If you like Piña Coladas and avoiding the rain — if you’re excited for spring break and you’re done using your brain — then take a seat and grab a mini umbrella.
We’re talking about the fun, fruity and tropical drinks that’ll take you away. I’m not a big drinker, but there’s something about spring semester that makes me want to pop bottles. Maybe you’re in the same boat, or you just want to be in a boat. Spring semester is the longest stretch before freedom for most, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all your fun in the name of school. So, for our 21+ collegiettes: Try one of these classic cocktails and daydream about your vacation plans in between study sessions — or keep these in mind for your spring break plans.
Piña coladas are quintessential and quality tropical drinks. And, they’re actually easy to make. All it takes is a little rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and ice. Throw it all in a blender and you’ve got Pina coladas! If you use organic, natural ingredients you could even say it’s pretty healthy. Another route is to pick up a pre-packaged Pina colada mix in the freezer section of the grocery store. All you do is throw the packet ingredients, along with some rum and ice in a blender and you’re done. For all my underage friends, skip the rum and you’ve got an excellent mocktail!
With margaritas, you have the option of making a drink or a slushie. Use limes or limeade for the drink and use a frozen limeade concentrate for a slushie. After you’ve chosen which version you’re feeling make sure you have tequila and ice. Add Triple Sec or any other fruity liqueur for a twist. You can mix all of the ingredients together for a drink and then add ice. I really like using crushed ice in margaritas because it’s somewhere in between a drink and a slushie. Just throw all of the ingredients in the blender for a margarita slushie. But, don’t forget to add the margarita salt. Make sure to rim your glasses with salt and top it off with a lime wedge. Forego the tequila or any other liquor for a margarita mocktail.
When you think fruity maybe you think cherry. If so, then Shirley Temples will be your jam. The main ingredient is grenadine and Maraschino cherries. Fill your glass with ice, pour in ginger ale (or lemon-lime soda), add your choice of rum or vodka, pour the grenadine over and finish with a cherry on top. For a twist, add a splash of orange juice after the ginger ale. For a mocktail, just leave out the alcohol. I actually prefer the virgin version of this drink.
Fish Bowl Cocktails
Fish bowl cocktails are all the rage now that social media and hipster pop-up bars have made them trendy. And, I can’t lie, they’re great for a #GNO photo shoot. You can have your own fish bowl photo shoot at home with just a few essentials for this cocktail. For the drink itself you’ll need silver rum, vodka, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, pineapple juice and lemon-lime soda. Once you have all that mixed you’ll need a gallon fish bowl with some ice to pour it into. Grab a bunch of different colored straws, sliced orange rounds and Swedish fish and you’ve got a fun, scarily realistic fish bowl. Again, ditch the alcohol and have fish bowl mocktails for all ages.
This fruity drink is all about strawberries. Honestly, all you need is to throw strawberries, a light rum and ice in a blender and you’ve got a strawberry daiquiri. However, for those of a more elevated pallet, add lime juice and strictly stick to a white rum. Adding any other fruity liqueur — like orange — will add a fun twist, but it’s not essential. White rum isn’t essential either, so it’s really your call. If you’re not about the hype and want a simpler version then grab a ready-made strawberry daiquiri mix from the freezer section of the grocery. Throw it in a blender with ice and your choice of alcohol and you’re done. For years I drank virgin strawberry daiquiris, so I can attest that they’re just as good without alcohol.
Mai Tais are the original Hawaiian tropical drink, and your pre-spring break escape route. All you need is a mix of dark rum, light rum, orange curacao, orange juice, lime juice and agave syrup. It has a long list of ingredients, but it’s one of the easiest drinks to make. If you’re under 21, you can use all the components minus the alcohol for a Mai Tai mocktail. Add pineapple chunks, cherries and mint as garnish to replicate this traditional tropical cocktail.
A seasonal favorite, sangria is an alcoholic punch comprised of red wine, fruit chunks and other ingredients depending on the flavor profile you’re aiming for. Basically, think of it as the grown-up version of jungle juice. For the base, you’ll need red wine, lemon juice, orange juice, sugar and lemon-lime soda. Replace the red wine for a white wine and you’ll have a white sangria. Don’t add any wine and you’ll have a sangria mocktail. Then, start adding whatever fruit you want. Some fruits often used (not necessarily together) are strawberries, apples, oranges, blackberries, grapes and pears. Most sangria is made with brandy, except if you’re making a mocktail, so I would suggest using a flavored brandy to compliment whatever fruits you added. Et voila! Sangria all around!
You shouldn’t have to spend your spring semester dreaming about vacationing. So, grab one of these drinks and take your studies outside for some pre-break relaxation. May I add one last suggestion: Pour any of these drinks into a coconut and you’ll be sailing on a tropical breeze all the way to summer — or at least spring break.