Strawberry Cocktails

Watermelon and Strawberry Vodka Slushies from A Splash of Vanilla

Watermelon and Strawberry Vodka Slushies from A Splash of Vanilla

Strawberries are a perfect cocktail ingredient—sweet with a hint of tartness, compatible with every herb and fruit. Late-spring and early-summer = strawberry cocktail time! Get out the shaker and muddler, then mix up these warm weather drinks!

Strawberry Grapefruit Mimosas ~ A little tequila and some different fruit turns this brunch classic into a surprising (and surprisingly easy-drinking) cocktail for any time of day.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cosmopolitan ~ Strawberry and rhubarb isn’t a combo just for pies! A little honey along with this fruit elevates an underrated and classic vodka cocktail.

Fraise Noire ~ Black pepper and strawberry are a dynamic duo in this unique cocktail made with Old Tom gin.

Watermelon and Strawberry Vodka Slushies ~ Real fruit slushies spiked with vodka is the perfect way to cool down whether it’s a pool party, backyard barbecue or an ordinary Tuesday.

Strawberry Rose Gin Fizz ~ Rose water takes this lovely strawberry sparkler to the next level. Sophisticated, uncomplicated and fun!

Grilled Cocktails

Grilled Paloma from Barbells and Bellinis

Grilled Paloma from Barbells and Bellinis

Grilling fruit deepens its flavor and takes a bit of the tart edge off. Surprisingly, it doesn’t end up making your drink taste like barbecue. Instead, it takes whatever flavors you have and intensifies them.

It’s grilling season, so why not grill your cocktails! Here are some to try.

Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour ~ Tamarind soda is a surprising addition to this grilled peach and bourbon drink.

Grilled Cherry Old Fashioned ~ This is a fun twist on a classic. Instead of garnishing with cherries, grill ’em up and put ’em in your drink.

Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail ~ Put some slightly tart plums on the grill to bring out their sweeter flavors, with a little honey liqueur and bourbon to balance out the experience.

Grilled Paloma ~ This refreshing grapefruit cocktail with tequila gets a new spin with a little help from the grill.

Mezcalita de Piña ~ For a new way to enjoy Margaritas, swap in mezcal and add grilled pineapple, jalapeño, and lime for something smoky, sweet and spicy.

Cynar Cocktails

Storm Warning from Serious Eats

Storm Warning from Serious Eats

Cynar is a bittersweet Italian liqueur that doesn’t seem to get much play here in the United States. I got to know it on a trip to Argentina. I like that it gives a little herbal intensity to a cocktail without taking over. Here are a few Cynar cocktails to try.

Little Italy ~ This variation on the classic Manhattan uses Cynar instead of bitters, for a bit of an herbal kick.

Sparkling Mint Cocktail ~ Mint, lime and a little sparkling wine complement the intense flavor of Cynar for a fun summertime party drink.

Storm Warning ~ A fun twist on the Dark and Stormy, this cocktail created by Beloved in Brooklyn is more complex and creamy than the original.

Red Letter Day ~ This one is a refreshing and sophisticated summer sipper made with applejack is not as sweet as the usual warm weather drinks, thanks to Cynar.

Les Paul ~ This is another variation on a Manhattan, with bourbon and maple syrup giving it a sweetness balanced with Cynar and Carpano Antica for depth.

Watermelon Cocktails

watermelonrumcocktailEven though summer isn’t here yet, warm summer weather is. If you’re ready for backyard barbecues, here are some watermelon cocktails perfect for a day in the sun.

Watermelon Fizz ~ Watermelon and gin … a match made in heaven.

Artemisia ~ Tarragon and watermelon are another fun pairing, with the slightly savory herb giving depth to the cocktail.

Watermelon Limoncello Prosecco Slushie ~ The name says it all. I’m ready for this one right now!

Watermelon Tequila Cocktail ~ Blueberries and lime add a little tartness to this fun summer drink.

Watermelon and Thai Chili Cocktail ~ This rum cocktail is refreshing with a bit of a kick.

Photo Courtesy of Brugal

Pineapple Cocktails

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita from Boulder Locavore

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita from Boulder Locavore

Spring has sprung and the sun is shining. (At least it is here. If it’s not sunny where you are, pretend it is.) The presence of pineapple in a cocktail is proven to increase warm-weather enjoyment. Science! So here are a few pineapple drinks to try this gorgeous spring. Tiny umbrella optional.

Fever Pitch ~ Pineapple mixed with cachaca, basil, Green Chartreues and celery bitters = sophisticated, complex and potentially mind-blowing.

Queen Califa ~ Adding rum agricole, falernum and allspice dram to pineapple puts this drink squarely in the tiki category. So you know it’s a good time.

Low-Cal Piña Colada ~ This “skinny” version has all the coconut and pineapple flavor, without most of the calories. But it tastes great regardless of the calorie count (or lack thereof).

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita ~ This is a good one for a backyard barbecue or lazy afternoon lounging outside.

Hotel Nacional Special ~ Another fun tiki drink … and another one that would be great for sipping outside.

