Pineapple Cocktails

PIneapple cocktail: Isla Bonita Punch

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.

Grape Cocktails

grape cocktails

The Concord Crush from Will Cook for Friends

Grapes usually make their way into our cocktails through wine, Pisco, vodka or other grape-based alcohols. But the fruit itself is full of flavor. And it’s grape season. Take that grape and smash it, juice it or infuse with it!

Here are a few grape cocktails to try.

Napa Valley Mojito ~ Grapes and sparkling wine are the perfect pair in this brunch cocktail (that you can drink any time).

Green Grape Pisco Sour ~ The Pisco Sour is rich, light and airy all at the same time. Adding grapes adds more flavor while keeping the luxurious feel.

Grapes of Wrath ~ Concord grapes, mezcal and sherry take the lead — with help from Barolo Chinato, a spiced fortified red wine that enhances the drink’s graped-up flavor.

Concord Crush ~ A grapey Gimlet with a splash of elderflower liqueur. Ooh, la la!

Grape Negroni ~ Grape-infused vermouth is an ingenious way to add the flavor of Concord grapes to this Negroni-inspired cocktail.

Blueberry Cocktails

Blueberry Whiskey Buck cocktail

Blueberry Whiskey Buck from Vintage Kitty

I always have blueberries in the fridge or freezer. They’re great for a snack, so why not for a cocktail? Blueberries pair well with many herbs, spices and liquors — which makes them perfect for the cocktail shaker and muddler.

Low-Calorie Blueberry Tarragon Cocktail ~ Fresh blueberries are a great balance of tart and sweet, with tarragon adding a complexity that makes it taste like you added some fancy liqueur to the mix without adding calories.

Blueberry Mint Julep Spritzer ~ All those words sound like deliciousness to me! It’s still warm out and this is a great way to stay cool while enjoying a cocktail.

Blueberry Whiskey Buck ~ Ginger beer and blueberries are a surprisingly fun combination in this any-time drink.

Blueberry Ginger Bellini ~ Add champagne to the great flavor mix of blueberry and ginger and you’re all set for brunch.

Blueberry Gin Sour ~ A silky egg-white foam is the perfect complement to a classic sour that’s souped up with berries.

Plum Cocktails for Summer

Plum Dang It from Imbibe

Plum Dang It from Imbibe

The plum tree in my backyard is going crazy, so it’s plum cocktail time! One of the great things about plum in a cocktail is that you can mash it up with almost any other flavor for a quick cocktail. Here are a few plum cocktails to try.

Plum-Basil Gin Fizz ~  Basil and plum are good friends, but add a little gin and bubbles … now that’s a party.

Plum Luck ~ Allspice dram and bourbon are nice complements to the sweet, bright flavor of plums.

Plum Dang It ~ Rum, brown sugar, lime and plum combine for a simple-to-make drink that tastes as complex as a tropical drink.

Rosemary’s Plum Gin Cocktail ~ St. Germain and plums take care of the sweet, while gin and rosemary give the drink some complexity.

Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail ~ Putting the plum on the grill for a bit deepens the plum’s flavor and brings out the sweetness and brightness of the fruit.

DIY Strawberry Liqueur

060612-209524diyvsbuy-strawberryliqueur

Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh strawberries. If you’re looking for another way to include strawberries in your life (and your cocktails), try this homemade strawberry liqueur. It’s super-easy and super-good. I like to use it in Sangria.

DIY Strawberry Liqueur

8 ounces strawberries, roughly sliced
1 sprig fresh tarragon (optional, but highly recommended)
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Steep strawberries and tarragon with vodka for two days. Strain and then filter the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Press down to extract as much liquid as possible. Then, bring water and sugar to a boil. Once that syrup is cool, combine it with the strawberry-tarragon vodka mixture. Let the combination rest for at least one day. Refrigerate, if desired. Store for up to two months.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column