An array of drinks special occasions sparkling.
We don't really need a party to celebrate the season and bring out the cocktail glasses. A sunlit afternoon followed by an evening stroll should be sufficient reason to crack out something sparkling.
Yet most of us need an official occasion. And in the spring those occasions tend to be more gender-specific than at other times: Mother's Day and showers (bridal and baby). Oh, there may be the occasional college graduation or anniversary party on the calendar, but for the most part we're talking gatherings of women, usually during the daylight hours.
In other words, it's brunches and light lunches this time of year and the drinks that keep those occasions sparkling, with or without alcohol.
For me, that means bubbles of all sorts, so I offer here a selection of drinks that keeps the merry in merrymaking, along with a few beverages that may appeal to those who are not as enthusiastic about sparklers.
Consider a spritzer with edible flowers, a Champagne cocktail or a classic Venetian aperitif that taps into the sweet orange flavors of Aperol liqueur (or the more bitter orange taste of Campari, which is my preference). Or pour a nonalcoholic combo of orange juice, ginger ale and grenadine. For many of us, bubbles make the occasion special.
But for others, a Bloody Mary keeps the crowds happy, as does a fruit punch, with or without a base of rum.
With any of these, you won't need an invitation to enjoy the cocktail -- or the sentiment. It's spring. Reason enough to celebrate.
Follow Lee Svitak Dean on Twitter: @StribTaste
Poll: Which 2013 Taste Holiday Cookie Contest entry do you most want to try?