In honor of Thanksgiving, I got together with Savvy Housekeeping for a turkey-day-appropriate cocktail: the Cranberry Margarita! Aside from the gorgeous, deep red color, this drink has a refreshing tartness that is just the thing for a holiday built around heavy savory foods.
We used 100% cranberry juice for that true cranberry pucker. However, if you like things a little sweeter you can either add a little simple syrup (or agave) or you can use sweetened cranberry juice cocktail. Hey, this could even be a job for cran-apple, cran-raspberry, or another cran-juice.
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
Shake ingredients over ice, then strain into a cocktail glass. Spear fresh cranberries for garnish.
The crunch of leaves under my feet. The chill in the air. The desire to cozy up inside with a good drink … or a good project. It’s fall! DIY liqueurs are very easy to make with ordinary ingredients. No special equipment required! Here are a few seasonal cocktail projects that will help you celebrate fall:
DIY Cranberry Liqueur ~ With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may have a bag of these tart little berries chilling in your fridge already. This liqueur will help you capture that feeling for months to come.
DIY Pumpkin Liqueur ~ Pumpkin pie … in a drinkable format, who could ask for anything more. It’s a surprisingly versatile ingredient that’s great in hot drinks, too.
DIY Honey Liqueur ~ Honey pairs well with the spices and fruits we love to savor during fall. This liqueur is dead simple and delicious.
DIY Allspice Dram ~ Speaking of spice, this allspice liqueur (aka allspice dram or pimento dram) is a staple for Tiki drinks yet also pairs well with apple and pear cocktails. How autumnal!
DIY Pear Liqueur ~ Splash this homemade pear liqueur in some sparkling wine for a quick and elegant cocktail treat. Pears are plentiful this time of year, so you’d better stock up on Champagne, too.
Pear & Bubbles from Spoon Fork Bacon
Pears are often overlooked for flashier fruits, but it has a delicate flavor that is just right for cozy fall cocktails. They go so well with a variety of spirits, herbs, and spices. Aside from making DIY pear liqueur, here are some other ways to enjoy pears in your drinks this season!
Spiced Pear Punch ~ Roasted pear puree, gin, Cognac, ginger liqueur, and Prosecco? This punch sounds delightful! I will have to have a party just to have an excuse to make it.
Pear & Bubbles ~ Cardamom is another oft-overlooked flavor that I’m always happy to find in my consumables. In this case, it’s paired with pear, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon for a festive Champagne cocktail.
Pear Haymaker ~ Vodka, ginger, pears, and lemon combine for a refreshing and clean fall cocktail that you can drink day or night.
Ginger Pear Gimlet ~ Jazz up some gin with pear, ginger, and thyme for a fresh take on a classic.
Spiced Pear Daiquiri ~ Another new twist on a classic, this one uses spiced rum and pears in the simple daiquiri for some autumnal oomph.
Now that it’s finally starting to feel like fall, it’s time to get cozy with some hot drinks. I got together with Savvy Housekeeping to mix up this delightfully autumnal pumpkin variation on Hot Buttered Rum. It has a pleasant spice mix and satisfying consistency, in addition to helping to keep you nice and warm. Use a dark or gold rum for the right flavor.
Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum
2 tablespoons Pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
1 teaspoon Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Ginger
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 tablespoon Butter
2 ounces rum
Hot water (enough to fill the mug)
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Combine the pumpkin and spices in a mug and mix thoroughly so that they are completely integrated. Add the rum. Put the butter on top so it is floating in the rum. Carefully pour hot water over the drink. Stir with a cinnamon stick or spoon.
Photo by Savvy Housekeeping
La Llorona from Muy Bueno Cookbook
It’s (almost) time for Halloween cocktails again! Since I’m not a big fan of cocktails with fake coloring and too much sugar, Halloween can be a challenging time to find the right party drink. Here are a few that get into the spirit without grossing me out!
The Devil’s Own ~ Gin, vermouth, Cointreau, and bitters … simple like a Martini, but with a fun little twist. This one’s for people who love the classics.
Caramel Apple Punch ~ Not sure why “caramel” is in the name, but I won’t argue with the tasty recipe: spiced rum, apple cider, lemon, and fresh apple slices. Great for a group!
Pumpkin Punch ~ There’s nothing wrong with having a little bit of a sweet tooth, and this drink handles it in just the right way. Cinnamon-infused rum is tricked out with pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk for a light dessert touch.
La Llorona ~ (In English that would be “Weeping Woman.”) With Pisco, lemon, lime and a touch of sugar and dash of bitters, this is a straight-forward and refreshing cocktail that will make you feel OK about eating all that candy.
Sinister Cider Cocktail ~ Apple, maple syrup, and vodka make for a balanced and fun drink you can sip all night long.
