Adorn a cocktail with a fresh blossom, a sliver of fruit or a flowering herbal sprig and even a simple concoction becomes extra special. Select a cocktail recipe that’s expertly crafted by a professional tender with a penchant for inspired, seasonal concoctions, and you have the perfect Mother’s Day drink. Ashley Rose Conway is our Mom’s Day mixologist of choice. Her site, Craft & Cocktails, consistently inspires us with its dedication to fresh, original cocktails and the beautiful, thoughtful presentation of each drink. In her book, Celebrate Rosé, she keeps the focus on our favorite pink-hued beverage, creating colorful riffs on our cocktail favorites—sharing them in a party format (ladies night in, poolside party, rooftop fête) that makes us look forward to the many celebrations that lay ahead.
To make this modern update on the classic Mexican Paloma, Ashley combines the requisite grapefruit juice and tequila with watermelon and her signature rosé syrup. To make the syrup, simply combine equal amounts rosé and sugar and simmer over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. You never know when you might want to have a little rosé syrup on hand, so you’ll likely want to make extra. To get the ombré effect, add watermelon juice and rosé syrup to the salt-rimmed glass with ice first. Pour the rest of the ingredients slowly into the glass. Stir before serving.
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) Rosé Syrup (see note above)
- 2 oz (60 ml) watermelon juice, blended from 1⁄2 cup (75 g) diced watermelon
- 2 oz (60 ml) tequila
- 1 1/4 oz (35 ml) fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 oz (30 ml) soda water
- coarse salt
- lime wedge
- watermelon slice or grapefruit slice
Prepare rosé syrup. Spread coarse salt on a plate. Run a lime wedge around half the rim of a highball glass (or in whatever pattern you desire), then run the rim of the glass through the salt.
In a shaker, combine watermelon juice, tequila, grapefruit juice, measured-out rosé syrup, and ice. Shake and strain into the prepared glass with ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with watermelon or grapefruit slices.
Peaches are supremely sweet and juicy, while still offering a burst of pleasingly tart flavors. Here, dusty herbal notes from thyme balance the tender sweetness of muddled peaches. Ashley uses 12-year Appleton rum for this drink, though any variety will do.
- 4–5 peach slices
- 1 3/4 oz (50 ml) aged Jamaican rum
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) rosé
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) simple syrup
- 1 thyme sprig
- thyme sprig
- peach slices
In a shaker, muddle peaches well. Add rum, rosé, lemon juice, simple syrup, thyme, and ice. Shake and double-strain into a rocks glass with ice. Smack a thyme sprig on the glass and add as a garnish, along with peach slices.
Lillet Basil Smash
The smash’s simple architecture of spirit, citrus, and muddled herbs and fruit served over ice leaves lots of room for creative variations. The Lillet Basil Smash is particularly smashing, blending rosé, sweet and tart grapefruit, and peppery basil. Classic white Lillet contributes a subtle bitter quality that marries well with the sweet and tart grapefruit, while vodka hangs back unannounced to let the other ingredients take center stage.
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) simple syrup
- 6 basil leaves
- 1 oz (30 ml) vodka
- 1 1/2 oz (45 ml) rosé
- 1 1/4 oz (35 ml) red grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) Lillet Blanc
- basil sprig
Chill a coupe glass and prepare simple syrup. In a shaker, gently muddle basil leaves. Add vodka, rosé, grapefruit juice, Lillet, and measured-out simple syrup, along with ice. Shake and double-strain into the chilled coupe glass without ice. Smack basil sprig on glass and add as a garnish.
Rosé Pisco Sour
The addition of rosé adds a fruity but dry note to the Pisco Sour, a South American favorite. Pisco is a grape-based spirit, an unaged brandy from Peru and Chile. To add a great texture to the cocktail (a.k.a. mouthfeel, in cocktail speak), gum syrup will do the trick. This sweetened syrup thickened with guar gum adds a dense viscosity to cocktails. If you cannot find gum syrup, just substitute an equal amount of simple syrup in its place.
- 1 3/4 oz (50 ml) pisco
- 1 oz (30 ml) rosé
- 3/4 oz (20 ml) fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz (20 ml) gum syrup or simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Chill a coupe or rocks glass. In a shaker, combine the pisco, rosé, lime juice, gum syrup, and egg white. Dry shake without ice. Add ice and wet shake. Strain into the chilled glass without ice. Dash bitters on top of the foam.
Recipes and photographs excerpted from Celebrate Rosé (Weldon Owen, 2019) by Ashley Rose Conway