Cocktail Recipes

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Gin , Modern Classics

Schuyler Hunton of Tiger Mama in Boston was tired of watching the compost pile stack up night after night, so she decided to do something about it. This gin-based cocktail is made from lime peels, coconut water (from coconuts the bar typically uses to make Tiki cups) and the oft-discarded syrup from the Luxardo cherry jar, for a tall drink that’s bright, refreshing and easy on your conscience.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Are Earth-Friendly Cocktails Possible? These 5 No-Waste Cocktails Might Be the Answer.

Manu de Chango

Tequila , Modern Classics

This drink by Kim Stodel of Providence in Los Angeles is a hybrid of a Margarita and a Paloma, made with tequila, dry curaçao, guava, lime juice and grapefruit juice. Stodel makes her own house-made guava syrup—a process that results in a lot of guava pulp. Throw it away? Nope. Instead, Stodel repurposes it to make the fruit leather garnish that adds the finishing touch to the cocktail.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Are Earth-Friendly Cocktails Possible? These 5 No-Waste Cocktails Might Be the Answer.

Beet Royale

Gin , Modern Classics

This cocktail by Aaron Ranf of Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon is a take on the Kir Royale and consists of gin, rose-geranium-infused beet juice, lemon juice and prosecco.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Are Earth-Friendly Cocktails Possible? These 5 No-Waste Cocktails Might Be the Answer.

Espresso Martini

Vodka , Classics

It’ll wake you up, then eff you up.

Sex on the Beach

Vodka , Tiki / Tropical

Warning: this drink is not the for the faint of heart. Sex on the Beach boasts one of the most provocative names for a cocktail. Fruit-filled and perfect for enjoying a night in the tropics, its no wonder why this cocktail has stayed around for so long.

Simple Syrup

Non-Alcoholic

Learn how to make this easy syrup for all your cocktailing needs.

Mint Julep

Bourbon / American Whiskey Whiskey , Classics

Celebrate Derby Day year-round with the Mint Julep, a classic bourbon refresher.

Daiquiri

Rum , Classics Tiki / Tropical

It's easy to see why the dark rum-based Daiquiri is a classic. The perfectly balanced combination of sweet, sour and spirit is refreshing and tangy, but also quite simple to make at home. Try making the recipe below and add this fool-proof drink to your bartending arsenal.

Cita

Rum , Modern Classics

Bartender Vanessa Coupar (currently the bar manager at El Santo) created the Cita cocktail at UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar (cita being Spanish for “meeting” or “appointment”). Orgeat and pineapple juice lend a rich mouthfeel to robust Havana Club three-year-old rum, while Campari liqueur lends bittersweet backbone. Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech bitters perk it up with whispers of lemon zest cinnamon, cumin, mint and black pepper. A touch of crème de cacao ensures a luxurious chocolate undertone, enhanced by chocolate shavings dusted on top.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “11 Rum Cocktails to Drink in Bars Now.”

Scarlet Spritz

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

What’s the one downside to enjoying a Spritz? Getting to the end of it, of course. Head bartender Brandon Lockman, the head bartender at Red Star Tavern in Portland, Ore., meets that challenge with this Spritz version filled with fresh, seasonal flavors. He infuses Aperol with strawberries and stirs it with Lillet Blanc apéritif and rhubarb bitters, served in an absinthe-rinsed Nick & Nora glass and topped with sparkling wine. It comes alongside a tiny carafe nestled in ice, to refill your glass as it’s depleted.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “9 Spritzes to Take You Through the End of Summer.”

Old Pal Negroni

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

The Old Pal Negroni is an authentic and savory spin on the Italian cocktail. Dry gin gets replaced by whiskey while the vermouth is dry rather than sweet. This tinkering with the classic recipe creates a cocktail that feels both familiar and fresh.

Ruby Sipper

Gin , Modern Classics

A splash of citrus is all it takes to highlight the floral notes in Beefeater gin. The Ruby Sipper is a refreshing mix of these natural flavors, both perfectly suited for summer.

