Cocktail Recipes

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Irish Coffee

Irish Whiskey

Irish Coffee may not be the first coffee drink with alcohol, but it has become one of the most famous. Combining coffee with Irish whiskey, brown sugar and lightly whipped cream, Irish Coffee is a hot, creamy classic.There are many tall tales about the Irish Coffee’s origins. The most credible version attributes the cocktail to Joe Sheridan, the head chef of the restaurant at the Foynes Flying Boat terminal in County Limerick in the early 1940s. Legend has it that when he first served it and was asked if it was Brazilian coffee, Sheridan cheekily replied that it was “Irish coffee.”The drink was later made famous by Staton Deplante, who worked at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco during the 1950s. Deplante wrote about the drink frequently in a travel column that was read widely across the States and piqued curiosity about Irish Coffee.Our version of the Irish Coffee is created by legendary bartender Dale DeGroff and has all of the right ingredients to warm you to the bone.

Cold-Brew Negroni

Gin Liqueurs Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

Rather than adding coffee as an ingredient, Pam Wiznitzer of New York City’s Seamstress infuses it straight into Campari liqueur. From there, you can make a Boulevardier or anything else with the liqueur, but the classic Negroni is the best way to go.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Coffee Cocktails to Keep You Warm This Winter.”

Roman Holiday

Amaro , Modern Classics

Campari liqueur and pineapple juice in your cup of joe? Yep! From Cindy’s in Chicago, this cocktail is a balancing act of bitter and sweet, with a backbone of Amaro Meletti and cold-brew coffee. Think of it as Tiki’s Italian cousin with a caffeine buzz.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Coffee Cocktails to Keep You Warm This Winter.”

Italian Chocolate Martini

Amaro , Modern Classics

Head bartender Nicholas Boden invented a caffeinated, bittersweet take on the classic Chocolate Martini for his bar at Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, in Kansas City, Mo.’s Hotel Phillips. The foamy drink uses Italian amaro to complement the Italian cuisine served at the restaurant, and the drink is topped with three coffee beans meant to represent health, happiness and prosperity.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Coffee Cocktails to Keep You Warm This Winter.”

Oaxacan Tail

Mezcal , Modern Classics

This mezcal- and amaro-based coffee cocktail was cooked up as a brunch drink for Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica, Calif. This Mexican-themed drink packs a zing from agave and mole bitters and can be mellowed with a bit of cream. While the recipe calls for Foro amaro, other amari can be easily substituted, such as Ramazzotti, Cynar or Averna.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Coffee Cocktails to Keep You Warm This Winter.”

Cafe Correcto con Coco

Rum Whiskey , Hot

Created at Upstairs at The Gwen in Chicago, this original recipe uses a house-made coffee cordial and coconut water, but home bartenders can easily replicate it by substituting brewed coffee and a bit of almond milk. Either way, it’s a slightly sweet, rich coffee drink that’s great for any time of day.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Coffee Cocktails to Keep You Warm This Winter.”

Mint-Basil Limeade

Modern Classics

Get all the flavor of a refreshing sipper minus the hangover with this easy-to-make mocktail.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “5 Essential Mocktails for the Best Kind of January Recovery.”

Jessica Rabbit

Tequila , Modern Classics

Every cocktail on the bar menu of Fort Lauderdale restaurant Terra Mare contains a freshly pressed juice. “We wanted to use the natural characteristics of our fruits and vegetables to enhance our cocktails instead of sugars, syrups and other additives,” says general manager Ryan Zemel. For this Margarita riff named for the buxom redhead in the 1988 animated film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” carrots, and their inherent sweetness, pretty much replace sugar.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “3 Vegetable-Heavy Cocktails You Can Make at Home.”

Green Tox

Vodka , Modern Classics

The green juice used in this drink has been a staple since Las Vegas’ Honey Salt opened. “We wanted to offer a lighter cocktail option where you can get your nutrients and a buzz in one glass,” says Elizabeth Blau, the founder and CEO of restaurant planning and development company Blau + Associates.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “3 Vegetable-Heavy Cocktails You Can Make at Home.”

