Cranberry Cocktails

Cranberry Gimlet from Food Fanatic

Cranberry Gimlet from Food Fanatic

Cranberries are festive and beautiful … but super-duper sour, so people usually shy away unless a lot of sugar is involved. (You’re not exactly going to be snacking on a handful of them while you watch TV.) However, this tart berry is perfect for cocktails. Whether you still have some cranberries left from Thanksgiving or not, here are some striking and tasty cranberry drink recipes worth celebrating with.

Cranberry Orange Manhattan ~ This holiday take on the Manhattan is made with rye infused with cranberry and orange. Yum!

Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail ~ Cranberry syrup, amaro and yuzu juice complement bourbon in this holiday cocktail treat.

Holiday Mule ~ The Moscow Mule gets the holiday treatment in this cranberry twist on a classic.

Cranberry Gimlet ~ Another cranberry-inspired version of an old favorite, this Gimlet is just right for the holidays.

Cranberry Mint Julep ~ Well, I declare! Adding cranberry to a Mint Julep sounds like a great idea to me.

Gingerbread Toddy

gingerbreadtoddyIt’s raining and fall coziness is in full effect. So Savvy Housekeeping and I made the perfect seasonal twist on the Hot Toddy—the Gingerbread Toddy. Made with a delicious gingerbread syrup, this warming cocktail tastes like real gingerbread. The syrup would also be good in other drinks like a Gingerbread Latte.

Gingerbread Toddy
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce gingerbread syrup* (recipe below)
1/3-1/2 cup hot water
A squeeze of lemon

Combine bourbon and syrup in a mug. Fill to the top with hot water. Add a few drops of lemon juice and stir.

*Gingerbread Syrup:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Combine all the syrup ingredients in a pan. Heat to boiling on a stovetop while whisking until all the powdery substances dissolve. Boil for 2-3 minutes so that the syrup thickens slightly.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping

Persimmon Cocktails

Persimmon Sour from Serious Eats

Persimmon Sour from Serious Eats

I love persimmons! However, the persimmon doesn’t get much love. When you’re not eating them, you should be drinking them. With liquor! Why are you not doing this right now? It’s very autumnal. Here are some fall persimmon cocktails to try.

Spice Trade ~ I’m starting off fancy: a genever and persimmon cocktail with an anise and cardamom syrup for depth and sweetness.

Orange-Persimmon Margarita ~ It’s margarita time … only with persimmon added to the mix to give you some fall fruit goodness.

Persimmon Sour ~ Persimmon puree, gin and lime with a little simple syrup is a simple and satisfying fresh cocktail.

Persimmon Rum Spritzer ~ Refreshing and lightly sweet for those fall days that feel a little more like summer (we’ve been having a lot of those where I live).

Persimmon Mojitos ~ Mint and bubbles give the persimmon (and fall) a little oomph.

Pear Cocktails

Thyme-Kissed Pear-Infused Honey Syrup & The Bee’s Knees from Reclaiming Provinical

Thyme-Kissed Pear-Infused Honey Syrup & The Bee’s Knees from Reclaiming Provinical

Fall has been a whirlwind of activity for me—so much so that I haven’t even I had time to make myself a cocktail. (Something must be done about this, right?) So I’m happy to jump back into fall drinks with these pear cocktails. Pear is a lovely, flexible fruit that tastes great with any kind of liquor and a wide variety of herbs. That makes it tasty and fun to play with. Here are some pear cocktails to try.

Rosemary Pear Cocktail ~ This is a light and flavorful cocktail that’s perfect for these fall nights that feel a little like summer nights.

Sparkling Pear Ambrosia ~ Cardamom-infused brandy, pear nectar and some sparkling wine sounds like exactly what I’d be sipping in front of my fire place, if I had a fire place.

Eros Elixir ~ Thai-chile-infused Chartreuse and a pear syrup with fresh ginger give a spicy, warming kick to this complex cocktail.

Roasted Pear Cocktail ~ I’ve already found out that grilling fruit changes how it tastes in a cocktail, so I’m intrigued by this drink made with roasted pear puree.

Pear-Honey-Thyme Bee’s Knees ~ A variation on the classic Bee’s Knees, this delightful combination of flavors is great for a late afternoon cocktail party. (Yes, have one of those!)

