Posts tagged Cocktails & Drinks
Batida Cocktail

I love a good creamy cocktail. Coconut milk adds just enough creaminess and tropical flavor to work well with the serious kick of cachaça and lime. Try these! You won’t regret it.

Batida Cocktail


Adapted from

2 oz silver cachaça
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1/2 oz coconut milk
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
Garnish: Pineapple leaf

Add all the ingredients into a blender with 1/2 cup of ice, and blend until smooth.

Pour into a rocks glass over crushed ice.

Garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Mayan Margarita

Our friend brought a new liqueur into our lives this year from her recent visit to Mexico. It is a Mayan honey and anise liqueur called Xtabentun. We immediately began researching cocktail ideas and found a pretty delicious one in the Mayan Margarita. We made a few tweaks and think this version is perfectly sweet, strong, and sour.

Mayan Margarita

Mayan Margarita

1 ½ ounces tequila blanco
½ ounce xtabentun (honey liqueur)
¼ ounce cointreau
½ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker over ice, shake until chilled, pour over ice in a rocks glass.

Mayan Margarita -- Salud!

Spritz has remained a favorite for summertime cocktails and bubbly aperitifs. This one is simple enough: Campari, white wine, and soda. But the complexity of the liqueur with the sparkle of the soda water gives it a big character. 

We found a lovely little Campari alternative at our local Total Wine last time around. Leopold Bros Aperitivo. A little more bitter, with a heavier citrus note. Great in this cocktail, and adds a different kick to your standard Negroni. 




From Spritz by Talia Baiocchi & Leslie Pariseau

1 to 2 ounces Campari or similar herbal citrus aperitivo
3 ounces white wine
soda water
lemon slice for garnish

Build ingredients in a wine glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice.


The Emperor
According to the company, Unicum was created by Dr. József Zwack, the Royal Physician to the Habsburg Court, for Emperor Joseph II in 1790. In 1840 the family founded J. Zwack & Co., the first Hungarian liqueur manufacturer.
— The Zwack Unicum History
Emperor being poured

The Emperor 

Adapted from The Spruce Eats

1 1/2 ounces Zwack Unicum Herbal Liqueur
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1 tsp orange curacao
optional: orange twist for garnish

Combine Zwack, vermouth, and curacao in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir well until well-chilled. Strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with optional orange twist. 


Classic French Cocktails

A few of my favorite cocktails have french origins. Simple, refreshing, and elegant. 



The Sidecar

1 1/2 oz cognac
2/3 oz triple sec
1/2 oz lemon juice

Optional sugar rim: slice of orange, white sugar

To add optional sugar rim: Place sugar on a small plate at least the width of the mouth of your martini glass. Slide a wedge of orange around the rim of your glass and then gently set rim of glass onto sugar plate, gently agitate or roll rim around, until rim of glass is completely lined with sugar.

Combine cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until combined and well chilled. Strain into a martini glass.


French 75

French 75

2 oz gin
½  oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
3-4 oz Champagne or sparkling wine

Combine gin, simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well combined and chilled. Pour into a coupe or flute. Top with champagne or sparkling wine.

Vancouver Cocktail & Hotel Georgia

Exciting cocktails always add something special to a race weekend. Especially when the race lulls a little, pulling out the cocktail shakers and trying new creations livens it up! 

Canadian Cocktails

West Jet Magazine shared four Canadian-made cocktails with varied origin stories. The following two are both signature cocktails created by Canadian hotel mixologists. 

Vancouver Cocktail

"The Vancouver Cocktail, said to have been invented in the 1950s at the city’s Sylvia Hotel. Its flavour is similar to the Toronto, but it’s not quite as bitter." 

1.5 oz gin
0.75 oz Punt e Mes  or other sweet vermouth
0.25 oz Bénédictine
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a orange peal.

Hotel Georgia

"Launched in 1927, The Hotel Georgia reopened in 2011 as the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, housing Hawksworth Restaurant. Former bar manager Brad Stanton found its namesake cocktail recipe and modified it."

1.75 oz gin
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz orgeat syrup
6-8 drops orange blossom water
1 egg white

Shake all ingredients with ice (be careful! the egg white creates a lot of pressure so you'll need to hold to top on well!), strain into a reserved glass and back into shaker, and shake again without ice (dry shake). Double-strain with a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg (optional).



Caviar and Champagne Cocktails

When I think Monaco, I think glitz, glamor, caviar, and champagne. And of course Daniel Ricciardo flying face first into the Red Bull pool after pulling off a redemptive win on the streets of Monte Carlo. 

