Cocktail Recipes

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Godfather 101

Scotch Whiskey , Modern Classics

Instead of stocking bottles of amaretto liqueur, Jeremy Allen of MiniBar in Los Angeles makes his own using discarded the tiny bitter kernels encased in discarded cherry pits. He gets the pits from the cherry juicing process when he makes maraschino cherries for cocktails and when he cures cherries to be used as garnishes. That would be an awful lot of waste. He spends all of cherry season making large batches of amaretto to be used in cocktails like this one, a take on the classic Godfather cocktail.

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

Midnight Special

Bourbon / American Whiskey Whiskey , Modern Classics

This cocktail by Camille Cavan, the bar manager at Portland Ore.’s Quaintrelle, recalls the tart sweetness of a Whiskey Sour with the subtle bitter of a Boulevardier or Old Pal. With a bourbon base, sherry provides structure, and Tempus Fugit Gran Classico bitter brings a bitter touch. In the end, this is a citrus-forward drink, rounded out with drops of lemon oil and silky egg white.

This recipe originally appeared as part of “Love Bourbon? Go Drink These 11 Bourbon Cocktails in a Bar Near You.”

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?

Apple Press

Bourbon / American Whiskey Brandy / Cognac , Modern Classics

Jeremy Allen, the head bartender and general manager at Los Angeles’ MiniBar, incorporates Four Roses bourbon, Laird’s apple brandy, fresh apple juice, apple cider vinegar and Fee Brothers black walnut bitters into this cocktail. Apple cider vinegar has long been considered healthful with a laundry list of potential benefits, including helping control blood sugar, supporting immune function and aiding digestion. The Apple Press “screams fall/ winter fireplace without being a hot drink,” says Allen. “It incorporates apple cider vinegar, which is helpful in preventing the onset of colds and the flu.”

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Bourbon / American Whiskey Rum , Hot

No matter how much we fight it, as the weather turns cooler, imbibers turn to pumpkin spiced lattes. But instead of heading to the coffee shop for an overly sweet version, use the slow-cooker recipe by bartender Norma Beekman of Lexington, Ky.’s Lockbox at 21c Museum Hotel Lexington, and make your own at home. Since the drink stays hot in the pot, you can serve it morning, noon and night. And for the boozy kick, you can spike it with a variety of spirits, such as dark rum, bourbon or Frangelico—the darker the better.

Comrade

Tequila , Modern Classics

It’s hard to deny that spaghetti squash seems like a head-scratcher of a cocktail ingredient, much like tequila feels a little more sand and surf than sweaters and scarves. But in the Comrade, the woodsy depth of spaghetti squash and innate vegetative notes of tequila sally forth in entirely novel ways, shining a light on their versatility.

Hot Butter(nut) Rum

Rum , Modern Classics

This Toddy recipe from New York bitters powerhouse Amor y Amargo is named for the butternut squash it’s made with. Substituting sugar pumpkin, though, is just a little bit more fun. The twee-looking pumpkin is typically no bigger than eight inches and lends a velvety texture to the cocktail. Plus it’s downright adorable. (Bonus: Pull double duty and roast the seeds.)

Block Party Punch

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

This surprisingly light grog is the crowd-pleasing autumn punch you didn’t even know you were missing. “Squash is amazingly flavorful and adds luscious texture to cocktails,” says Alejandro De La Parra, the bar manager at Teardrop Lounge. “[For this cocktail] we roasted the butternut squash with demerara sugar, mace, clove and allspice.”

Harvest Nog

Modern Classics

This drink doubles as a dessert and cocktail in one. Two different approaches to preparing acorn squash allow the vegetable to flex its muscles in a couple of different directions. For the vegetable-cocktail skittish, though, never fear: Allspice and clove help the drink to retain a more traditional “nog” flavor profile while adding in a welcome dose of crispness.

Butter “Nut” Craig

Rum , Modern Classics

At first glance, rum might seem to be the key element in this butternut squash cocktail, but one sip and you’ll know it’s the orange liqueur that steals the show. The cordial deftly balances the squash’s earthiness with the rum’s spice and the glittery cinnamon-sugar rim.

Autumn Wind

Rum , Modern Classics

For football season, we had a bartender from each NFL team's hometown provide the perfect cocktail to represent their team.
“With 2.5 ounces of liquor, this is the perfect cocktail for an Oakland Raiders fan,” says bartender Martin Delgado of Prizefighter in Emeryville, Calif. “Bold and strong while pleasantly refreshing, that is always my take away from a Raiders tailgate and a Raiders win. And as we are the Raiders, rum was without question the base spirit! Go, Raiders!”

Carciofi Shandy

Modern Classics

Hard to pronounce, easy to love.

Rye Bandit

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

Two types of amaro liven up this classic.

Let’s Pumpkin

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Punches

Because who doesn’t like a boozy jack-o’-lantern?

Bourbon Sweet Tea

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

Spoil yourself with a boozy taste of Southern hospitality.

Lucy Colada

Rum , Modern Classics

Making your own cannabis-infused liquor that’ll give you a buzz in two ways isn’t as hard as you think. And you can use that liquor to make this rum and coconut milk cocktail.

Gentleman Jack Whiskey Sling

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

Whiskey Sling
Classic Drink. Modern Taste.

When a drinker from long ago found his spirit to be a bit lacking in flavor, eggs and sugar were mixed in and the result was the "Flip" cocktail. Another fellow solved the same problem by adding baking spices. Creating the "Toddy." But eventually someone was lucky enough to come across an exceptional whiskey and the subtle, understated "Whiskey Sling" was born. It's a cocktail crafted to highlight a spirit's taste. Like the crisp balanced flavor of Gentleman Jack. Twice mellowed for exceptional smoothness. It's just the whiskey the Sling was made for.

