Gingerbread Toddy

gingerbreadtoddyIt’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.

Gingerbread Toddy
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.

*Gingerbread Syrup:
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

Persimmon Cocktails

Persimmon Sour from Serious Eats

Persimmon Sour from Serious Eats

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.

Orange Cocktails

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Seven Foals Cocktail from 10th Kitchen

While some of these cocktails are orange in color, I’m talking about orange the fruit! Here in winter time, a lot of the exciting fruits aren’t available. (Or if they are, they’re not in top form.) So let’s not forget the trusty (and delicious) orange. Winter cocktail time!

Roasted Orange Negroni Sbagliato ~ This Negroni variation made with vermouth has an extra level of oomph, thanks to the flavor of a charred orange wedge.

Red Lion Cocktail ~ This simple concoction of gin, triple sec, lemon and orange juices is refreshing and light. Best of all, it’s made with ingredients most home bars always have on hand.

Seven Foals Cocktail ~ For a more complex and layered drink, try this one. Orange, fennel, dry vermouth, aquavit, and celery bitters and a Pernod rinse! (You can use homemade aquavit, DIY celery bitters, and even  homemade pastis.)

Painkiller ~ Tiki Time! Orange, coconut, pineapple, and rum will make you feel like you’re on a sunny beach no matter what winter throws your way.

Orange Basil Gimlet ~ The original is made with blood oranges, but you can also use plain old oranges for an amazing gimlet twist.

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.

Fresh Cherry Margarita (and Camarena Tequila review)

CherryMargaritaFamilia Camarena sent me some tequila to review, along with a cute little cocktail tool kit. All I could think when I saw it was “Margarita time!” But all the summer fruit around made me want to get a little more creative than that. Since I couldn’t get Margaritas off my mind, I mixed up some Cherry Margaritas. I made this a little strong, since I like to taste the tequila and this is nice tequila. You can adjust the tequila and lime to your tastes.

(After the recipe, I’ll give my thoughts about Camarena Tequila.)

Cherry Margarita

12 cherries (pitted)
1 ounce light agave nectar
2 ounces silver tequila
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice

Muddle the cherries and the agave nectar at the bottom of a shaker or mixing glass. Add the tequila and lime juice along with ice and then shake vigorously. Strain into rocks glass with fresh ice.

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Peach Cocktails

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Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour from Serious Eats

One of the best things about summer is it’s the only time when you can get good peaches. If a few precious peaches are bruised or a little mushy (but still good!), they’re perfect for cocktails. Here are some delightful summer drinks starring our delicate friend the peach.

Ginger Peach Julep ~ Add some peaches to a classic Mint Julep and swap in ginger syrup for the sugar, and you have a fresh new take on one of the best cocktails out there.

Bitter Peach Bellini ~ Prosecco, Aperol, and peaches make for a light summer cocktail with a little more depth than the original brunch creation that inspired it.

Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour ~ While we’re jazzing up well-known drinks with peaches, how about throwing some fruit on the grill and muddling it into an upgraded Whiskey Sour? Sounds good to me.

Peach and Blackberry Muddle ~ Blackberries are another fantastic summer fruit, and there’s no easier way to liven up your drink than to smash some fruit in it!

Peach Blow ~ Reinventing classic drinks isn’t a new phenomenon. This cocktail from 1909 is a peachy version of one of my favorites, the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Cool Summer Cocktails

Peach Margaritas from Boulder Locavore

Peach Margaritas from Boulder Locavore

Summer is here! And where I am, it’s a hot one. But fear not, summer cocktails are here to cool you down. ‘Tis the season for fresh cocktails!

Blackberry Mojito ~ It isn’t a summer drinks roundup without some kind of Mojito. This one uses fresh blackberries for a sweet and tart flavor and beautiful color.

Sour Cherry Gin Cocktail ~ If you have pie cherries left over, muddle them up in this seasonal, cooling cocktail. Don’t be afraid to add a little mint.

Peach Margarita ~ Fresh peaches in a traditional-style Margarita. Need I say more?

