Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Cocktail and Recipe: 3-Course Winter Pairings

Cocktail and Recipe: 3-Course Winter Pairings

Each of the drinks below should be served in tasting-sized glasses (approximately 50 milliliters), so assume that each recipe serves two drinks. After all, Chivas is always a drink that is best enjoyed when shared.

The overall inspiration for the drinks recipes was to highlight the rich, smooth taste of Chivas across the range along with seasonal flavors whilst playing around with taste sensations and textures. Below are the recipes for the drinks with the techniques for producing them. This is followed by the reasoning for why they were chosen specifically to pair with these modern British dishes created by the chef at Mews of Mayfair, perfectly celebrating the finest ingredients and flavors of the season.

— Max Warner, global brand ambassador for Chivas

Notes

Please note that the above are cocktail recipes, with suggested pairings of ideal foods to accompany them.

Ingredients

Starter - Scarlet Pimpernel

  • 60 Milliliters Chivas 12-year
  • 5 Milliliters Beetrppt Honey*
  • 2 Dashes of Lemon Bitters
  • 15 Milliliters Lillet Blanc

Main - Aberdeen Flip

  • 60 Milliliters Chivas 18 year
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 7.5 Milliliters Christmas Honeyed Syrup*
  • 2 Milliliters Chocolate Bitters
  • 2 Teaspoons Black Cherry Jam
  • 30 Milliliters 12yr Oloroso Sherry

Desert - Orchard Sour

  • 60 Milliliters Chivas 12 year
  • 30 Milliliters Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 30 Milliliters Egg White
  • 2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • 30 Milliliters Coxes Apple Spiced Syrup*

6 perfect tequila cocktails for winter

Tequila Casa Dragones has chosen 6 extraordinary cocktails that capture the essence of winter. Warm up your winter evenings with these delicious recipes crafted from some of the top bartenders in the U.S. and Mexico, with ingredients such as hibiscus and apple cider, and Casa Dragones Blanco.

Winter is Coming served at The NoMad Bar, New York

Inspired by the fresh, herbal tasting notes in Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco, Leo Robitschek, Bar Director at The NoMad Hotel, crafts a perfect winter cocktail with apple cider and maple syrup, balanced with Amaro and lemon. The sweetness of the maple syrup and the bitterness of the apple cider make the cocktail a perfect winter drink.

Recipe

1 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
1 oz. Luxardo Amaro Abano
.75 oz. Apple Cider
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.25 oz. Maple Syrup

Shake, strain, and garnish with apple slices.

Winter Flower served at Please Don’t Tell, New York

James Beard award-winning mixologist Jim Meehan from PDT in New York City, crafts the Winter Flower, a tequila version of the Hot Toddy, using hibiscus and grenadine to accentuate the floral and aromatic notes of Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco. Proof that Casa Dragones Tequila can also be savored heated.

Recipe

1.5 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
4.5 oz. Hot Hibiscus Tea
.25 oz. Benedictine
.25 oz. Jack Rude Grenadine

Serve in a pre-heated glass with a clove-studded lemon.

Silver Needles by Raúl Torrecilla served at Casa Dragones’ Tasting Room, San Miguel de Allende

From behind the bar at Casa Dragones’ Tasting Room, Raúl Torrecilla of Corazón de Alcachofa in Guadalajara, Mexico creates a full-bodied cocktail called Silver Needles, with Casa Dragones Blanco. Torrecilla crafted the signature cocktail especially to serve to VIP guests during his bartender residency. Making his own shrub with chamomile and green pepper, Torrecilla compliments the beautiful green notes found in Casa Dragones Blanco, while adding egg white to a full, velvety body. The cocktail is garnished with thyme and pink pepper for an added aromatic kick.

Recipe

2 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
5 oz. Homemade shrub made with green pepper, chamomile, and apple vinegar
5 oz. Fresh lemon juice
3 oz. Agave syrup
3 oz. Egg white
1 Dash Strega liqueur

Combine all ingredients on ice and shake vigorously. Strain over a coupe glass. Add the dash Strega liqueur and garnish with thyme and pink pepper.

Citron au Jardin served at French Laundry, Yountville

From Chef Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry comes a delicious and innovative cocktail, named Citron au Jardin. Renowned for its locally sourced ingredients, The French Laundry uses bronze fennel and honey from their own garden, for a fresh, aromatic signature cocktail. Lemon juice and simple syrup balance the semi-sweet notes of agave, while the fennel and chartreuse compliment the bold, herbaceous taste of Casa Dragones Blanco.

