Isla Bonita Punch from Serious Eats
The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix up a pineapple cocktail or to to conjure memories of sunshine. Here are a few to try:
Fever Pitch ~ Cachaca, basil and Green Chartruese combine with pineapple for an herbacious cocktail that’s topped with a nice egg white foam and dash of celery bitters.
Low Calorie Piña Colada ~ A regular Piña Colada has more than enough calories to make it a meal. This lighter version lets you enjoy the flavor and experience without feeling like you have to skip dinner.
Mulled Pineapple Cocktail ~ Who says pineapple cocktails are only for summer weather? This warm, spiced cocktail claims both winter and pineapple proudly.
Isla Bonita Punch ~ A fizzy, vanilla-laced pineapple punch is just what your winter party needs …. right?
Algonquin Redux ~ Rye whiskey, pineapple, Dolin Blanc vermouth and bitters make for a sophisticated cocktail that blends a classic flavor profile with a little pineapple magic.
Honey Tangerine Smash from Food Fanatic
The weather may be gray, but your cocktails can look (and taste) bright — thanks to tangerines! Tangerines are in season, so go get some and put them in your cocktail tonight. Here are a few to try:
Tangerita ~ Using another citrus in your Margarita is a fresh new twist on an old classic. It’s a little bit sweeter without going into “too sweet” territory.
Chamomile and Tangerine Sparkling Cocktail ~ Add sparkling wine to a make-ahead concoction of chamomile-tangerine syrup, gin and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a fun picnic cocktail.
Rosemary Tangerine Cooler ~ Heating the sugar, rosemary and tangerine in a skillet or on a griddle before muddling with rum gives a deeper flavor to this deceptively simple cocktail.
Tangerine Gimlet ~ This recipe doesn’t merely swap in tangerine juice for the usual lime. With two kinds of bitters, mezcal on top of the traditional gin and a little ancho chile heat, it’s a sunny drink for a rainy day.
Honey Tangerine Smash ~ Get some bourbon and smash up some tangerines in it! Easy, fun and delicious.
I wrote about holiday cocktails for Tales of the Cocktail. If you need to make eggnog, Tom & Jerrys or other high-maintenance cocktails for a crowd, this article has tips for you from bartenders around the country.
Holiday cocktails often call for delicate ingredients and labor-intensive techniques. But whipping, frothing and boiling a cup of cheer on the spot isn’t possible when you’re deep in the weeds. So what’s a bartender to do during this season of bigger crowds and complicated drinks? In a word: Batch.
Delicately sweet with a hint of bitterness, a homemade chocolate liqueur (aka creme de cacao) is like an expensive dark chocolate bar in your drink instead of like a jigger of Nestle Quik. Give it as a Christmas gift or use it in holiday cocktails!
DIY Chocolate Liqueur
1 1/3 cup vodka
2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a sealable glass jar, steep the cacao nibs in the vodka for 8 days. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Once cooled, add this syrup and vanilla extract to the jar. Leave steeping for one more day. Strain and filter into a bottle or jar for storage.
The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.
It’s getting cold! So it’s time to get cozy with a hot toddy. Here are some fun variations on the basic hot toddy to warm you up from now through winter.
Gingerbread Hot Toddy ~ This warming cocktail tastes like real gingerbread. The gingerbread syrup would make a great latte too.
Honey-Bourbon Toddy ~ Honey, bourbon and cinnamon are the perfect ingredients to sip by the fire this fall.
Chit-Cha Toddy ~ Oolong tea joins forces with rye whiskey and ginger liqueur to keep the cold (or a cold) away.
Cider and Tequila Hot Toddy ~ This fruity twist on the toddy is great for people who don’t like whiskey (or who do and also like tequila).
Pumpkin Toddy ~ Pumpkin and maple syrup along with apple brandy and rye make a seasonal hot cocktail you can’t resist.