Any excuse to have a cheese plate, some fancy nibbles, and a tasting menu of champagne is a good one for me. I found some cheeses from Italy and France to honor Monaco's neighbors and served up some caviar with melba toast, whipped cream cheese, and crunchy radishes. 

cheese plate and caviar

Caviar can be served on its own or with whipped cream cheese, butter, or even creme fraiche. Suggested additions range from sliced radishes to smoked salmon or hard cooked egg. 

If serving with radishes, a trick to get them extra crunchy is to slice and let rest in ice cold water for 15 or so minutes. Serve caviar in a bowl of crushed ice to keep it chilled. Serve with a non-metal spoon, traditionally mother of pearl, to prevent metallic taste transfer. 


Champagne cocktails are some of the easiest and most elegant cocktails. Everyone feels special drinking from a champagne flute, and with just a little creativity things can be made even more delicious. 


Champagne Cocktail

Classic Champagne Cocktail

1 oz sugar
Angostura bitters
1/2 oz cognac
Optional garnish: Lemon or Orange twist

Add sugar to the base of a champagne flute, shake 2-3 dashes of bitters to saturate the sugar. Add cognac and swirl. Top with champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist. 


Kir Royale

Kir Royale

1/4 oz creme de cassis
4 oz champagne
Optional garnish: raspberries or lemon twist

Add creme de cassis to champagne flute, top with champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with raspberries or lemon twist (optional).


St. Germaine Champagne Cocktail

St. Germaine Champagne Cocktail

1/2 oz St. Germaine
1/2 oz lemon juice
4 oz champagne

Add St. Germain and lemon juice to champange flute. Swirl to combine. Top with champagne or sparkling wine.

Bonus Cocktail:

Negroni Sbagliato 

1 oz campari
1 oz vermouth
3 oz champagne

Add campari and vermouth to champagne flute or rocks glass, swirl to combine. Top with champagne or sparkling wine.

Mediterranean Sauco Cocktail
Mediterranean Suaco

Modern Spanish drinking culture seems particularly keen on a few liquors in particular, those of Vermouth and Gin. And not necessarily together, though that sounds like a drink I know... 

Vermouth seems to instead be a stand alone day drinkers friend, perfect for sipping alongside some tapas and a group of friends. In fact one of my favorite articles is entitled How to Day Drink Like a Spaniard in Saveur magazine, all about Vermouth drinking culture. I have a super simple vermouth cocktail recipe up on the blog, if you want to experiment! 

For today's addition, we went for the other favorite: Gin. 

This recipe is adapted to what we could find in the States. The original recipe calls for Sauco which appears to be a liqueur made from the elderberry. However, we could not find anything resembling that here. So we went for elderflower liqueur, in this case St. Germaine, with lovely results. 


Mediterranean Sauco

Adapted from TheDailyMeal

2 oz gin
½ oz elderflower liqueur
1 ½ oz cava (or to fill glass)

In a cocktail mixer over ice combine gin and elderflower liqueur, stir to combine until well chilled. Pour into coupe glass, top with cava.

Sichuan Peppercorn Cocktails

As soon as I opened the fresh bag of Sichuan peppercorns I knew we needed to create a cocktail to put them in. They were tart, spicy, floral, and something completely unknown. With the help of Serious Eats we found a great way to bring Sichuan peppercorn into cocktails. See below for a recipe for Sichuan Peppercorn Simple Syrup. 

Looking elsewhere on the web for inspiration, I loved this description of Sichuan (also spelled Szechuan) peppercorns from Addition, a company focused on bringing savory to cocktails everywhere. 

"The reality-warping Szechuan Pepper brings amazing floral and citrus notes along with heat that’s different from other peppers and chilies; Szechuan peppers will play tricks on your mouth with the tactile, prickly sensations they impart. " 

How fun does that sound! 


Sichuan Peppercorn Whiskey Sour

Sichuan Peppercorn Whiskey Sour

2 oz bourbon
1 oz Sichuan peppercorn simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
egg white (optional)

Pour all ingredients except egg white in a cocktail shaker over ice, shake until well blended and cold. If using, add egg white and shake again until blended. 

Pour over a single large ice cube and garnish with lemon peel and peppercorn (garnish optional). 


Because one of us enjoys whiskey and the other gin, we experimented with both and to our pleasant surprise they both work equally well. I love how the gin showed the slightly pink nature of the peppercorn simple syrup!