Recipe

2 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
.25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
.5 oz. Garden Honey
.25 oz. Simple Syrup
.75 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Sparkling Water

Muddled Garden Bronze Fennel
Muddle the fennel. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Strain over a large ice cube. Garnish with fennel.

The Dragon Sparkler served at The NoMad Bar, New York

Incorporating robust and sweet flavors such as cinnamon and sherry with champagne Leo Robitschek, Bar Director at The NoMad Hotel in New York City, crafts festive cocktail with Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco, for an all-year-round favorite.

Recipe

1 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
1 oz. Amontillado Sherry
.75 tbsp Cinnamon
.75 Lemon juice
2 oz. Champagne

Shake and strain into a highball. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cinnamon stick, and then top with champagne.

Spicy Suite by Andrew Maurer

The hints of green apple nosed in the aromas of Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco are brought to the forefront in this warm and wintery cocktail created by craft specialist Andrew Maurer.

Recipe

1.5 oz. Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
2 oz. Mulled Apple Cider
.75 oz. Domain de Canton Ginger Liqueur
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Cayenne/Cinnamon Dust

Stir all ingredients and pour into a lowball glass. Garnish with candied ginger and cayenne/cinnamon dust.


Easy-to-Make Cocktail Recipes for the Winter

THE HARPER CAROL

“I love American whiskey—so this cocktail was a no-brainer. The Harper Carol is a cold season variation on a ‘Junglebird.’ Kentucky meets tiki, contrasting this base spirit with Italian red bitter liqueur. Then, a cinnamon-date syrup deepens the beverage with notes of soft spices and dried fruit. Pineapple and fresh lemon juice add a sharp tropical acidity to the drink. This libation is a wonderful aperitif sour, best indulged during the holidays. Please enjoy responsibly.” —Adrian Alvarez, bar captain at Cecconi’s, New York City

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Ingredients:

0.50 oz. Italian red bitters

0.25 oz. cinnamon-date syrup

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, shake, double strain into a coupe. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel and grated nutmeg.

10 GENERATIONS OLD FASHIONED

“There’s nothing I enjoy more on a cool fall day than an Old Fashioned, which transports me to the vineyards of Cognac during grape harvest. With its high proof and fully round profile, Ferrand 10 Générations acts as the perfect replacement for bourbon in this cocktail—a welcom twist on the classic cocktail.” —Nico de Soto, beverage consultant and owner of Danico (Paris) and Mace (New York City)

Ingredients:

2 oz. Ferrand 10 Générations Cognac

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice in mixing glass. Strain and pour over large clear ice cube in double old-fashioned glass. Express the orange peel and place into glass.

BOURBON ‘N’ BERRIES

“We had a significant amount of bourbon in our liquor room when we reopened. Obviously, we wanted to find creative ways to use our inventory since reopening was so costly after the quarantine closure. I wanted something that was approachable, crushable, refreshing, and pretty. I used a whiskey buck as a template, which is basically whiskey and ginger. I amplified that with fresh raspberries, fresh lemon, cracked pepper, and a bit of spiciness from the ginger beer. And I wanted to name it something that was simple and straightforward that really tells it like it is. We’re not looking for any ambiguity these days. Do you like bourbon? Do you like berries? If the answer is yes, you will definitely like this drink.” Naren Young, bar director at The Fat Radish Popup at The Orchard Townhouse, New York City

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve bourbon

Barspoon of raspberry vinegar

10 grinds of black pepper in shaker

Method: Shake ingredients and pour on highball glass. Garnish with lemon wheel and 3 skewered raspberries.

HAI TEA

“Tea calms me down. And 2020 has been a year where I had to practice a lot of flexibility and roll with the punches—and drinking tea has helped keep me centered and focused. So yes, as you can imagine, I drank a lot of tea these past six months. I also spent time thinking about tea and how so many different cultures and people use tea to bring balance into their lives. For example, the English and Japanese have a high appreciation for tea—along with the peace and tranquility both can bring. Gin has typically been associated with England but Roku breaks the mold and celebrates Japanese botanicals like sencha tea, yuzu peel, and sakura. The Hai Tea is a nod to the English tradition of high tea, where one unwinds after a long workday with a cup of tea, while highlighting Roku’s Japanese flavor profile. After this long year, I think we all deserve to enjoy to unwind and have a Hai Tea with the hope it can bring peace and tranquility for just a moment in our new normal.” —Amanda Carto, bar manager at Nickel City, Austin, TX

Ingredients:

0.50 part Giffard Carribbean Pineapple liqueur

1 dash Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters

1.50 parts hot ginger green tea (Tazo green ginger tea recommended)

Method: Add all ingredients to a heat-safe teacup. Stir 3 to 4 seconds with a small spoon to incorporate ingredients. Drink is intended to be served warm. Garnish with dried pineapple, if desired.

