Meyer Lemon Cocktails

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Gin Fizz from Crumb

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Gin Fizz from Crumb

I’m just going to say it: Meyer lemons are better than other kinds of lemons. (Suck it, Eureka lemons!) They’re an ideal cocktail lemon, and this time of year they’re plentiful. Meyer lemon cocktails are where it’s at, man. Here are some to try:

The Honey Bee’s Knees ~ Lavender and lemons are a delicious combo. Add gin, and you have a lovely cocktail for this lovely almost-springtime.

Meyer Lemon Fig ~ Fig is the name of the drink—there are no figs in the recipe. Just whiskey, ginger, vanilla simple syrup and meyer lemon, topped off with a little seltzer. Very refreshing.

Oaxacan Daisy ~ Smoky mezcal combines with sweet and tart meyer lemon for a complex-flavored (yet easy to make) cocktail.

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Gin Fizz ~ Herbaceous lemony good times … perfect for porch or backyard sipping.

Uncommon Threads ~ Instead of lemon juice, this uses lemon oil along with gin, Cocchi Americano and saffron-infused honey. Get it!

More Grapefruit Cocktails

Thyme Paloma from 10th Kitchen

Thyme Paloma from 10th Kitchen

We’re oh-so-close to Spring! This means that a lot of the exciting fruits we’re waiting to cocktail with aren’t in season yet. Don’t fret. Our friend the grapefruit is here to help. It’s one of my favorite cocktail ingredients, because of its subtle tartness and light touch. Grapefruit cocktails are refreshing and a little unexpected. Here are a few for you to sip on:

Grapefruit Margarita ~ This twist on the Margarita offers a nice bridge between a tart and strong traditional Margarita and the sweet and fruity ones, like a Strawberry Margarita. So good!

Dirty Diana ~ “Tastes like fresh grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar” + dark rum? I’m in.

Thyme Paloma ~ Tequila or mezcal pair so well with fresh grapefruit, and a little thyme adds a new herbal dimension to this classic refresher.

Hemingway Daiquiri ~ Hemingway knew how to write, yes. But he also knew how to drink. Adding a little grapefruit to a traditional Daiquiri was a great idea.

Little Tybee Latitude ~ Basil, grapefruit, and gin are best friends. Yum. Best friends, I say!

Tea Cocktails

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail from Joy the Baker

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail from Joy the Baker

Tea has deep and complex herbal flavors that will mix up your cocktail mixing routine. Whether hot or cold, tea cocktails are where it’s at, man! Here are a few to try.

High-Tea Cocktail ~ Black tea, cardamom, and ginger accent the botanicals in the gin. Sweet vermouth and orange bitters elevate the drink into fancy-pants territory.

Maple Bourbon Chai Tea Toddy ~ This creamy, spiced cocktail calls for maple bourbon, but you can just as easily use plain old bourbon and maple syrup.

Green Tea and Ginger Cocktail ~ Gin and tea are BFFs! In this case, green tea is a good accompaniment to ginger liqueur and a break from the usual black tea.

Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktail ~ While the bourbon is southern, this sweet tea isn’t. Agave syrup, orange, and mint make the sweet tea for this specialty cocktail.

Hot Rum Tea ~ If you need something to warm you up, this tipple is up for the job!

Blood Orange Old Fashioned

bloodorangeoldfashioned
Now is the time of the dramatic and beautiful blood orange! So Savvy Housekeeping and I concocted a simple and simply delicious drink for the occasion, a variation on the Old Fashioned made with blood orange and maple syrup.

Like the original Old Fashioned, this drink is a good way to enjoy bourbon without hiding it’s flavor. Maple syrup and blood orange are a surprisingly good pair, adding a bittersweet touch to the heat and sweet undertones of bourbon.

If you are one of those Super-Bowl-lovin’ types, maybe this could be your Super Bowl drink? Don’t one of the teams wear orange costumes? Theme drink!

Blood Orange Old Fashioned

2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce blood orange juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Twist of orange to garnish

In a glass, combine bourbon, juice, bitters, and maple syrup. Stir with ice. Garnish with orange twist.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping

Fennel Cocktails

Cranberry Fennel Refresher from The Boys Club

Cranberry Fennel Refresher from The Boys Club

I love fennel! It has a fresh, mild licorice flavor that complements so many ingredients. It’s also a surprising element that will shake up your cocktail repertoire. Here are a few drinks to try that get a little help from fennel.

