If you can’t get a hold of of an Everclear 151-type alcohol, use the highest proof vodka available to you (80 proof is standard vodka, but there’s often 100 proof vodka available, too.). Continue reading
What punch should you make for your holiday party? Here is my official endorsement: Horse & Carriage! I made this last week and it was a hit. Gin, elderflower and champagne are an obvious (to me) combination, but what really made this punch stand out was the chamomile tea. It added complexity and sophistication to what otherwise could have been a bit of a one-note concoction. I wish I had made a double batch! (It went fast.)
I modified the recipe a bit from Saveur’s to include more sparkling wine. I think this is a big improvement on the flavor, with the added benefit of making a larger amount of punch. It didn’t taste very balanced the original way, in my humble opinion.
Horse & Carriage (modified)
4 tablespoons citrus sugar (recipe below)
6 ounces fresh lemon juice
6 ounces gin
3 ounces St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3 ounces triple sec
10 ounces cold chamomile tea
8 oz. sparkling wine
Lemon and orange wheels, pomegranate seeds for garnish and ice block (instructions below) Continue reading
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.
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.
It’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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!)
My DIY Cherry Bitters and DIY Grapefruit bitters recipes are featured in the latest issue of House Tonic magazine, along with other “Make Your Own Cocktail Ingredients.” Check it out!
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.)
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.
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.