AUTUMN EQUINOX

“My inspiration for this pairing was familiar because of my love for Latin culture and the multiple layers of flavor, sight, and sound. Tanqueray London Dry pairs perfectly with the cocktail’s delicate balance of citrus and herbaceous notes.” —Danny Louie, bartender and founder at Gāmsāān Cocktail Co.

Ingredients:

1.50 oz. Tanqueray London Dry Gin

0.25 oz. passionfruit juice

Method: Build all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Fine strain into a punch glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

FIRE ESCAPE

“I’ve found myself avoiding crowds during this period of uncertainty, while still perpetually seeking the sun. From the beginning of quarantine to the recent fall equinox, I’ve enjoyed most of my moments of imbibition on the steps of my classically Chicago wooden fire escape. I will absolutely be enjoying this seasonal sipper on my fire escape to capture all the cherished, yet rare bursts of vitamin D that the skies will allow.” —Brittany Simons, cocktail consultant and former head bartender at Bad Hunter

Ingredients:

1.25 parts Suntory Whisky Toki

0.50 part Contratto Bianco Vermouth

0.50 part apricot simple syrup

0.25 part Bragg organic apple cider vinegar

Method: Gently stir all ingredients on a lemon twist, strain, pour into chilled Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with a manicured lemon twist.

JAMAICAN GOLD

“Those who know me best know that my two favorite classic cocktails are the daiquiri and the sidecar. With the Jamaican Gold I wanted to build a bridge between the two. And I knew Plantation Xaymaca, with its traditional Jamaican esters and Cognac influence, would be the perfect composer to lead the symphony. The flavors from the sour apple liqueur always remind me of my first visit to the apple orchards in northern California during harvest. The marriage between the rum and the apple liqueur influence thoughts of homemade apple pie. Lemon juice adds the perfect balance and brightness while cinnamon syrup provides subtle warming spice. The perfect cocktail for chilly winter nights.” —Benjamin Jeffers, bartender at ABV, San Francisco

Ingredients:

1.50 oz. Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry Rum

0.75 oz. Leopold Bros. Sour Apple Liqueur

0.25 oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup**

**Cinnamon Simple Syrup: Bring 250 ml. water to boil and add 15 grams toasted cinnamon. Steep for 10 minutes, strain out cinnamon, and combine equal parts sugar and hot cinnamon tea until dissolved into a syrup. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

Method: Shake with ice, strain, serve up in coupe.

JOHNNIE WALKER GINGER HIGHBALL

“Scotch and ginger is a delicious and refreshing highball that allows some simple twists to elevate it to new heights. Johnnie Walker Black Label has loads of fall fruit flavors, coming from the selection of Speyside malts in the blend. The ginger ale pairs perfectly with the Scotch and the lime garnish freshens up the finish and aroma.” —Aidan Bowie, mixologist

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label

4.5 oz. Fever-Tree ginger ale

Method: Combine ingredients in a highball glass over ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel or wedge.

CÎROC CRANBERRY MARTINI

“When creating the Cîroc cranberry martini, the first thing that sparked inspiration was the ripe and crisp notes from the white grape in the vodka. Keeping winter in mind, we felt that the presence of cranberry (more specifically, cranberry bitters) would balance these notes while imbuing a palate ideal for the season. The dryness of the Fino Sherry adds additional luxuriousness to the drink and results in a cocktail that should warm up even the coldest night.” —Matt Landes, founder at Cocktail Academy

Ingredients:

1.50 oz. Cîroc White Grape vodka

3 dashes cranberry bitters

Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir 20 to 25 times. Strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with 3 cranberries on a cocktail pick.

SINGLETON & SPICE

“This is a perfect cocktail for the season. This hot toddy variation is one of my favorites. The honey, hot water, and lemon combination is a great remedy that’s long been known—and pairs with the Singleton 12, which brings spice and smoky notes to the mix. Garnish is important as well—to finish the recipe for more complexity and layers.” —Eric Ribeiro, mixologist and bar manager

Ingredients:

1.50 oz. The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Year whisky

**add cinnamon and apple slice for a flavor twist

Method: Add all ingredients in a mug glass and garnish with a lemon wheel spiked with 4 cloves and a cinnamon stick.