Birds & Bees

Gin , Modern Classics

Jamie Boudreau, the proprietor of Seattle’s Canon, was excited to discover loose-leaf butterfly pea tea from Thailand. Here, it’s infused into gin in this delicate, aromatic sparkling wine cocktail. “People are always amazed that the colors produced are all natural and not some weird chemical that we cooked up in our lab,” he says.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “This Is How to Turn Your Cocktails Purple. And Not in the Way You Probably Think.”

Rosemary Paloma

Tequila , Modern Classics

The classic grapefruit Paloma gets a hint of herby goodness.

Appletini

Vodka , Modern Classics

Originally called Adam’s Apple Martini, the Appletini became a crowd pleaser from the day it was invented at L.A. restaurant Lola’s in 1996. The original recipe simply used vodka and green apple schnapps, but we updated the modern classic with calvados and fresh Granny Smith apple juice.

This recipe originally appeared as part of The Appletini Is 21 Years Old. Is It Time to Rethink the Famous Cocktail?

Bothan

Tequila , Modern Classics

Thoroughly testing the depth of Star Wars nerdiness, Billy Nichols, the bar manager at Faun in Brooklyn, named this galactically green-hued concoction after the species of rebel spies who provided the Rebellion with the plans to blow up the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. “I’m a Star Wars nerd,” says Nichols. “I thought this green, cloudy tequila cocktail looked the part.”

This recipe originally appeared as part of These 5 Star Wars Cocktail Recipes Come from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Sarlacc Pit

Rum , Modern Classics

At The Sixth in Chicago’s Lincoln Square, beverage director Benjamin Schiller couldn’t resist making a molded pate de fruit head garnish of Darth Vader (basically a room-stable gummy bear) for this cheerful tropical drink, served up in a Boba Fett Tiki glass, of course. But even if you don’t want to go that deep into Empire kitsch, this drink, named for the sand-dwelling, flesh-eating fave of Jabba the Hutt, is pretty easy to stir up and throw down in a few delicious sips. Bonus: The Han’s mix is really a tweaked version of famed Tiki maestro Donn Beach’s Don’s Mix. Sweet!

This recipe originally appeared as part of These 5 Star Wars Cocktail Recipes Come from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Flying Solo

Tequila , Modern Classics

Louis Hirsch, the GM of Morels Steakhouse & Bistro at The Palazzo in Las Vegas, created this nod to reluctant rebel pilot and all-around intergalactic heartthrob Han Solo because only a person of his confidence could find a positive use for that pink-headed stepchild of the wine world, white zinfandel.

This recipe originally appeared as part of These 5 Star Wars Cocktail Recipes Come from a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Absolut Elyx Vodka Martini

Vodka , Martinis

The lightest, crispest Martini you’ve ever tried.

The Elyx Spritz

Vodka , Modern Classics

Meet your new favorite light, effervescent Spritz.

London Spritz

Gin , Modern Classics

Give your next Spritz a British upgrade with this gin-based version.

Watermelon Margarita

Tequila , Modern Classics

A Margarita is always good. With watermelon in it too?

Pink Frozen Margarita

Tequila , Frozen / Blended

What’s better than a Frozen Margarita? A pink Frozen Margarita!

Teal-quila Sunrise

Tequila , Modern Classics

This fun, summer take on the Tequila Sunrise knocks out the grenadine for homemade raspberry syrup (don’t worry, it’s easy!) and a dash of blue curaçao for a drink that’s as tasty as it is colorful.

True Blue

Irish Whiskey , Modern Classics

This crowd-pleasing cocktail comes from Harrison Ginsberg at The Dead Rabbit in New York City and uses Tullamore D.E.W. 12-year-old as its whiskey base. Bitters, ginger syrup, sherry, apple brandy and even Guinness are added to the party. All the ingredients are shaken, strained and served with a nutmeg garnish.