Summer Evening Garden Chiller ~ Cucumber, basil, and tequila … I feel the temperature dropping already.

Mai Tai ~ Pretend you’re in Hawaii with the iconic tropical drink. Umbrella optional.

Cocktails Made With Vegetables

The Roquette from Matt Biancaniello

The Roquette from Matt Biancaniello

Make your mama proud and add more vegetables to your diet! Veggies aren’t just for dinner. They can add a fresh and flavorful touch to cocktails, too. It may sound weird, but it tastes good … and that’s all that matters.

The Sweet Pea ~ Peas are sweet, so why not use them in a cocktail? Just muddle the peas with sugar and lemon then add vodka and shake over ice.

Sweet Corn Cocktail ~ Just like the Sweet Pea cocktail, this one muddles in some sweet veggies—except with dark rum and mole bitters for a spicy depth.

Barefoot in the Garden ~ Celery-infused tequila pairs well with elderflower liqueur and Lillet Blanc for a light and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect the thing to sip as you enjoy the budding blooms.

What’s Up, Doc? ~ This carrot and gin cocktail with a hint of ginger is a good brunch drink. Add a little cinnamon on top, and it’s almost like drinking an alcoholic carrot cake.

The Roquette ~ The unique bite of arugula is tasty in this veggie-inspired take on the classic Gimlet, created by Matthew Biancaniello (whose site is filled with colorful photos, like the one above, of his creations).

Kumquat Cocktails

Kumquat Whiskey Sour from Serious Eats

Kumquat Whiskey Sour from Serious Eats

Sunny weather keeps tricking me into thinking it’s spring. But yesterday’s rain reminded me that winter ain’t over yet. Even though there isn’t as much fruit to choose from in these months, we have all manner of exciting citrus to fuel our cocktail creativity. Kumquats, the tiny yet delectable little sweet-and-sour guys, are amazing for shaking up your cocktail-shaking routine. Here are a few seasonal recipes to try.

Kumquat Mojito ~ You can get a lot of (delicious) mileage out of the traditional Mojito recipe by subbing in other fruits. Swapping in this unusual citrus really adds flair to an already great drink.

Strawberry and Kumquat Caipirinha ~ Caipirnha is a Brazilian cocktail that’s often compared to a Mojito. The Brazilian drink is made with cachaça—a spirit that is a lot funkier and more unusual than rum. This twist with strawberries and kumquats sounds like a winner.

Taste of Life Cocktail ~ This is a complex drink made with Aperol and Pimm’s (yum!) that combines sweet, sour, salt and a little bitterness for a truly original cocktail inspired by Asian flavors.

Kumquat Champagne Cocktail ~ Truly simple and truly tasty! Just slice up those kumquats and you’ve done all the work necessary for a sophisticated sparkling tipple.

Kumquat Whiskey Sour ~ A fresh new take on the Whiskey Sour that has all the solid appeal of the original while taking advantage of the uniqueness of kumquats.

Cocktails with a touch of cinnamon

Maple Leaf Cocktail from Leite’s Culinaria

Of all the spices and flavorings, cinnamon is probably the Falliest (that’s a word I made up that means “appropriate for Fall,” since I use the word autumnal way more than I should). Whether using a cinnamon syrup, a few dashes as an accent, or a cinnamon stick garnish, this spice can really, well, spice up any drink. Here are some new ways to add cinnamon to your drinking:

Scottish Dream ~ This one is smoky, spicy, and sweet all at once with black mission fig bitters from Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters, cinnamon simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and blended Scotch whiskey.

Maple Leaf Cocktail ~ Bourbon, cinnamon, and maple syrup … that combination just shouts out FALL.

Kakkoii ~ A very unusual combination of gin, cinnamon syrup, plum wine, and lemon makes for a fun cocktail.

Nui Nui ~ Another Tiki drink that uses an autumnal spice, this one mixes the complex flavors of cinnamon, allspice, and vanilla mixed with rum and fresh juices.

The Street Cocktail ~ Green apple and tarragon are refreshing partners for the spiciness of cinnamon in this vodka-based cocktail. It’ll surprise you.