FIGGY PUDDING

“We wish you a merry Christmas and here is some Figgy Pudding. This cocktail is inspired by the flavors of a Christmas pud with fig- and date-infused whiskey and OM Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Liqueur. It’s topped with a coconut-lychee whipped cream too. Have a wonderful Christmas!” —Claire Mallett, bartender at Catch One, Los Angeles

Ingredients:

2 oz. fig- and date-infused Jack Daniel’s apple whiskey**

0.75 oz. OM Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Liqueur

Coconut-Lychee whipped cream**

**Infused Whiskey: Add 2 figs (sliced) and 6 dates to a mason jar of Jack Daniel’s Apple. Leave for 7 days. Remove the fruit and the whiskey is ready to use.

**Coconut-Lychee Whipped Cream: Add 2 oz. of OM Coconut and Lychee Liqueur to whipping cream and whisk.

Method: Pour ingredients into mixing glass with ice and stir. Pour the mixture into your glass and top with coconut-lychee whipped cream.

TOKI HOT RINGO

“I don't know about you but I need all the squishy and comforting feelings this winter. This warm cocktail filled with local bright apples and baking spices brings back memories of going to orchards with my family, witnessing the leaves change, and taking a bite of the first apple I picked off a tree. It urges you to relax and sit by a crackling fire to enjoy the subtle vanilla and ginger notes of the Suntory Toki paired with fresh cider and local honey. Get yourself some apple cider donuts and you will be wrapped up in heaven.” —Meredith Barry, beverage development consultant at Niche Food Group

Ingredients (Serves Two):

4 parts Suntory Whisky Toki

4 parts fresh-pressed apple cider

Small pinch of salt (optional)

Fresh sliced Fuji apple, candied ginger, and honeysuckle flowers (for garnish)

Method: Rough chop cinnamon stick. Place cinnamon pieces and clove in a saucepan and toast until fragrant on medium­­–high heat. Add cider and salt. Lower heat to medium. Bring cider up to desired temperature. (Do not boil.) Take mixture off heat, then add honey and Suntory Toki. Stir until honey is dissolved. Remove pieces of spices. Pour into a teacup or mug. Garnish with fresh apple slices and candied ginger.

PUNCHING 2020 (FOR A PAIR OR A POD)

“The drink is a semi-modern reiteration of what probably would have been drunk at a New Year’s Eve celebration in the 1920s with the Fitzgerald. The ideal way to enjoy it would be in the once-omnipresent communal punch bowl with fresh raspberries and orange slices floating around. But since we’re still living through this pandemic and safety is a must, it’s as easy to shake a single serving. The citruses and the raspberry syrup are complementary to the aromatic Pomp & Whimsy flavor profile—with a little kick from the absinthe and a touch of complexity from the cognac-based triple sec.” —Giuseppe Santochirico, libations curator for Halftone Spirits at Finback Brooklyn, New York City

Ingredients (Single Serving):

0.50 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

2 oz. Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur

4 oz. Champagne (or dry sparkling wine)

Ingredients (6 Servings):

3 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

12 oz. Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur

1 750 ml. bottle of Champagne (or dry sparkling wine)

Method (Single): Pour all the ingredients in the shaker but the sparkling wine, shake, top with wine in the shaker, serve over ice in a small wine glass or a cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries and orange slices.

Method (Batched): Pour all the ingredient in a large punch bowl, add ice and stir to adequately mixing the punch. Garnish with fresh raspberries and orange slices.

JILO OLD FASHIONED

“The Jilo Old Fashioned is perfect for any occasion but it especially soothes the soul on a cold day. Let the robust and toasted notes of corn (unlike you have ever had) warm your body—while the light hint of chamomile, honey, and cocoa rounds everything out with a long finish. This gives you a small taste of Mexico in the comfort of your own home!” Cesar Sandoval, national ambassador at Abasolo

Ingredients:

2 oz. Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whisky

0.50 parts Nixta Licor de Elote

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Lemon and orange twists, for garnish

Method: Add Abasolo, Nixta, and bitters to a mixing glass, then add ice and stir until cold and diluted. Zest citrus over rocks glass and add fresh ice. Strain drink into glass, roll zest into attractive curls and lay garnish atop the ice.

