By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM

The snowmobile is stowed. The taxes have been paid. It's Friday ...

Why not relax with a classic spring cocktail. With two weeks until the Kentucky Derby, you have time to perfect your recipe for a classic mint julep, invite a few friends over and imbibe.

If the julep isn't your favorite, we've got a bunch of other recipes to help get the springtime party started (responsibly, of course). Enjoy.

1 tablespoon simple syrup (or 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1 tablespoon water)
3 leaves of fresh mint
3 or 4 dozen ice cubes
3 ounce good bourbon
2 or 3 sprigs of mint

The mint julep is traditionally served in a silver julep cup. If you don't have one, an 8-ounce glass will suffice.  In the bottom of the cup or glass, place a tablespoon of simple syrup. Add mint leaves and muddle.

Use a hammer to crush the ice cubes in a clean, non-terry dish towel. The ice should be finely crushed and should fill the cup to the rim.

Pour the desired amount of bourbon, garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with a short straw.

1 1/2 ounce of gin
2 teaspoons of superfine sugar
1 1/2 ounce of lemon juice
4 ounce of chilled champagne
1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine gin, sugar and lemon juice. Shake well. Pour into a Collins glass and top with the champagne. Stir well and garnish with orange slice and the cherry.

1 ounce Absolut Vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Cruzan Pineapple Rum
1 ounce fresh lemon and lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
2 slices jalapeno pepper

Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with another small slice of jalapeño.

2 ounce Bacardi Orange
1 ounce  Patron Citronge
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/4 ounce grenadine

Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass.

Pineapple chunks
½ ounce vodka
½ ounce triple sec
1 oz. pineapple juice

Muddle two pineapple chunks and triple sec in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, ice and pineapple juice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with champagne.

2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce dry vermouth

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime peel.

2 ounce gin
1/4 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce dry vermouth
1 ounce orange juice
Angostura bitters to taste

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

1-1/2 ounce of Mount Gay Extra Old Rum
3 watermelon chunks
1 slice of cucumber
1 teaspoon superfine sugar

Muddle the sugar, cucumber and watermelon in a shaker. Add ice and Mt. Gay and shake well. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with cucumber.

1 ounce Absolut Mandarin Vodka
A splash of lime juice
Ginger ale

Pour ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with lime.

1 1/2 ounce rum
1 1/2 ounce De Kuyper Raspberry Liqueur
Simple syrup
Mint leaves
Lime juice
Sprite or other white soda

Muddle the sugar syrup and some mint leaves in a highball glass. Add crushed ice and lime juice, then the De Kuyper Raspberry and White Rum. Stir gently and top up with soda to taste. Skewer some raspberries and blackberries to garnish.

2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce lime juice

Pour all ingredients into an ice filled highball glass. Stir gently and serve.

1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce gin
1/2 ounce spiced rum
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 1/2 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
Sprite or 7-up

Mix vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice and grenadine together in a highball glass over ice. Top with a splash of Sprite. Garnish with a strawberry and an orange slice.

1 ounce Absolut Citron
3 ounce grapefruit juice
3 ounce cranberry juice

Pour over ice.

1 ounce rum
1/2 ounce brandy
1/2 ounce gin
Orange juice
Sweet and sour mix

Pour alcohol over ice and add equal parts orange juice and sour mix.