This recipe originally appeared as part of Irish Whiskey Is Very Good in Cocktails. Have You Had These 5 Ultimate Examples?

Fernet About It

Rum , Frozen / Blended

Lemon and lime start things up, with the herbal notes of fernet bringing up the rear, in this cocktail by Jerry Nevins from his book, Sloshies: 102 Boozy Cocktails Straight from the Freezer (Workman, $14.95).

This recipe originally appeared as part of You're Going to Need Frozen Cocktails This Summer. These 3 Are the Ones to Make.

Whiskey Smashed

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Frozen / Blended

Give your Kentucky Derby party an extra kick with this smashing combination of small-batch Kentucky bourbon and citrus by Jerry Nevins from his book, Sloshies: 102 Boozy Cocktails Straight from the Freezer (Workman, $14.95).

This recipe originally appeared as part of You're Going to Need Frozen Cocktails This Summer. These 3 Are the Ones to Make.

Southern Peach

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This summer thirst quencher celebrates the bright, sweet flavors of peaches.

One Night Stand

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This energizing blend of fruit and cognac has a fizzy ginger twist.

Bananas Foster Le Coupe

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

Add the flavors of the classic dessert to a sweet, frothy cocktail.

A Sweet and Spicy Desiree

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This peach-jalapeño cocktail is sweet, spicy and smooth all at once.

The Duchess of Detroit

Brandy / Cognac Cognac

Embrace the simplicity of a restrained layered cocktail.

Black Car

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

Tea cocktails meet the Sidecar in this update of a classic.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This chocolate, cognac, coffee and berry cocktail hits all the best notes of the dessert course.

Pilikia Smash

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

Try a refreshing cognac cocktail with lime juice and Thai basil leaves.

Standard Summertime Punch

Brandy / Cognac Cognac Sherry , Punches

Cognac, sherry and peach tea make this summery punch a year-round crowd-pleaser.

Perfect Storm

Brandy / Cognac Cognac Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

Warm spices and sweet apricot make this cocktail suitable for any weather (storm or not).

Uptown Ways

Brandy / Cognac Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cognac , Modern Classics

Bubbly and berries are cognac’s BFFs in this bright sparkling rosé cocktail.

Top Down

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This summery take on a Sidecar, bright with Meyer lemons, is sunshine in a glass.

Bana’nac Attack

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

You’ll go bananas for this tropical swizzle.

Stow Away

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

Tawny port and cognac are a match made in after-dinner heaven in this simple cocktail.

White Lion

Rum , Modern Classics

This riff on a classic Daiquiri, by herbalist and cocktail specialist Lukas B. Smith at Washington, D.C.’s Cotton & Reed, incorporates Cotton & Reed’s white rum and its allspice dram, which has rum as a base, resulting in a complex and spicy new take.

This recipe originally appeared as part of The Pioneering Return of the All-Important Allspice Dram.

Vieux Carré Sour

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

Welcome the summer with open arms by making a citrusy, spicy spirit-forward spin on the classic Vieux Carré.

Perfect Thyming

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This slightly boozier take on the classic Sangaree balances citrus and sweetness with a hint of spice.

Broken Bastard

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

You won’t be suffering through this cognac-based update on the Suffering Bastard.

Horse’s Neck

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

A burst of C02 gives the traditional Horse’s Neck a breath of fresh air.

Cognac Amaretto Stone Sour 75

Amaretto Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This marriage of the Amaretto Sour and French 75 is a relationship that’s built to last.

Between the Sheets

Brandy / Cognac Cognac Rum , Modern Classics

Give your next Champagne cocktail a tropical twist with cognac and rum.

Hello Good Sir

Brandy / Cognac Cognac , Modern Classics

This take on the Sidecar is just peachy.

Talking Backwards

Scotch , Modern Classics

This Los Angeles–inspired cocktails has just the right amount of smoke and malt.

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