Maple Syrup Sours from the Wall Street Journal
In case you can’t tell, I’m obsessed with fall right now. And fall is the perfect time to mix up your cocktail routine by adding a little maple syrup. It’s sweet, but with a slight bitter edge that’s just the thing to add oomph to your drinks. After making an Apple Brown Bourbon cocktail with maple syrup earlier this week, I had to satisfy my desire for more maple goodness! Here are more cocktails featuring maple syrup.
Maple Old Fashioned ~ This fun twist on an Old Fashioned uses dark rum, maple syrup, and a few dashes of bitters.
Cherry Maple Leaf ~ Brandy, Cherry Heering, dry vermouth, and a touch of lemon combine with maple syrup for a warming cocktail.
Fort Washington Flip ~ Applejack, Benedictine, and an egg (with our pal, maple syrup) make for a foam-topped treat.
Bubbly Maple Leaf ~ A simple Champagne cocktail with scotch and lime is a fun way to put maple syrup to work for you.
Maple Syrup Sours ~ A sour is a category of cocktail that combines a spirit, sugar, and citrus. There are three tasty ones in this article: one made with rye, one with applejack, and one with rhum agricole. Plenty of delightful drinks to choose from!
Fall is here! I got together with Savvy Housekeeping to celebrate with a cocktail that brings together the seasonal flavors of apple, maple syrup, and ginger in a lightly spiced cocktail. It’s sweet enough to be a treat without veering into sugary territory, thanks to maple syrup. This delicious apple drink made us think of crisp apple desserts.
(‘Tis the season, so here are even more apple cocktails, including one made with gin.)
Apple Brown Bourbon
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounces ginger liqueur (such as Domaine de Canton or a DIY version)
1 ounce apple juice
1/2 ounce maple syrup
1/4 ounce lemon juice
Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Photo by Savvy Housekeeping
It’s fall … even though the weather where I am doesn’t quite feel like it yet. To get a little of that autumnal atmosphere into my life, I mixed up an apple cocktail. It’s simple to make, but has a lot of complex flavors going on. The floral notes in the gin really went well with honey. Come on, fall! I’m ready for you!
It’s no secret Nolet’s is one of my favorite gins, so I was more than happy to try this recipe when they sent it to me. I just used plain old clover honey (like the kind that comes in a squeezy bear), but this would be excellent with some blackberry honey or orange honey.
2 ounces gin
1 ounce fresh apple juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce honey
Shake all ingredients over ice, and then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with apple slice.
Recipe by Theo Lieberman, Milk & Honey (NYC)
Photo by Alice Gao
Pomegranate has a fresh combination of sweet and tart flavor that’s perfect for cocktails–whether you juice one of these bad boys yourself or use the store-bought stuff. If you buy the juice, be sure you’re using 100% pomegranate juice that’s not from concentrate for full effect.
(It’s even the main ingredient in DIY grenadine. The commercial version often just uses red dye instead).
Pomegranate Grapefruit Campari Cocktail ~ With that delicious combination of flavors, it’s impossible to go wrong.
Pomegranate Bourbon Cocktail ~ Pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses give the perfect sweet and tart one-two punch to this simple bourbon cocktail.
Pomegranate Guava Margarita ~ This is quite an exciting margarita, indeed. Aside from the pomegranate and guava, there’s also ginger to spice things up.
IPA Aperol Pomegranate Cocktail ~ A beer cocktail that includes pomegranate and Aperol, a delicious aperitif is a unique way to mix things up.
Isle of Pines Cocktail ~ Rum and grapefruit are a nice counterbalance to pomegranate in this pretty cocktail that’s pretty tasty.
Cocktail onions don’t get as much play as olives or lemon twists at the bar. But they’re a delicious garnish (or snack) that is easy to make at home. A Gibson (which is just a Martini garnished with onions) is the most notable use for these, but you could also use cocktail onions in other savory drinks like a Bloody Mary.
Going DIY with cocktail onions is simple—and skips the weird preservatives the store-bought variety often have. Here are a few recipes to choose from … or make them all! Pearl onions are sweeter than your typical onion, aside from being the right size. You can even buy them frozen and peeled for your convenience.
Basic Cocktail Onions ~ These have a standard pickling brine that you can adjust to taste, if you’re feeling creative.
Spicy Pickled Onions ~ For a spicier take on the cocktail onion, this recipe includes some fresh chili peppers.
Vermouth-Spiked Cocktail Onions ~ Vermouth is a key ingredient of the Martini, so it’s also great in the onion brine you’ll use to make Martini garnishes.
Lemon-Scented Cocktail Onions ~ If you can’t decide between garnishing with a twist or a cocktail onion, here’s a way you can do both all in one.
Blood-Orange Cocktail Onions ~ Beautiful blood oranges add a little color and sweetness to your otherwise white and savory garnish.
Photo by Muy Yum