Sparkling Apple Punch

Tequila , Punches

A smoked honey syrup and spicy bitters lend subtle heat to this tequila-based party punch that serves eight to ten people.

Ciderhouse Punch

Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Punches

Entertaining a crowd? This port-based punch will happily serve a group of 20.

Beelzebub

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

Mezcal lends a note of fire and brimstone to this bittersweet bourbon cocktail.

5 Keys

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

Earthy Cynar and Maraschino liqueur balance each other in this smooth bourbon-based coupe.

Jubilee

Vodka , Modern Classics

This festive vodka creation is cause for celebration thanks to the additions of red wine, spiced pear liqueur and maple syrup.

Psycho Killer

Irish Whiskey , Modern Classics

White cacao and banana liqueur balance the dry, bitter duo of cocoa nibs and Campari in this elegant Irish whiskey cocktail from The Dead Rabbit.

Tea & Sympathy

Cachaça Liqueurs , Hot

Forget the whiskey. This warming Toddy replaces the brown spirit with cachaça laced with chai and spicy ginger liqueur.

Patrinos

Liqueurs , Hot

Give your winter Toddy a Greek vacation by adding Tentura, a Greek liqueur spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

Thistle

Liqueurs , Modern Classics

Cardamaro’s spice and nuttiness are perfect complements to the fresh apple flavor of the Calvados and warming spice of the rye whiskey in this cold weather cocktail.

More Cowbell

Gin , Martinis Modern Classics

Bitter amaro bites through this otherwise “spritzy” drink, made with gin, aperol and silky gum syrup.

Fall to Pieces

Brandy / Cognac Liqueurs Rye Whiskey Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

The spirit-forward nature of this cocktail makes it perfect for enjoying slowly by the fireside.

Stranger in the Alps

Gin , Modern Classics

This riff on the Negroni features an Italian alpine amaro that adds a minty, pine essence to this fall cocktail.

Hobnail

Scotch , Modern Classics

Smoky Scotch is tempered with a hint of bitter amaro and a slick of spicy ginger syrup in this straightforward glass.

Embarcadero

Rye Whiskey Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

Meet the trifecta of perfectly balanced, bittersweet flavor: amaro, sweet vermouth and rye.

Type Eh

Canadian Whisky Liqueurs Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

Canadian whisky teams up with earthy Cynar to create this burly coupe with a hint of smoked salt.

Don Sherry

Canadian Whisky , Modern Classics

Canadian whisky, mezcal and sherry combine to form a smooth, smoky trio in the glass.

RCMPiña

Canadian Whisky , Modern Classics

You’ll find whisky, spice and everything nice inside this tall glass of Canadian whisky, ginger syrup and Chinese bitters.

Spiced Cocoa

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Hot

Spice up your next cup of cocoa with this cayenne-spiked recipe mixed with nutty walnut liqueur and bourbon.

Montgomerie Smoked Cider

Scotch , Modern Classics

The formula for a perfectly balanced glass of fall flavor? Smoky Scotch, sweet cider and tart lemon juice.

Trilby

Gin , Modern Classics

A unique sherry cask–mellowed gin adds depth and richness to this three-ingredient stunner.

Smoke House

Gin , Modern Classics

Lapsang tea lends its signature smokiness to this cocktail through an infused gin, which is balanced with bittersweet Cynar and Chartreuse.

Pumpkin Pie Brew

Beer , Modern Classics

Pumpkin fans will love this easy blend of pumpkin beer and freshly-brewed black tea laced with chai spices, coconut and pineapple.

Apple Crisp Toddy

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Hot

Craving gooey apple crisp? Create the drinkable version with a base of freshly-brewed English breakfast tea laced with lemon peel plus spicy ginger bourbon, apple slices and cinnamon.

Cranberry Sauced

Vodka , Modern Classics

This base of freshly-brewed Darjeeling tea spiked with hibiscus, strawberry and lemon peel is a bright match for vodka and cranberry bitters.

French 75

Gin , Classics

This bright and bubbly glass of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and Champagne is a timeless classic for good reason.

Barrel Finished Egg Nog

Gin , Modern Classics

Gin and cognac give this Egg Nog double the heft while a spiced syrup lends rich winter flavor.

Autumn Apple

Gin , Modern Classics

Autumn's favorite flavor takes center stage in this festive glass of apple cider, gin, honey syrup and cinnamon.

Perfect Pear

Gin , Modern Classics

Fresh pear puree lends fall flavor to this bubbly blend of gin, elderflower liqueur and Champagne.

Matador Norteño

Tequila , Modern Classics

A few drops of habanero tincture transform this sotol-and-pineapple cocktail—for the better.

Cold Comfort

Bourbon / American Whiskey , Modern Classics

This autumnal cocktail from Chicago’s Sable Kitchen & Bar head bartender John Stanton pairs bourbon with black walnut–rosemary syrup.

First Frost

Brandy / Cognac , Modern Classics

Despite its chilly temperature, this brandy cocktail offers warming notes of spice-infused vermouth, maple syrup and cardamom.

Train’s A Comin’

Brandy / Cognac Vermouth / Aperitif Wine , Modern Classics

In celebration of New York’s historic 7 subway line extension, this cocktail salutes the purple route emblem of the 7 train and marries essential characteristics of the Sazerac and Aviation.

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