By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 16, 2007 at 5:22 AM

In spring, a young writer's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of...


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With apologies to Lord Tennyson, we spend a lot of time thinking about bars and cocktails in this corner of Just as many people are changing their wardrobes to accommodate warmer weather, we're thinking of changing our drink selection.

When it comes to warm-weather cocktails, pretty much anything tart or sweet and "eye catching" works. There are the classics, such as the trusty Gin and Tonic, the Vodka Lemonade, the pitcher of Sangria, the Cosmopolitan, the Alabama Slammer, Sex on the Beach and others.

Sometimes, though, you crave something different.

Here are a few suggestions for libations. Remember to enjoy them responsibly and feel free to use the Talback feature to add your own selections:

This old-time favorite (pictured) is colorful and tasty. Mix 1 oz. gin, ½ oz. of grenadine and equal parts sour mix and soda. Top with a splash of blackberry brandy.

Mix 1/2 oz. vodka and ½ oz. Cointreau over ice and fill with equal parts orange juice and cranberry juice.

Pour 1 oz. Citron vodka over ice and fill with equal parts grapefruit juice and cranberry juice.

(It's a month late, but still tasty)
Pour 2 oz. vodka, ½ oz. vermouth and ½ oz lime juice into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with a lime peel.

It doesn't have to be the upchuck-inducing cocktail of your early adulthood. When made properly, you shouldn't taste a lot of alcohol (which is what makes them dangerous in the first place). In any event, fill a collins glass with ice and add ½ oz. triple sec, ½ oz. light rim, ½ oz gin, ½ oz. vodka, 1 oz of sour mix and top with cola and a lemon wedge. If you are feeling really rambunctious (and have a designated driver), add ½ oz of tequila to the mixture.

This one requires a blender, but it's tasty. Start with two rip peaches, pitted and chopped. Add 3 oz. rum, 4 cubed strawberries, 2 passion fruit, 4 oz. apple juice, 1 tbsp. superfine sugar, 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger and crushed ice. Blend the ingredients, pour into two highball glasses and garnish with an apple.

Generally speaking, spring and summer are a time to cut down on dark liquors. Here are few tasty suggestions, though.

Mix 1 oz. rum, ½ oz brandy, ½ oz. gin and fill with equal parts orange juice and sour mix.

Mix 1 oz. whiskey, 2 oz. sour mix. Fill with soda.

Mix 1 oz. rum, ½ oz brandy, ½ oz. gin and fill with equal parts orange juice and sour mix.