Fennel Delight ~ I’ve seen a lot of beautiful grapefruit in stores lately. Mix it with fresh fennel, a hint of lime, and smoky mezcal for a unique winter sipper.

Campari Fennel Aperitif ~ If you have a few leftover fennel fronds, muddle them with lemon, simple syrup, Campari, and sparkling wine in this sophisticated Italian aperitif.

Golden Bowl ~ This one gets points for combining flavors I never would have thought would be pals! Fennel, ginger, rye, orange, absinthe, and lemon (along with a hint of sugar and salt) come together for a creative cocktail.

Cranberry Fennel Refresher ~ Fennel syrup turns the familiar vodka-cran-lime combo into a special occasion.

The CSA Cocktail ~ Cinnamon, juniper and a variety of citrus adding complex layers to a vodka cocktail. Cucumber and fennel are the fresh flavor stars of the drink, though.

Rosemary Cocktails

Rosemary, Baby! from Serious Eats

Rosemary, Baby! from Serious Eats

Come winter it’s a little harder to get your hands on fresh herbs. However, rosemary is less temperamental than a lot of the herbs commonly used in cocktails. And the good news is, it’s just as fragrant and delightful as any of them. I live in California, so it might not be the case where you live, but I can’t go two feet without seeing a full rosemary bush. (In general, they are hardy plants so you likely see them around or have one yourself, too.)

Rosemary pairs well with most fruit and booze. Hurray! Don’t forget, sprigs of rosemary make great garnishes, too. Use ‘em as spears!

Ruby Red and Rosemary Honey Cocktail ~ Ruby Red grapefruit, vodka, honey simple syrup with a little lemon and rosemary … tastes fresh and refreshing. It would also be good with gin instead of vodka.

Apple Ginger Rosemary Cocktail ~ This vodka-based cocktail balances the wintry and exciting flavors of apple, ginger, and rosemary with a hint of lemon to tie it all together.

Rosemary, Baby! ~ I love everything about this, including the fun name. Aperol infused with rosemary adds an herbaceous touch to a bourbon and honey sparkling punch. Party time.

Rosemary Refresher ~ Another grapefruit-rosemary combo that works like a charm. This time it’s a margarita-like tequila drink batched for a crowd. Party time, part 2.

Mistral Mauve ~ Sparkling wine and creme de violette (one of my favorite combos) is spiced up with a little rosemary-infused simple syrup. Garden flavor in your glass!

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.

Warm up with Hot Cocktails

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate from 12 Bottle Bar

I must get cold around this time of year, because last year at this same time I rounded up some hot drinks to warm yourself up with. If you want even more options, here are some other delicious cocktails that are served warm for this cozy time of year.

Calientito ~ This hot pear cider with tequila that is perfect for fall. The recipe calls for Asian pears, which are possibly the best ones!

Trinidad Punch ~ Rum, chocolate, coconut milk, and vanilla … I don’t see how you can go wrong with that combination. (scroll to the bottom of her post for the recipe)

Blackberry Hot Toddy ~ This fruity twist on a classic hot cocktail is a beautiful color, so it’s great for a party situation. The tea and herbs sound like a great complement to the fruit and bourbon.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate ~ Genever and Grand Marnier add a little extra oomph to already-delicious hot chocolate. Mandatory: top with whipped cream!

Hot Rum Cow ~ Rum and milk with just the right spices makes for a simple cocktail that’s reminiscent of all the creamy holiday drinks without all the heaviness.

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.

Grapefruit Margarita

grapefruit-margarita

Grapefruit is an ideal cocktail ingredient, so I don’t know why everyone (including me!) doesn’t pour it into the shaker more often. Savvy Housekeeping and I rectified that problem right away by mixing up this fantastic Grapefruit Margarita. Seasonal and delicious!

The drink is a nice bridge between a tart and strong traditional Margarita and the sweet and fruity Margarita variations, like a Strawberry Margarita. It’s lightly sweet with just the right amount of citrus kapow. Be sure to use silver tequila—an aged tequila will overpower the grapefruit and doesn’t have the same grassy flavor of the clear stuff. We couldn’t stop ourselves at just one.

Grapefruit Margarita

1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
2 1/2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 ounce lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake thoroughly, then strain the drink into a glass. Optional: garnish with a grapefruit slice.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping