Slideshow: The Best Drinks We Drank in April

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

"I would drink lemonade (or an Arnold Palmer) with every meal if I could. Since springtime means strawberries, I made my first pitcher of strawberry lemonade for a backyard BBQ. I like this version with basil because it adds a subtle licorice note."—Carrie Vasios Mullins, Sweets editor

[Photo: Kelly Carámbula]

Sorta a Mai Tai at Trick Dog, San Francisco
Sorta a Mai Tai at Trick Dog, San Francisco

"My perfect San Francisco afternoon involves heading over to Trick Dog in the Mission before it gets crowded: that means 5 p.m. or even 4:30. At that point, the bar is mellow enough that I don't feel bad ordering something that's not on the menu. A recent winner: when tasked with 'something bitter and sour', Chad Arnholt whipped up a twist on a mai tai, made bitter with Amaro Sibilia and enriched with Small Hand Foods orgeat and Giffard Banane. It hit the spot: super tart, intriguingly bitter, fresh, fun. And then he filled the lime shell with booze and lit it all on fire to caramelize the cherry garnish. A few cocktail umbrellas went down in flames, but it was totally worth it."—Maggie Hoffman, Senior Editor

[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Bitter Taste of Calm at Pouring Ribbons, NYC
Bitter Taste of Calm at Pouring Ribbons, NYC

"Pouring Ribbons in Manhattan recently switched over to their spring menu, which means out with the heavy sippers and in with some lighter cocktails. I'm a sucker for all things aquavit, and their Bitter Taste of Calm is dangerously smooth. It's a base of aquavit with Salers, Guillamette Genepi, and Pernod, and it's all about the herbal interplay of caraway, anise, and dill. Very refreshing."—Max Falkowitz, NY Editor

[Photo: Max Falkowitz]

Man-O-Awe from Three Floyds Brewing Co
Man-O-Awe from Three Floyds Brewing Co

"While I enjoy extreme beers every once in a while, I’m much more likely to go for something that is flavorful but still balanced. Imagine my surprise when the most confident and drinkable beer I had all month was the Man-O-Awe from Three Floyds—a brewery known for some seriously aggressive brews. This pale ale only uses Michigan hops, and offers a great ratio of bitterness to sweetness. I first sampled it at Trenchermen in Chicago, and it was so good and easy to drink, I ordered another round just to make sure." —Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago editor

[Photo: Nick Kindelsperger]

Coffee-Cinnamon Horchata at Home
Coffee-Cinnamon Horchata at Home

"Authentic it's not, but delicious it most certainly is: for this silky homemade horchata, I infused the traditional Mexican rice-and-almond base with dark-roast coffee beans and crushed cinnamon sticks. The result? A creamy, bittersweet drink that packs a wallop of flavor. Look for the recipe on SE soon!"—Lauren Rothman, recipe contributor

[Photo: Lauren Rothman]

Perplexity at Former Future Brewing Company in Denver
Perplexity at Former Future Brewing Company in Denver

"I drank a lot of great beer while in Denver for the Craft Brewers Conference, but the one I keep lusting for is Perplexity, a 100 percent Brettanomyces-fermented IPA from Former Future, a few-month-old brewery on Denver's Antique Row. Tropical fruit juiciness from the hops and that earthy funk from the Brett played wonderfully together, and it only got better, and more tart, as it warmed. Can't say I've had many all-Brett IPAs, but this one sets the standard."—Heather Vandenengel, beer contributor

[Photo: Heather Vandenengel]

La Rusa at Tanta in Chicago
La Rusa at Tanta in Chicago

"La Rusa (at Tanta in Chicago) was a great cocktail for helping usher in the spring drinking season. Acholado Pisco, St. German, orange and lemon come together to create a lightly fruity, floral cocktail, which stands great on its own—but the real treat is the evolving bitter notes that come into play as the thick block of Campari ice melts into the mix. I'm already looking for ways to make liqueur ice a staple in my drinking plans for the rest of the season."—Emma Janzen, cocktail contributor

[Photo: Emma Janzen]

Smoked Porter from Epic Brewing
Smoked Porter from Epic Brewing

"Recently I was doing some research on pairing beer and chocolate (it is the Easter season after all) and I happened upon a bottle of Epic Brewing's Smoked Porter. Where some other beers say 'smoked' and you have to try to find the smoky flavor, Epic Brewing has the aggressive smokiness I dream about. And by the way, it pairs really well with dark chocolate."—Elana Lepkowski, cocktail contributor

[Photo: Elana Lepkowski]

Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old Rum
Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old Rum

"I’ve never been a big straight-rum drinker (a well-made daiquiri, on the other hand…), but when my boyfriend’s brother gifted us with a bottle of Ron Abuelo Añejo 7 Años, I discovered the pleasure of a proper rum on the rocks. Papa Ron, as I’ve taken to referring to it, is made from fermented sugarcane juice and aged for 7 years in white oak barrels down in Panama. The finished product is silky smooth, with a dry, warm flavor and just a hint of spice."—Jamie Feldmar, Managing Editor

Peekskill Simple Sour
Peekskill Simple Sour

Forging onward in my never-ending hunt for sour beers, I recently made the acquaintance of Peekskill's Simple Sour—not as eye-twitchingly tart as I secretly wish all sours would be, but nonetheless a refreshingly light and bright beverage to ring in spring. I have a feeling we'll be getting together again soon.—Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor

[Photograph: Gloria Dawson]

Homemade Beer!
Homemade Beer!

"Last month I helped my brother get started brewing beer at home. This month I've been reaping the rewards. We brewed an American IPA and while it's not quite as hoppy as I'd like, it's beautiful and delicious."—Paul Cline, developer

[Photo: Paul Cline]

Lost Weekend at Expatriate in Portland
Lost Weekend at Expatriate in Portland

"I loved the Lost weekend at Expatriate in NE Portland. Made with Henry McKenna bourbon, Luxardo amaretto, fresh lime, maraschino, and fresh apple gastrique."—Stacey Gibson, wine contributor

[Photo: Emily McIntyre]