2020 TRAINWRECK

“Twenty–twenty was a weary trainwreck of a year, but this tropical tepache tipple is refreshingly balanced.” —Austin Sherman, cocktail expert and cofounder at Big Easy

Ingredients:

2 oz. Big Easy Pineapple Tepache

0.75 oz. ginger syrup, such as The Ginger People organic ginger syrup

0.5 oz. fresh lemon juice (Natalie’s brand preferred)

2 dashes bitters, such as Angostura

Pineapple leaf, for garnish

Sparkling water, such as Topo Chico, to top

Method: Combine rum, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and bitters in a shaker tin filled with ice. Shake and strain over fresh ice cubes into a cocktail glass. Top with tepache and sparkling water and garnish.

FESTIVE FIZZ

“This cocktail really brings out the different flavors of the holidays with the cranberry, pomegranate, and rosemary. The fruity, citrus notes that you get from the fresh juices complements the fresh agave and oak notes from the Patrón Reposado, which makes for a truly refreshing cocktail. It also doesn’t hurt that the cocktail is a beautiful red color making it perfect for any holiday celebration.” —Stephen Halpin, manager of mixology and trade at Patrón Tequila

Ingredients:

1.5 oz. Patrón Reposado tequila

0.75 oz.rosemary simple syrup

Method: Combine all ingredients except soda water in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill and combine. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, top with club soda and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

BOURBON HOT TODDY

“One thing I love about this hot toddy, that you don’t see in a standard hot toddy recipe, is the addition of ginger! It adds the perfect amount of spice and provides what I like to call the ‘warm hug’ feeling while you drink it! I grew up with those flavors: Any time I had a cold or didn’t feel well, my dad would give me hot water with lemon, ginger, and honey, and it would always make me feel better! Those ingredients, to me, have always been the cure for what ails you.” —Amy Probasco, cocktail consultant at Beam Suntory

Ingredients:

2 parts Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon

2–3 slices of ginger, peeled

4–5 dashes Angostura bitters

Cinnamon stick or grated cinnamon

Method: In a saucepan over medium-heat, heat the ginger and water until almost boiling. Pour the water into a large mug, straining out the ginger. Add the honey, stirring until it is well dissolved. Squeeze and drop in the lemon wedges. Add the Basil Hayden’s and bitters, giving it another stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Feel free to add more honey if you like it a little sweeter! Garnish with a cinnamon stick or grated cinnamon.

THE CLERMONT

“The Clermont, a play on the classic Manhattan, is perfect for the season because the whiskey along with amaro and sweet vermouth present a drink with spices as well as deep notes of cacao and bitter orange peel. Cocchi di Torino sweet vermouth is light and is as bitter as it is sweet. If you’d like a more robust vermouth you could use Carpano Antica instead. Amaro Montenegro is essential to this cocktail’s complexity, however don’t be afraid to try different amari in place of it to create a whole new cocktail. Knob Creek gives a solid backbone of vanilla and oak giving it a warming quality. This cocktail is certainly stiff enough to calm your nerves during what has certainly been a wild year, but gentle enough to lift your spirits. Perfect to sip alone during a movie night or zoom party, or make two and share one with your loved one over the holidays.” —Erin Ashford, beverage director at Olamaie, Austin, TX

Ingredients:

2 parts Knob Creek bourbon

0.75 part Amaro Montenegro

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Method: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir with ice until chilled and then strain the mixture into a coupe. Zest an orange peel and use as a twist garnish on the edge of the glass.

THE EVEN MORE FESTIVE NEGRONI

“The Negroni is the cocktail of the last decade and like many other timeless classics it has proved itself to be a versatile cocktail fitting of many different occasions and suitable to all the seasons. However, if you really break it down it’s a spiritous drink with a high level of flavor complexity that is befitting of the winter months. This recipe takes if one step further and adds some winter spice that makes it ideal for the holidays as a gift to friends as a festive sized serving.” —Simon Ford, founder at Fords Gin

Ingredients (Makes 1 Liter):

10 oz. cinnamon-infused Campari

10 oz. Carpano Sweet Vermouth

Method: To make the cinnamon-infused Campari, put two cinnamon sticks in a bottle of Campari overnight. Shake the bottle once or twice throughout the process. To make the drink, combine ingredients in a pot or mixing bowl. Funnel into a 1-liter bottle (may be a few ounces extra). When ready to serve, pour into a punch bowl and garnish with blood-orange wheels and cinnamon sticks and serve with punch glasses or pour into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with blood orange half-moons and grated cinnamon.