Sichuan Peppercorn Gin Sour

Sichuan Peppercorn Gin Sour

2 oz gin
1 oz Sichuan peppercorn simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
egg white (optional)

Pour all ingredients except egg white in a cocktail shaker over ice, shake until well blended and cold. If using, add egg white and shake again until blended. 

Pour over a single large ice cube and garnish with lemon peel and peppercorn (garnish optional). 


Making Simple Syrup

Sichuan Peppercorn Simple Syrup

Chef  Jonathan Zaragoza suggests making a simple syrup with a TON of peppercorns to make sure you get a strong enough flavor-to-sweet ratio, I think it worked well.

Adapted recipe for a quarter batch, results in approximately 1 cup simple syrup

1 cup Sichuan peppercorns
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a medium pot you take one cup of water, one cup of sugar, and 1/3 cup of peppercorns, bring them up to a slight boil, take it off the heat, and let it sit. Then do that again two more times, adding an additional 1/3 cup of peppercorns each time. At the end you get an intense syrup.


Spiced Pineapple Cocktail
pineapple station

For the Australian GP, I went on a serious hunt for a proper Australian cocktail. My research efforts were mostly met with overly sweet, fruity, sugar bombs. Just to give you a few examples: Watermelon Spritz, Pretty in Pink Vodka Cooler, Giggly Rose Cocktail... no thank you. According to one Australian food author, there are no truly Australian cocktails because, "our laid-back Aussie culture sits at odds with the fussiness of cocktail making", so he suggests an easy to make beer-based punch. Hmm. Well, maybe that answers why it is so hard to find a good cocktail that is quintessentially Aussie, maybe there are none?

Not to be deterred by sugar overload or food authors naysaying, we tried a few outliers that sounded like they might hit our mark, including the Dead Man's Drop  and the Beachcomber. The first was a little too adventurous (though it gave us an excuse to use our chocolate bitters) and the second didn't veer too far from a standard Mai Tai, tad boring. Finally we found a winner in the Spiced Pineapple Pitcher cocktail. Tart, punchy, just enough sweet and a great complement to an F1 Grand Prix. Hope you enjoy it too! 

spiced pineapple cocktail

Spiced Pineapple Cocktail
Adapted from Eat Drink Play
makes 1 cocktail

1 ounce spiced rum
1 ounce white rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces ginger ale
10 leaves/ 3 small sprigs fresh mint
½  lime sliced into 1cm thick pieces
1 large slice fresh pineapple cut into wedges

Add pineapple wedges, lime slices, and mint in the bottom of a glass, muddle until very juicy. Add ice. Add both rums, pineapple juice, and ginger ale. Mix with tall spoon until well blended. Serve with a pineapple wedge for garnish.

Vermouth and Sherry: Spain's Aperitif Culture
sherry aperitif
This ritual of tomar un vermut—literally, “taking a vermouth”—is to Spain what grabbing an espresso is to Italy. It’s a social activity undertaken pretty much whenever over the course of daylight hours, preferably with a friend or three.
— Kyle Chayka, Saveur

I am inspired by the tapas and aperitif culture of Spain for a few primary reasons: culturally acceptable day drinking, abundant bite sized deliciousness, and the social gatherings that seem so full of laughter and love. Granted, I am basing this mostly on episodes of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and other TV depictions, so I am likely over-simplifying things. But, I stand by my adoration of gathering friends, eating lovely things, and drinking fortified wines.

Both sherry and vermouth are new discoveries to me (one of the many reasons this blog is the best hobby ever!) These drinks turn out to be positively lovely! Catalonians seem to have a particular penchant for vermouth, and sherry is more imbibed in Southwest Spain in the so-called sherry-triangle where the grapes are mostly grown. Are you a geek like me and want to know more? The Spruce has a fun article on discovering fortified wine, which I highly recommend if you are a novice like me. If you just want to know the basics... try serving sherry chilled as an aperitif or digestif (before or after dinner drinks, respectively) and try vermouth the same or in the simple cocktail recipe below. 

vermouth cocktail


Vermouth Cocktail

Inspired by Punch

1 1/2 ounce vermouth
splash (to taste) of soda water
orange slice

In a collins glass, or whatever glass you have lying around, add a large ice cube. Top with vermouth, splash of soda water, and an orange slice. Perfect for an aperitif before dinner, with tapas in the afternoon, or as an after dinner drink to wind down the evening. 