Fields of Travel

Champagne & Sparkling Wine , Modern Classics

Green Chartreuse liqueur gives herbal sweetness and sparkling sake makes it fizzy and refreshing in this cocktail at Pagu. “We use healthful, whole ingredients, such zucchini water in the Fields of Travel cocktail,” says Tracy Chang, the chef and owner of the Cambridge, Mass., restaurant.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “3 Vegetable-Heavy Cocktails You Can Make at Home.”

Kombucha Mimosa

Champagne & Sparkling Wine , Modern Classics

This light, effervescent drink by Jennifer Peters at Denver’s Just BE Kitchen is perfect in the morning or during tea time. It's festive and fun, and you can change the whole flavor profile and health benefits depending on what kind of kombucha you use.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Everything You Need to Know About the Drinks That Could Save Your Morning.”

The Fennel Countdown

Calvados , Modern Classics

Created by bartender Alexis Osborne of Acorn in Denver, this warming drink evokes campfire chats and cold days when you're snuggled under a blanket with a good book. It's bright and flavorful with a fruity undertone. The fennel—which is good for bones, treating heart disease and possibly fighting cancer—proves mild and slightly minty but helps give the cocktail body and a slight clarifying aftertaste.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Everything You Need to Know About the Drinks That Could Save Your Morning.”

Along the Beeten Path

Gin , Modern Classics

Bartender Alexis Osborne of Denver’s Acorn created this cocktail to both be visually appealing and give drinkers a little healthy boost. "You drink with your eyes a lot, and I love colors," she says. "Beets are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, and nutmeg is considered a brain tonic." The result is a sweet and earthy beverage that tastes warm and inviting while packing an electric pop of color.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Everything You Need to Know About the Drinks That Could Save Your Morning.”

Screwdriver

Vodka , Classics

The Screwdriver is an essential part of the mixological toolkit.

Classic Bloody Mary

Vodka , Classics

While the origin of this popular brunch cocktail is debatable, the Bloody Mary's staying power leaves no question. The Bloody Mary is a vodka-soaked nutritional breakfast and hangover cure all in one. What else can you want?

Ardbeg’s Smoky Bloody Mary

Scotch Whiskey , Modern Classics

Why settle for the usual Bloody Mary? Give it a delectable smoky update by adding Ardbeg and all the right garnishes. It will quickly be clear how premium scotch can elevate the classic vodka cocktail.

London Spritz

Gin , Modern Classics

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

Franny & Joe

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

Some people would rather start their day with caffeine. Those drinkers will appreciate the Franny & Joe. The mix of authentic hazelnut liqueur and cold-brew coffee makes this cocktail perfect for brunch. Add cream to transform this cocktail into the right kind of morning starter.

Campari Orange

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

Think of this as a refined Italian alternative to a Screwdriver. The orange juice makes it a natural fit in the family of brunch cocktails, while the Campari gives it Italian authenticity. The Campari Orange isn’t the most famous use of Campari—that distinction goes to the Negroni—but this aperitivo should really, truly be a brunch staple.

Frangelico Frizzante

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

The Frizzante is a perfect sip for enjoying brunch alfresco. Crafted with wild Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, Frangelico adds the perfect nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness complemented by the lime citrus in the Frizzante cocktail.

Americano

Liqueurs Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Classics

The name is misleading, since this aperitivo is an Italian classic. It’s the perfect marriage of Campari and Cinzano, two of the most delicious and historic Italian exports. Encourage customers to kick off their brunch with this Italian original, and don’t settle for any knockoffs.

Aperol Spritz

Champagne & Sparkling Wine , Classics

A lot of people like a little something bubbly with their brunch. Move past the Mimosa and the rosé, and satisfy that craving with an Aperol Spritz. An Aperol Spritz is bubbly and low-proof, making it the perfect cocktail for daytime drinking. This is one of the most popular cocktails in Italy. Soon enough, it will be a favorite for your customers, too.