THE PERONI REGALO

“The Peroni Regalo is a refreshing, yet cozy cocktail. Featuring bourbon and the spicy notes of cinnamon and clove, you’ll definitely want to sip it on a cold day by a fireplace. The dredged oranges and bourbon put a festive spin on the classic Peroni, plus the warm, golden color screams holiday.” —Antoni Porowski, food expert and spokesperson at Peroni

Ingredients:

1 bottle (330 ml.) of Peroni

**Spiced Orange Slice: Slice orange into ¼ inch thick round slices. Cut each round in half. Mix sugar, ground clove and cinnamon in a small bowl or container wide enough to accommodate orange slice. Dredge orange slices fully in mixture.

Method: Muddle ½ spiced orange round (see below) in a 16 oz glass. Fill halfway with ice. Add 1.5 oz bourbon and 3 dash bitters and stir. Fill to top with Peroni. Garnish with another ½ spiced orange round.


Soup is a hard match for wine—liquid on liquid. Sparklers fix the texture problem, with bubbles for contrast. Here, the red fruit in a rosé really pops with the sweet shrimp and tames the heat of the cayenne. And bubbly’s characteristic yeastiness echoes the slightly darkened roux thickening this bisque.

Pair with: J Brut Rosé (Russian River Valley $38) Laetitia 2009 Brut Rosé (Arroyo Grande Valley $30) Scharffenberger Brut Rosé “Excellence” (Mendocino County $23).


10 Heavenly Appetizer and Cocktail Pairings for the Perfect Wedding Reception

Let’s be real here: aside from the actual nuptials, the second most exciting thing on someone’s wedding day is the cocktail and appetizer menu. Anyone planning a reception knows that these crucial food decisions can actually make or break your big party (well, maybe not, but us foodies certainly see it that way). We’ve compiled a list of ten of our favorite cocktail and appetizer pairings to ensure that your guests are both satisfied and a little bit tipsy for the Bon Jovi singalong portion of your DJ’s set list.

Here are some great signature cocktails and the perfect appetizer to go with each:

Lavender Lemonade Mojitos – Goat Cheese Toasts with Honey

We love this cocktail with its light rum, water, lemon juice, mint, and lavender simple syrup. Goat cheese, lavender, and honey? This is basically as Southern France as one could possibly get. No wonder they say what grows together goes together when they come together in your mouth, these Provencal flavors are absolutely heavenly. Your guests will be saying merci.

Blushing Bride – Mini Fruit & Cheese Skewers

The Blushing Bride includes Champagne, Peach Schnapps, and grenadine. This Champagne-based cocktail presents festive bubbles with a sweet touch, thanks to the Schnapps and grenadine. Pairing classic bubbly with a traditional fruit and cheese skewer is always a crowdpleaser. Stack a grape or berry atop a cube of Swiss or White Cheddar cheese on a toothpick for a classically cute take on charcuterie/cheese boards.

Whiskey Lemonade with Honey – Mini Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Biscuits

We love this cocktail made of bourbon, lemonade, and honey. It positively screams southern comfort. The sweetness in the bourbon and honey pairs beautifully with the buttery characteristics of cheesy pasta and flaky biscuits.

Moscow Mule – California Roll Sushi Poppers

A Moscow Mule contains ginger beer, vodka, and lime juice. We generally consume our sushi with a side of ginger, right? So why not drink it? This effervescent ginger cocktail presents a unique twist on everyone’s favorite weeknight dinner: California Rolls.

Aperol Tangerine Cocktail – Prosciutto Wrapped Peach Slices

This one’s got vodka, orange juice, tangerine syrup, and lime juice. The tangy citrus additions to this vodka-based cocktail play beautifully off of the natural sugars and stone fruit flavors of the yellow peach wedges.

Old Fashioned – Bacon Chicken Skewers

An Old Fashioned classically contains bourbon, bitters, a sugar cube, and water. Bourbon and bacon? Need we say more? The salty, fatty goodness in the bacon not only complements the savory flavors of chicken, but also plays off of the sweetness of the bourbon and sugar cube. This is as American as it gets, in the best possible way, of course

Creamy Coconut Margaritas – Loaded Nacho Cups

With cream of coconut, tequila, ice, lime juice, and triple sec, this cocktail will bring a bit of Tex-Mex to your nuptials. Margaritas and nachos are always wonderful together upgrade your Mexican faves with some creamy coconut flavors and individually served nacho cups. We might even continue making these even after the reception is over.