Rye Spiked Cinnamon Tea (Su Jung Kwa)
Su jung kwa is a traditional Korean tea made from cinnamon, ginger, spices, sweet dried dates, and pine nuts that’s commonly served as an after-dinner drink or dessert. Chef Hooni Kim (New York Restaraunteur) serves a chilled cocktail version
— Saveur
rye cocktail


Rye Spiked Cinnamon Tea (Su Jung Kwa)

From Saveur

For the Su Jung Kwa Tea
(makes enough for about 4 cocktails)
1⁄4 lb. fresh ginger, peeled and cut into ½" pieces
1⁄4 lb. cinnamon sticks
2 dried dates
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 tbsp. pine nuts

For the Cocktail
(1 cocktail)
1 1⁄2 oz. rye whiskey
3 oz. su jung kwa tea
1⁄4 oz. lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange twist, for garnish (optional)


Make the tea: In a 4-qt. pot, combine ginger, cinnamon, and jujubes with 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Let steep for 2 hours; add pine nuts and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the cocktail: Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients; cover and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange twist, if you like.


**Fair warning this cocktail has a very intense flavor. I think I might try diluting it further for future iterations, perhaps with a little soda water or just more water when making the tea. But I love ginger and cinnamon so it was delicious in my book. 

Mojito making


From: Drinking the Devil's Acre

10 to 15 mint leaves, plus 1 sprig for garnish
2 oz white rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz seltzer water

Lightly muddle the mint leaves in a highball glass, then pour in the liquid, add ice, and stir. Garnish with the mint sprig, and as the author says "sip and smile". 


Alternate directions: if you don't have simple syrup on hand and don't want to take the time to make it, you can muddle 1 1/2 tsp sugar with the mint leaves and add the liquid ingredients on top, stir well, then add ice. Garnish and enjoy!

Jungle Bird
Jungle Bird F1Cookbook

Oooh another favorite cocktail! This is a great time in the F1 Calendar when so many favorites come up all in a row! 

This is yet another cocktail where it is considered "Malaysian" as it was invented there (yet again in a hotel bar similar to the Singapore Sling) but is rarely actually imbibed in its country of origin. I still would like to give credit where credit is due and thank Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. 

Cocktail Making

Jungle Bird

Jungle Bird

1/2 oz simple syrup
1 1/2 oz dark aged rum
3/4 oz Campari
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Pineapple wedge for garnish
Maraschino cherry for garnish


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. 

Shake until well chilled and strain into rocks glass with ice. 

Garnish with pineapple and cherry. 

Singapore Sling

This is one of my all time favorite cocktails. I know, I know, you can't just come out and make a claim like that. But honestly, this drink is so delicious I want to shout off roof tops about it. 

Apparently the Singapore Sling is a hotly debated cocktail with a hundred origin stories and no agreement on what the original recipe is nor what the best modern version is. The only agreement seems to be that it is to this day the "house" drink at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and that the version they serve there is sickenly sweet and undrinkable.  Even so, I have to thank them for popularizing it, and thank mixologists over the decades for making it properly delicious.


Singapore Sling

Adapted from a picture I took of a recipe from my brother! 

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Peter Heering Cherry Heering
1/4 ounce Cointreau
1/4 Benedictine
3 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
Dash of Angostura bitters
Orange Slice for garnish
Cherry for garnish (preferrably Luxardo)

Combine the gin, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple and lime juices, and bitters in a cocktail shake and shake well. (Hold on tight, the pineapple juice foams and you don't want it flying everywhere!) Strain into a highball glass and garnish with orange slice and cherry. 


Another version from Serious Eats, sounds intriguing it has no pineapple juice and adds a splash of sparkling water. Maybe I'll try that the next time around. Or maybe I'll just stick with this recipe because as I started off by saying... Best Cocktail Ever. 

If you want to know more about the multitudinous "historical origins" of this lovely cocktail check out this article on The Spruce


Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi & Leslie Pariseau is a beautifully illustrated and charmingly written cocktail guide and history of a particular genre of cocktail. 


First: A Spritz is always effervescent. Whether its bubble is aquired though soda water, prosecco, some other sparkling wine, or a flavored soda, the spitz would not be a spritz without bouyancy.

Second: A spritz is low alcohol, which, for our purposes means that is should contatin no more that one ounce of strong spirits (perferably less). This is a drink that is consuemd when the day is waning and the night is young.