Uptown Ways

Brandy / Cognac Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cognac , Modern Classics

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

Cucumber Snapper

Gin , Modern Classics

With some tomato but also other ingredients to tone it down and chill it out, this cocktail by Brian Bartels, of New York City’s Fedora and the author of The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond (Ten Speed Press, $19), includes an ounce of tomato juice. But it’s tempered by cucumber, gin and ginger beer, yielding a refreshing quaff.

Shannon’s Sangrita/Michelada

Beer , Modern Classics

Lower alcohol than most Bloody Marys, Shannon’s Sangrita/Michelada (named for creator Shannon Ponche of Clover Club and Leyenda in New York City) mixes carrot, papaya, orange and lime juices, spiced with two types of chile powder and topped up with Mexican beer for a drink that’s not exactly a Bloody but offers a similar sweet-savory-spicy appeal.

Bunny Mary

Aquavit Vodka , Modern Classics

Carrots, cayenne and caper brine, yes. Tomatoes, no! The Bunny Mary, created by Extra Fancy’s Rob Krueger in New York City, gets its vibrant hue from carrot juice, punched up with savory carrot brine and a spicy cayenne-and-paprika rim for the glass.

Scotch & Ginger

Scotch , Modern Classics Tiki / Tropical

The Scotch & Ginger is better experienced than explained. The unforgettable blend of sweetness and spice defies description.

Vice Royalty

Pisco , Modern Classics

Beverage director Taha Ismail wanted to do a seasonal riff on a Pisco Sour that was clean and refreshing. Fresh mandarin and yuzu juices make for a citrus-y cordial that offsets Strega’s piney profile, while Peychaud’s bitters meld nicely with the pisco’s floral notes. “This drink has enough complexity without being overwhelming and [is] very consumable on any patio,” he says.

Rosso Bellini

Vodka , Modern Classics

This cocktail at Las Vegas’ Lago by Julian Serrano, created by Ricardo Murcia, who’s now the beverage director at MGM National Harbor, represents elements found at the Bellagio hotel. The froth represents the lake in front of the hotel, the caramel nest is an homage to the fountains timed to the music, and the golden raspberry is a nod to the dome on top of the building. The overall effect is sweet, tart and frothy.

Favola Bella

Amaro , Modern Classics

When SoBou’s executive chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez was ordering cases of perfectly in-season satsuma, a Chinese seedless and easy-peeling orange, bar chef Laura Bellucci felt she had to do a cocktail using the sweet fruit. “I really like working with Amaro Montenegro and wanted to create something really floral and delicate to go with the citrus juice.”

Bit of Tongue

Modern Classics

“I enjoy using grapefruit in a shrub because it allows the brightness and flavor of the grapefruit to come through and cuts down on the typical tartness of the grapefruit,” says Nic Christiansen, the beverage director at Lola. “Allowing the acid from the apple cider vinegar and the sugar to lift the grapefruit flavor [creates] a more complex grapefruit flavor.” Locally produced Copper & Kings Absinthe Superior lends the sip classic anise flavor, as well as forward floral and citrus notes.

Mirabelle 75

Brandy / Cognac Vodka , Modern Classics

Washington, D.C. French restaurant Mirabelle's take on the classic French 75 uses a namesake brandy from France, made from delicate mirabelle plums, as well as locally made vodka. “The fresh lemon juice adds brightness and acidity, while the simple syrup rounds out the drink, without making it cloying,” says Zach Faden of his cocktail. “The Mirabelle brut rosé provides refreshing levity and effervescence.”