Spiced Red Wine Sangria – Teriyaki Chicken Bites

Sangria is a perfect reception sipper, with its spiced red wine, brandy, apple cider, and apples. Spicy sweet Sangria paired with spicy sweet chicken bites? These two go hand in hand. The tangy sweetness of the chicken bites plays magically off the spicy red wine.

French 75 – Poutine Potato Poppers

Few cocktails will class up your wedding like a French 75, with its Champagne, lemon juice, gin, and simple syrup. We’re going straight Quebecois with this pairing. The acidity from the sparkling wine meshes perfectly with starchy potatoes and gooey cheese. Have you ever seen a classier take on poutine? We think not.

Sea Foam Sangria – Fish Taco Bites

We love this take on Sangria, with its white wine, Hpnotiq, and ginger ale. This cocktail and appetizer pairing is perfect for summer weddings on the beach. Sweet coconut and salty fish? Start your honeymoon early with this paradise-filled pairing.


Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies

A hot toddy is basically a shot or two of any potent spirit added to a cup of hot water. At Paley&aposs Place in Portland, Oregon, bartender Suzanne Bozarth puts a French spin on this warming drink with a slug of apple brandy, such as Calvados. It&aposs warming and tastes just like fall.

A hot toddy is basically a shot or two of any potent spirit added to a cup of hot water. At Paley&aposs Place in Portland, Oregon, bartender Suzanne Bozarth puts a French spin on this warming drink with a slug of apple brandy, such as Calvados.


How to Make Ranch Water

The beauty of ranch water is there&aposs no exact science to perfecting this drink, so feel free to adjust it to your taste preferences. If you want a spicier take, try the aleppo-pepper and salt rim featured in the batch recipe (serves 8!) on our sister site, MarthaStewart.com.

Ingredients

  • 1½ to 2 ounces of tequila
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces Topo Chico (You can use another sparkling mineral water brand here, but Texas natives will argue nothing else compares. Look for it in the sparkling water or Mexican section of your grocery store.)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Lots of ice

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add your tequila and lime juice, then top it off with your Topo Chico. Sip away!


Add some more festive cheer by folding your napkins as Christmas Trees! It’s so much easier than it sounds!

Ring in fall and winter festivities with a Sparkling Wassail Mocktail. It’s fruity, spicy and oh-so delicious.

Full of bubbles with a yummy combo of cranberry and lime, this Sparkling Cranberry and Lime Mocktail will be a hit at your holiday parties.

Instead of your usual party punch, try these refreshing Mint Floats. Although mint is perfect for Christmas, it’s great any time of year.

If you’re a fan of Arnold Palmers, you’ll enjoy this Lemon Spezi, too. It’s coke mixed with lemonade, and even though it may sound a little strange, it’s pretty tasty (and fizzy)!

Instead of mojitos, try these Pineapple No-Jitos. Fresh pineapple, mint, lime and sparkling water combine in this delectable drink.

Rosemary and lemon always pair well together, but when you add raspberries? Perfection! Add a little sparkling water to the mix, and you have yourself a lovely Raspberry Rosemary Spritzer.

The kids will go crazy for this Sparkling Cherry Limeade, and so will you! It’s as tasty as it is pretty, and it only uses four ingredients. So simple!

For an interesting drink with a sharp bite, try Ginger Beer Mojitos. Ginger beer is classified as non-alcoholic due to its extremely low alcohol content, but if you want to go completely non-alcoholic for this recipe, substitute ginger ale in place of the ginger beer.

And for another ginger beer option, try this Vanilla Lime Fizzy. So pretty!

A Cranberry, Raspberry and Orange Sparkling Cooler makes for a nice New Year’s Eve drink, don’t you think?

How about a Plum Spritzer Mocktail? Perfect for poolside or snuggling under a blanket in front of the fireplace.

Vanilla Lime Fizzy is another great drink to serve a crowd. They won’t be able to get enough!

A sophisticated soda pop? Yep, we found one. Make this Raspberry Burnet Soda Pop to wow your friends.

I don’t know about you, but I could drink Pina Colada Spritzers all year long. I need one for each hand!

For a wonderful sweet and sour combination, try this delicious looking Blackberry Vanilla Mocktail. It even has a little fizz thanks to the ginger ale.

This Sparkling Ginger Pear Mocktail is incredibly refreshing, and if you’re making it just for adults, it’s easy to swap out the ginger ale for your favorite vodka or white wine.