Pumpkin Cocktails

Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail from Garden and Gun

Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail from Garden and Gun

It seems like it’s cool to bash pumpkin spice. Somehow bagging on pumpkin spice drinks gives you hipster/grumpy-old-man street cred? I don’t know, man. Shut your face and pass the pumpkin spice latte, because it is straight-up DELICIOUS and hurray for fall! Would you like some suggested pumpkin cocktail recipes from someone who just said “shut your face?” (I wasn’t talking to you. You are nice. You do not need to shut your face.)

Pumpkin Flip ~ This fall drink is light and fluffy while being bold and spicy at the same time. The light and fluffy comes thanks to the egg-white foam, while the bold and spicy comes from bourbon and allspice liqueur. (PS – also there is pumpkin!)

Spiced Pumpkin Shrub ~ This is not one of those sweet “pumpkin pie in a glass” drinks. A shrub is a syrup made with vinegar, so there’s a little oomph in the cocktail that goes beyond sugar and spice.

Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum ~ Is it actually cold where you live? It sometimes is here! When that happens, it’s time to cozy up with some warm and spicy buttered rum.

Pumpkin Punch ~ Halloween party drink alert! Made with cinnamon-infused rum and condensed milk, this punch satisfies the sweet and spiced craving that accompanies fall weather without going into cloyingly icky sweet territory.

Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail ~ Bourbon and pumpkin are the stars of this layered cocktail. However, it wouldn’t be complete without the dashes of celery bitters. (You can make DIY celery bitters if you so desire. I think you should.)

Fig Cocktails

Fig Sidecar from Valley & Co.

Fig Sidecar from Valley & Co.

Figs are the greatest gift of this not-summer-anymore but also not-feeling-like-fall time. And if you can stop yourself from eating them, take a moment to drink them. Here are some more fun fig cocktails.

Fig Thyme Cocktail ~ A pisco cocktail made with thyme and figs? Don’t mind if I do!

Fall Fig Cocktail ~ Using an Old Fashioned as inspiration, this fall drink adds some balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and orange juice to the bourbon for maximum effect.

Fig Caipirinha ~ A new take on the classic cachaça cocktail, this one adds some ginger ale for autumnal bite.

Fig Sidecar ~ A Sidecar made with figs? You don’t have to ask me twice!

Greek Awake ~ If riffing on a classic is too basic for you, try this exciting drink. Brandy mixed with homemade coffee-fig elixir. Ooh la la.

Apricot Cocktails

Apricot-Whiskey Smash from Chow

Apricot-Whiskey Smash from Chow

There’s definitely a “countdown to fall” feeling in the air, but it’s still summer. And that means access to delicious, ripe fruit. What to do with said fruit? Surprise, surprise … I am going to say: Put it in a cocktail! I grew up with an apricot tree outside my bedroom window, so this particular summer fruit is special to me.

Apricot-Whiskey Smash ~ One of the best ways to use fresh stone fruit in a cocktail is to smash it with some liquor. A little Cointreau and rich simple syrup perk up the apricot flavor, while rye provides the boozy goodness.

Apricot Mojito With Lemon Balm ~ Another good way to have fun with fruit is the Mojito. Lemon balm is an intriguing herb choice that adds another new element to this old favorite.

Peach-Apricot Lillet Fizz ~ Juice those sweet little fruits and let Lillet add some delicate flair to your drink. Garnish with cardamom sugar for a multi-layered cocktail.

It’s That Thyme ~ The bourbon-and-fruit smash gets a gourmet upgrade with thyme, quince paste and a few dashes of orange bitters.

Apricot and Mint Cocktail ~ A nice floral gin and mint accent the fresh flavor of apricots in this backyard sipper.

Cucumber Cocktails

Cucumber Mint Tequila Cooler from First Look Then Cook

Cucumber Mint Tequila Cooler from First Look Then Cook

Though the summer heat is not as intense here as it was just a few weeks ago, I still require cooling cocktails, dammit! Cucumbers are delicious and also [cool as a cucumber joke]. Here are some delightful summer drinks made with cucumbers!

Cucumber Basil Gimlet ~ Delicate and sweet (but not too sweet), this little number is just right for muggy summer nights.

Cucumber Lemon Drop ~ Refreshing and light, this twist on a “girly drink” is something everyone can agree on.

Watermelon-Cucumber Refresher ~ When watermelon and cucumber join forces to cool you down, they’re an unstoppably delicious duo.

Cucumber Mint Tequila Cooler ~ Mint and Cilantro give an herbal boost to cucumber, with a little help from agave and tequila.

Green Machine ~ Honeydew adds a sweet touch to this tequila and cucumber drink.