Kumquat Cocktails

Kumquat Margarita from Serious Eats

Kumquat Margarita from Serious Eats

Kumquats are fun! They’re still in season for a little while longer … so put some of these little guys in your cocktails now. Here are some more kumquat cocktails to try.

Kumquat Rose Cocktail ~ Kumquat-infused gin is paired with the lovely Lillet Rose for an elegant and balanced drink.

Kumquat-Ginger Whiskey Cocktail ~ The spicy kick of ginger is a great match for the sweet-tart flavor of kumquats.

Kumquat-Pomegranate Punch ~ This fun vodka punch includes pomegranate seeds and juice for a party-worthy. Now you’re ready to party.

Kumquat Margarita ~ Kumquat is a citrus fruit, after all, so naturally a Margarita is a must.

Kumquat Sour ~ Bourbon, sour oranges and candied kumquats make a festive drink for any occasion.

Avocado Cocktails

Avocado Grapefruit Margarita from Little Gems Kitchen

Avocado Grapefruit Margarita from Little Gems Kitchen

Avocados are in season! As a California girl, I grew up on avocados and can’t imagine life without them. Creamy and rich without being heavy, there’s nothing like avocado. I’ve never tried making a cocktail with avocado, but I think I’d love it.  Here are a few I’d like to try.

Avocado Daiquiri ~ This is a classic daiquiri with avocado and half-and-half added, then blended together. Sounds like a boozy, savory dessert. I’m in.

Avocado Grapefruit Margarita ~ I’m a big fan of grapefruit margaritas, so I’m curious how the addition of avocado would change up a favorite.

Matroiska Eggnog ~ OK, so it’s isn’t exactly eggnog season. So what? Avocado and coconut milk vamp up a basic eggnog recipe. Although, it sounds like the avocado is for texture rather than flavor.

Aguacate + Mescal ~ Mezcal has a great smoky flavor that I can imagine pairing perfectly with avocado. This recipe includes a few intriguing sweet touches to balance the savory and smoky flavors.

Avocado Bourbon Shake ~ I can’t even guess what this one would taste like, but I’d believe it could blow my mind. Avocado is funny like that.

Sage Cocktails

Hibernating Honey Bear from In Sock Monkey Slippers

Hibernating Honey Bear from In Sock Monkey Slippers

I have a giant sage bush in my backyard that I completely ignore. It just gets bigger and happier every year, so I’m looking for new ways to use sage. The savory herb isn’t common in cocktails, but it adds a lovely and unique flavor. If you want to give sage a chance, here are some drinks to try.

Wilderness Prophet ~ Sage, gin, Green Chartreuse, Meyer lemon and chamomile combine for maximum effect in this seasonal cocktail.

The Hibernating Honey Bear ~ Bourbon, honey and sage make for an earthy drink with a hint of sweetness.

Euphoria ~ Elderflower and sage are a delightful match. Add in some gin, and you have a party.

Sage Sucker ~ Sage and honey team up again, with lemon vodka adding the kick this time.

Sage, Elderflower & Cucumber White Sangria ~ Elderflower makes another appearance, with cucumber and white wine adding to the Spring fun.

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails

Honey Irish Mojito from One Martini

Honey Irish Mojito from One Martini

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us. If you’re skipping the green beer bar scene for some fun at home, here are some cocktails that will make the evening a good one. One of them is even green (without dye)!

The Emerald ~ This variation on the traditional Manhattan swaps in Irish whiskey for a solid drink you may find yourself mixing when it’s not St. Paddy’s Day.

The Last Word ~ If you’re not an Irish whiskey fan, this gin drink will still get you into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit thanks to its green color. But the green in this classic cocktail comes from Green Chartruese.

Honey Irish Mojito ~ Irish whiskey and honey liqueur give the Mojito an Irish twist. It’s sunny where I am, so this may be my St. Patrick’s Day choice.

Guinness Beer Floats ~ Dessert and drink combined into one Irish package. This sounds like a no-brainer to me.

DIY Irish Cream ~ Making your own Irish cream is easy and delicious. You may never go back to Bailey’s.

More St. Patrick’s Day cocktails

Beer Cocktails

Mango Shrub Michelada from 10th Kitchen

Mango Shrub Michelada from 10th Kitchen

Beer can make an exciting and unexpected cocktail ingredient. Here are some creative ways to use that brew in the fridge (possibly leftover from a Super Bowl party?). Let’s do this!

Golden Ale Beer Cocktail ~ Honey, hot sauce and elderflower liqueur are a surprising addition to Belgian-style golden ale. A little citrus ties it all together into a balanced cocktail.

Sour Brew Margarita ~ Sour beer is pretty trendy right now, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. Use it as part of the sour portion of your margarita for a new twist on an old classic.

Beer Float ~ A good dark beer and some chocolate ice cream are definitely a match made in heaven. It’s simple and something you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing all along. Suck it, root beer! Beer float!

Mango Shrub Michelada ~ The classic Michelada (spiced up beer with lime) gets kicked up a bit with a mango shrub. The added complexity turns the simple mixture into an elaborate cocktail concoction.

Grapefruit Moon ~ Grapefruit, bourbon, maple syrup and stout? Oh, yeah! Why haven’t we been mixing these together all along?