And this Drink Pink Mocktail is perfect for a bridal or baby shower. Just look at the gorgeous color! The pink lemonade and cranberry juice cocktail make for a yummy pairing.

What is a mocktail?

Just in case you’re wondering what a mocktail is, it’s a drink that doesn’t contain any alcohol. And while they might have names like they do or even suggest that by the way they look, they’re kid-friendly and okay for all to drink.

Can you make a mocktail with alcohol?

You can, but then that transitions it into a cocktail, which is a whole other drink in itself.

Although, it’s pretty simple to transition a mocktail recipe into a cocktail one by simply adding in your favorite alcoholic beverage.

Did you enjoy this list of mocktail recipes? Get even more drink ideas here:


2oz Aviation Gin + .75oz Burly Beverages Grape-Clove Shrub Syrup + .25oz Burly Beverages Super Smooth Ginger Beer, Top w/Seltzer
Suggested Garnish: Frozen Black Grapes & Torched Orange Peel Pierced w/3 Cloves
Submittted By - Meg Myers (General Manager @ Burly Beverages)

2oz Irish Whiskey + 1oz Burly Beverages Pomegranate-Pink Peppercorn Shrub Syrup + .5oz Old Vine Zinfandel (or any other juicy red wine) + .25 oz Orange Juice, Top w/Seltzer & Two Dashes Orange Bitters
Suggested Garnish: Fresh Pomegranate Seeds and/or Twisted Orange Peel
Submitted By - Gabriel Aiello (Sodasmith @ Burly Beverages)


11 Apple-Inspired Cocktails Perfect for Any Fall Gathering

Fall flavors like apple and cinnamon are perfect pairings for a delicious and seasonally appropriate cocktail. Applejack and calvados make it easy to add apple flavor to any of the traditional cocktails you enjoy – think apple martini, old fashioned, etc. – and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find one that you like. Check out these 11 apple-inspired recipes and put them on your rotation asap.

1. Moonshine Apple Pie Cocktail

Moonshine whiskey, cinnamon, vanilla, apple cider, and apple liqueur pack a punch. If you can’t find moonshine feel free to substitute with bourbon or whiskey. Get the recipe here.

2. Gingerbread Apple Cocktail

Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur and a vanilla vodka make this a very sweet cocktail that’s garnished with crushed gingerbread. Use honey or agave to get the cookies to stick to the rim. Get the recipe here.

3. Hot Buttered Apple Cider

Calvados is the star of the show in this take on hot buttered rum. Cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice flavor the brown sugar and butter mixture. Make it ahead of time and freeze individual ice cubes so that you can just reheat them with cider one cup at a time. Get the recipe here.

4. Winter Old-Fashioned Cocktail

This old fashioned is a great take on an old classic. Use calvados or applejack and garnish with a fresh pear or apple slice. Get the recipe here.

5. Mulled Apple Cider

A simple recipe for apple cider, this cider calls out to be used as a mixer for rum, whiskey, or brandy. Black peppercorns and allspice berries add a pleasant peppery note. Get our Mulled Apple Cider recipe.

6. Apple Barrel Cocktail

This perfectly autumnal cocktail contains Becherovka, a spicy, bittersweet Czech liqueur that is herbal in nature and pairs beautifully with the cognac and apple brandy. Get the recipe here.

7. Pisco Apple Sour

Pisco, lemon juice, and the juice of a Granny Smith green apple lend tartness to this apple sour recipe. Add maple syrup to taste for a hint of sweetness. Get the recipe here.

8. Green Apple Sparkler

Sugar, water, and lime are combined into a syrup and you can easily make this drink alcoholic with the addition of vodka or gin. Try adding some Saint-Germaine or Prosecco to the mix. Get our Green Apple Sparkler recipe.

9. Apple Cinnamon Calvados Old Fashioned

Calvados, cinnamon bark syrup, and angostura bitter make this a fruity take on a traditional old fashioned. You can serve this drink hot or cold – it also makes a delicious punch. Get the recipe here.

10. Smoky Hot Scotch Apple Cider

Honey, cinnamon, and lemon flavor this soothing warm blend of spices, cider, and scotch. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Get our Smoky Hot Scotch Apple Cider recipe.

11. Apple Martini

Apple schnapps and apple juice are combined for a sweet and fruity martini that you can make with gin or vodka. Shake with ice and garnish with a fresh apple slice (or even an apple gummy ring). Get our Apple Martini recipe.