pink fruit drink with mint

Overripe Berries

Berries have notoriously short shelf-lives, and they can be less-than-tasty when overripe. But don’t toss your extras in the compost bin just yet! These delectable spring cocktails are perfect for giving soft and overripe berries a new lease on life. Try them out this weekend to wow your guests and reduce waste at the same time.

Berry-Lemon Cooler

Overripe berries can be a bit unpleasant to eat, but they’re the perfect addition to this simple yet refreshing warm-weather cocktail. Use any berry variety you happen to have on hand, such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 fresh berries (if you’re using a larger berry, like a strawberry, opt for only 3 per batch)
  • 3 oz water
  • Club soda

Mix it up:

  1. Pour vodka and water into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add the juice from one lemon and drop both fresh lemon halves into the shaker. Add berries.
  2. Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds to combine. Your cocktail is finished when the mixture starts to change color (pink, red or purple, depending on the berries you used).
  3. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a fresh berry and lemon slice, and enjoy!

Helpful Hint: You may notice some fruit pulp or small berry seeds in your cocktails. If this bothers you, just use a hand-held mesh strainer, like this one, to double-strain your mixture before pouring it over ice.

Very Berry Margarita

After a few hours in the freezer, mushy berries transform into the key ingredient for these homemade berry margaritas. Perfect for a warm afternoon on the patio, these sweet and tangy spring cocktails are sure to impress even your pickiest guests.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 oz tequila
  • 1 1/2 oz triple-sec (orange liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 2 1/2 cups ice
  • 1 cup frozen berries

Mix it up:

  1. Before preparing your cocktails, place the overripe berries of your choosing in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  2. Once your berries are frozen through, add them to a blender with ice, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice.
  3. Blend on medium-low speed for at least 2 minutes to fully combine. If you notice your mixture is too thick or thin, gradually add ice or a bit of extra tequila as needed.
  4. Pour into two sugar-rimmed margarita glasses. Garnish with a fresh berry and enjoy!

Next, Spring Cocktail Recipes Using: Everything Else

By Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.