Third: A spritz is a pre-dinner drink, meant to be consumed in that liminal hour between work and play. It should be bitter as a means to open the stomach for a meal.
— Talia Baiocchi & Leslie Pariseau


All of the following cocktails are from Spritz


1 1/2 ounces Campari
1 1/2 ounces Sweet Vermouth
Soda Water

Pour the Campari and vermouth into a Collins glass over ice. Top with soda water and add garnich (optional). 


Negroni Sbagliato

1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
3 ounces Prosecco

Build the ingredients in a rocks glass over ice and add garnish (optional)

Note: on this one we chilled the ingredients by stirring them in a cocktail shaker before topping with prosseco to make a nice cold drink for a particularly hot day. 



from Jim Meehan of PDT

2 ounces Pelligrino Aranciata
1 1/2 ounces Zwack Amaro
2 ounces Prosecco

Build the ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and add garnish (optional)


We discovered Zwack in research for recipes for the Hungarian Grand Prix a few years ago. We started out simple, drinking it straight as an apertivo or a between courses drink. Tasty but a little powerful all on its own. 

This year, we wanted to find some new applications for this bitter, sweet, herbal liqueur. Thanks to the internet, that turned out easier than I thought! I liked Food & Wine and Saveur's contributions. I'm including our top choice from Food & Wine here, the Zwack-hatten. 



from Food & Wine

2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Zwack
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon twist

In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of rye and 3/4 ounce Zwack.
Add a dash of Angostura bitters.
Stir until well-chilled, and then strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a big twist of lemon peel—twisting over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.


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I have lived in wine country all my life. There are photos of me at five years old drinking from the wine press as we prepared to barrel our homemade wine. I appreciate good wine, red wine, white wine, cheap wine, sparkling wine, and of course a nice wine cocktail. I am not generally hard to please, but I also know something good when I have it. 

This is my favorite go-to Sangria recipe because it is simple, quick, and it still tastes like the base wine and the tangy fruit it is composed of. As perfect for a summer day as it is for a drink along with light Spanish tapas, or heavy Spanish stews. Just try it already! 

5 Ingredient Sangria

From the Minimalist Baker

1/2 fresh pineapple, chopped
1 orange, sliced into thin rounds and then halved
1 pear or stone fruit, cubed
750 ml bottle red Spanish wine (or Spanish style like a tempranillo or granacha)
1 cup  fresh orange juice

  1. Slice fruit and drop into a large pitcher.
  2. Add orange juice and wine and stir.
  3. Refrigerate until serving, at least 4 hours, up to 2 days.




1/2 lime
½-1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces cachaça
Soda water

Slice the lime into 1/2-inch rounds and muddle them in an old-fashioned glass or small tumbler with the sugar. Add a couple of ice cubes. Pour in the cachaça. Top with soda water to taste.


Caiparinhas are the perfect tangy, bright counter to the salty deliciousnes of pao de queijo.

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A note on personalization: I highly recommend making these to order and adjusting the sugar level to the liking of each person. I liked it at about 1 tsp, my husband 1/2 a tsp and our friend kept pouring sugar in until I'm pretty sure it was just alcoholic limeade. But that's what it is all about, make something you love! 

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Margaritas? Yes, please. 

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My family has a love affair with margaritas. We joked for years that when my brother-in-law had kids he would name them Jose and Margarita. 

It also just so happens that we love Mexican food, especially all forms of tacos. Growing up in California gave us plenty of opportunities to sample the best of what Mexican-American establishments have to offer, and although thier food can be outstanding, their margaritas are pure crap. Too Americanized to the sugary-sweet palate of most of their customers, they are undrinkable. 

We are here to remedy that, with this gorgeousness. It only takes one to feel like you could dance salsa with the best of them, and eat all those tacos at the taco bar, so be careful! 

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"Juan's"  Margaritas

6 parts silver tequila
2 parts fresh lime juice
2 parts triple sec
1 part agave nectar

Stir all ingredients together, serve over ice in a salt rimmed glass.


These are the creation of hard research and many years of taste testing by my husband's brother John, and they will forever be immortalized as the drinks that made the following events happen:

My mother and my mother-in-law both broke down in giggle-fits at my engagement party. 
My friend fell asleep face down on a pool floaty ALL night at a summer party. 
A man lit fire to a palm tree in a back yard and failed to notice until someone sprayed him and the tree down with a hose -- which he found quite rude. 
And many other ridiculous and amazing travesties. 

I recommend one with a side of carnitas tacos, and then maybe a few Corona's if you're feeling thirsty :) 

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