Cranberry Margarita

cranberrymargaritaIn 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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Margarita

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.

DIY Liqueurs for Fall

20121116-230136-diycranberryliqueurThe 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 Cocktails

Pear & Bubbles from Spoon Fork Bacon

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.

Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum

pumpkinhotbutteredrumNow 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

Maple Syrup Cocktails

Maple Syrup Sours from the Wall Street Journal

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!

Apple Brown Bourbon Cocktail

applebrownbourboncocktail
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

Festive Non-Alcoholic Drinks for Thanksgiving

Grapefruit Thyme Soda from Reclaiming Provincial

As much as I love cocktails, Thanksgiving (and Christmas!) also call for exciting non-alcoholic drinks. They’ll be a festive option for kids or people who don’t drink, as well as a fun choice for those looking to keep their alcohol consumption on the lower side. It’s a special day, so do something more exciting and attractive than just water or cans of soda. Here are some fun ideas:

Fennel Apple Spritzer ~ Fennel is one of my favorite accent flavors, and it pairs well with the sweetness of apples. This one is a sophisticated drink that won’t make adults feel like they’re drinking like the kiddie table.

Asian Pear Sparkler ~ I love Asian Pears! But the spice of ginger and herbal notes of rosemary make this more than just a fruity drink.

Grapefruit & Thyme Soda ~ These two flavors are a refreshing match that’s outside of the ordinary. If you want to booze it up, add some gin. Garnish with a sprig of thyme to make it look even more festive.

Puritan’s Pride ~ It wouldn’t be the holidays without cranberries. Apple and ginger, elevate the cranberry in this drink above its usual role as a relish on top of the turkey.

Tarragon-Spiked Lady Grey Iced Tea ~ For a less-fruity option, this iced tea uses Lady Grey (a variation on the more famous Earl Grey tea) along with tarragon and lime.