs of Mint (just the leaves)
3-4 Strawberries (cut into fourths)

Put strawberries and mint into a mixing glass with all other ingredients and muddle until well mashed. Fill mixer with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain with Hawthorne through a fine sieve into a coupe. Garnish with a small sprig of mint, or a little twist of lime or lemon. If you’re feeling lovey, section a normally-shaped strawberry near the middle – it’ll make a little heart! Enjoy.

#2 – Martinique Mai Tai

Once upon a time, this cocktail was on the Fearrington House Bar’s list, and enjoyed by many people. Created by the previous bartender and assistant sommelier, Chris Frey and Chetan Reddy respectively, this was one of the drinks that helped me truly appreciate the art of making a good cocktail. While it is no longer on the bar list, it is still available at the House. For those of you wishing to make it at home, keep reading for the details.

1 oz. La Favorite Martinique Rhum Agricole Vieux
1 oz. Neisson’s Martinique Agricole Blanc Rhum
¾ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Cointreau (could substitute Triple Sec, Orange Curaçao, or Grand Marnier)
¼ oz. Orgeat Syrup (a labor of love, but well worth it!)
¼ oz. Brown Sugar Syrup
¼ oz. Pineapple Juice

Put everything in a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple, lime twist and a brandied cherry. Enjoy!

#3 – Jungle Bird

The Jungle Bird is another one that graced the bar list back in the day. This one is for the mama that relishes in the rich and complex. Comprised of aged rum, pineapple and lime juice, it’s a tropical drink best enjoyed on the beach or on the porch. The bartenders in the Kuala Lumpur Hilton back in the 1970s are to thank for this beverage, giving a rounded, tropical twist to the Negroni. Check the recipe out below, or ask for one from the bartender at the House.

1.5 oz. Blackstrap Rum (Cruzan does very well)
¾ oz. Campari
½ oz. Lime Juice
½ oz. Sugar Syrup
1.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple Slice & Fronds for Garnish

Throw all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and shake hard. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a skewered pair of fronds and a slice of pineapple. Serve and savor.

~Watson, Fearrington House Restaurant Bartender Extraordinaire