Land of Happy

Gin , Modern Classics

“Sweet, herbaceous and acidic all at once, this is a great pre-dinner cocktail before a nice glass of white wine,” says 312 Chicago head bartender Jenn Knott of her cocktail. She experimented with using a syrup instead of a shrub, but the latter ended up keeping the drink more fresh and tart. White balsamic vinegar, made in Italy from the trebbiano grape, is mixed with white wine vinegar and cooked at a low temperature to retain its clearish color.

Mrs. Robinson

Gin , Modern Classics

For this cocktail at Portland Ore.’s Bacchus Bar, Andrew Call pours local Aviation American gin because its complex, herbaceous flavor plays off the tart lime and grapefruit. “Adding some house-made pineapple simple syrup gives it a welcome hint of a day on the beach,” says Call. “[And] topping it off with dry sparkling wine and Peychaud’s bitters makes all the flavors come together and light up your tongue.”

Veronica Rose

Modern Classics

This red-tinged cocktail by Erick Castro at San Diego’s Polite Provisions gets its heady fragrance from syrup steeped with rose petals, while Aperol lends bittersweet pink grapefruit and orange notes. “The scent of flowers in bloom is such a visceral experience that is so difficult to capture in a drink,” says Castro. “Having tried rose petals in tea, I was confident that it would lend itself to the steeping process well.”

Celebratini

Vodka , Modern Classics

This cocktail from The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking (Cocktails Without Regrets) (Regan Arts, $24.95) by Ariane Resnick and Brittini Rae occupies a middle ground between Martini and green juice.

Frozen Sangria

Frozen / Blended

Wine, fruit and booze—what’s not to love?

Blackberry Wine Slushy

Vodka , Frozen / Blended

Now you have the perfect use for that bit of leftover wine.

Orange Sherbet Mimosa Punch

Punches

Joy Wilson, aka Joy the Baker, has created this perfectly springy and bubbly brunch drink found in her book Over Easy. The citrusy cocktail for a crowd perfectly combines the whimsy of sherbet we all know and love from childhood with the adult effervescence of a weekend morning Mimosa. The result is simple yet brilliant.

Bourbon Milk Punch

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Classics

This classic brunch cocktail hails from New Orleans.

Red Snapper

Gin , Classics

This classic gin cocktail is an alternative to the Bloody Mary.

Lunar Eclipse

Vodka , Modern Classics

At upscale Dallas gastropub Victor Tangos, bartender Matt Ragan wanted to offer his guests a turmeric-infused vodka drink that could give them a nice healthy buzz.

Spark & Stormy

Modern Classics

Who says coffee cocktails can’t be a little topical? This creation from Vance Henderson of Drambuie not only adds in the juiciness of pineapple but also notes of fresh basil and a splash of mezcal—just for fun.

Sugared Cranberry Ginger Mimosa

Modern Classics

This three-ingredient celebration cocktail from The Cookie Rookie couldn't be simpler. It's perfect for every winter holiday, from Thanksgiving straight through to Valentine's Day.

Robin Redbreast

Vodka , Modern Classics

If you’d like to make your drink a festive shade of red for the holidays, try this vodka cocktail with blood orange. "Blood oranges have a slightly different flavor than the oranges we are most accustomed to," says Kevin Denton, the national mixologist for Pernod Ricard. "The main thing to remember is that orange juice, particularly anything not freshly squeezed, is much more mellow in cocktails that we think it’s going to be."

Seelbach

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

The glittering mixture of local bourbon, orange liqueur, two kinds of bitters, and Champagne is the signature drink of Louisville's Seelbach Hotel.

Caesar

Vodka , Modern Classics

The Canadian answer to the Bloody Mary, this vodka cocktail originally hails from the Calgary Inn, where it may be the only cocktail recipe inspired by a pasta dish.

Vladimiry

Vodka , Modern Classics

If you’re getting tired of the same old Bloody Mary recipe, it’s time to meet her distant cousin from the East, the Vladimiry.

Joan Collins

Vodka , Modern Classics

This drink is delicately pink and 100 percent spa day, which is exactly how I imagine the life and times of Joan Collins.

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