8 Cocktails You Should Drink This Summer (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

It’s hot out there! 

You’re going to want to stay properly hydrated, so it’s important to make sure your drinks are ice cold, refreshing and boozy to boot!

Add some fruit, herbs and maybe a few floral flavors and you’re good to go — you’ll have the most deliciously summery, buzzed beverages that are sure to be a hit with guests.

1. Rose Sangria

The melon balls are a gorgeous, scrumptious addition to the classic drink. Rose makes it decidedly more summery, but you’re encouraged to use whatever cheap wine you have on hand — even better if it’s a reject that you had a taste of and didn’t care for. You’re adding soda, fruity flavors and more booze to it anyway.

2. Fresh Watermelon Mint Juleps

Mint juleps are nice, but they can be a bit strong when you’re trying to whet your whistle. Adding some juicy fresh watermelon gives you a little extra hydration, plus watermelon and mint are always fabulous together!

3. Spiked Cherry Mint Spritzer

There’s a secret ingredient that makes this sparkling lemonade cocktail absolutely wonderful, but you probably wouldn’t guess it: cherry (or any other berry) preserves! It’s lightly sweet and just so delicious!

4. Kombucha Mojitos

Sounds a little weird, but the fizzy earthiness of kombucha (preferably a plain or floral flavor) is just perfect for this cocktail. If you’re not feeling it, you’re more than welcome to use a dry cider for a similar effect.

5. Strawberry Chamomile Paloma

This one is delicious if you make it virgin, too! Palomas are usually made with tart, bittersweet grapefruit juice, but this recipe swaps it out for light, floral chamomile and bright, summery strawberries.

6. Peach and Fizzy Grapefruit Float

Besides the optional herbal garnish, all you need are three ingredients: grapefruit soda, peach ice cream and Campari. This is really versatile, and you can use just about any soda that’s not overly sweet — like ginger beer, apple soda, pear soda or even hard cider — just about any kind of ice cream — vanilla or any fruit flavor are particularly fabulous — and your booze of choice — sweet vermouth, bourbon or brandy would be nice. Follow your heart.

7. Gin-Spiked Earl Grey (Adult) Iced Tea

Botanical gin + malty, floral Earl Grey syrup are meant to be together. Top with ginger ale or a similar mild soda to brighten it up even more.

8. Lemon-Thyme Tequila Spritzer

This is about as light and refreshing as it gets! If you don’t have thyme available, you’re more than welcome to swap it out for a similar herb like rosemary, sage or basil, or you could even use lavender.

Featured Photo Credit: Pexels

Tags: cocktail recipe, refreshing cocktail recipe, summer cocktails, Summer drinks, Thirsty Thursday
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You’ll Want To Drink These 8 Gin Cocktails Right Now (Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

Gin is a fabulous spirit, it really is. There’s just something about its easy, herbal flavor that makes it absolutely perfect to mix into cocktails around spring and summer. 

Its light, refreshing and botanical notes just blend so seamlessly with just about everything I want to drink right now, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s get mixing!

1. The Knickroni

Half Negroni, half Knickebein, this wild libation has campari, sweet vermouth and gin for that classic bittersweet cocktail, but it also has an egg yolk, meringue and orange bitters to bring it all home. Try this one if you love Negronis and want to make them even more extravagant!

2. Grapefruit Tarragon Gin and Tonic

Ever had grapefruit and tarragon together? The bright, bitter citrus perfectly cuts through the bittersweet licorice-like flavor, and the classic gin and tonic combo finish it off for a brilliantly colored, complex sipper.

3. Veranda Way

This unique drink includes tepache, a fermented, fizzy pineapple drink that hails from Mexico. There’s a recipe included for the stuff, but if you’re not keen on making it yourself, you can use a bit of dry hard cider instead.

4. Celery Tonic

Earthy, refreshing celery is a natural match for the herbal notes you find in gin. Plus, the green color makes this lemony drink just that much more exciting. Add a cucumber slice garnish if you want to bring out those fresh, cool notes.

5. Rhubarb Sour

Yeah, you know how simple, classic whiskey sours always manage to hit the spot? This gin version, featuring rhubarb syrup and an egg white (for an extra silkiness — trust, it’s delicious) will really do the trick for you, especially if you order whiskey sours on the regular and want to switch it up.

6. Cucumber Gin Lemonade

You probably knew that cucumber and gin are a match made in heaven, considering that some spirits, like Hendrick’s, are actually made with the savory fruit. So what happens when you add fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda to the mix? Go find out for yourself — I highly recommend it!

7. Honey Sage Gin Fizz

A gin fizz is a great cocktail on its own, but when you throw in some honey sage infused syrup (if you must avoid sage, you can use rosemary or basil, but the sage is brilliant), it takes this drink to a whole new level. And things only get more exciting from there: add a smoked honey bacon rim because…well, why wouldn’t you?

8. Rhubarb and Rose Ramos Gin Fizz

An extra floral, tart pop makes this insanely fluffy yet rich New Orleans drink go down just that much smoother, as the nice bittersweet, refreshing addition modernizes the classic drink and adds a little contrast to the thick, creamy cocktail.

Featured Photo Credit: Farther Along/Flickr

Tags: cocktail recipe, gin cocktail, gin recipe, summer cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
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10 Of Our Favorite Cider Cocktails To Get You Ready For Fall


By Cooking Panda

It’s finally fall! Regardless of how you feel about PSLs, Autumn has some great spiced, stone fruity, complex flavors to offer. Here are some of our favorite cocktails you can make with cider (apple and the hard stuff) to keep you going as the weather gets crisp and cool:

1. Snakebite

If you’re into mixing your beers, you might have heard of this half beer (usually lager) and half cider concoction. Like it a little darker? Mix cider and Guinness for a Black Velvet (though it is sometimes also just called a Snakebite, depending on who you’re with).

2. Cider Sangria

Sangria is awesome, and we are dedicated to drinking it all year long. Autumn it up by replacing the wine in your white sangria with semi-dry cider, Grand Marnier and fresh ginger.

3. Warm Vanilla Cider

Bourbon, whipped cream and honey walnuts? Sign us up for this perfect dessert cocktail!

4. Pumpkin & Apple Cider Fizz

Would you drink pumpkin pie if you could? You basically can with this seasonal blend of pumpkin puree, vanilla vodka, cider and ginger beer. You’ll be in heaven.

5. Northwood #2

Mix up some rum, brandy, lemon, cider, and maple syrup because you’re worth it.

6. Young Buck

Intensify your cider with a splash of ginger beer and hibiscus syrup. You’ll get a lovely rosey color and a complex, spicy kick.

7. Mulled Cider

Mulled wine is awesome, but it can be a little heavy. Cut it with cider for a fresher taste that’s way more drinkable. Also add maple syrup, because that stuff belongs in everything.

8. The Pom Pomme

Apple brandy and pomegranate juice – get it? A little ginger liqueur and hard cider makes it all go down nicely.

9. Maple Cider Cherry Whiskey

A little sweet, a little smoky, every bit perfect.

10. Red Witch

This is hands-down the Lord of Light’s favorite cocktail. (The Lord of Light loves black currant cordial, and we can’t blame Him one bit for that.)

Featured Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

Tags: cider cocktail, cocktail recipe, fall drinks, seasonal cocktail, Thirsty Thursday
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Here’s How To Make The Boozy Milkshakes Of Your Dreams (14 Recipes)


By Cooking Panda

It’s National Soft Serve Day! Soft serve ice cream is one of those things that just brings us right back to simpler times, when your biggest problem was having to choose between chocolate-dipped and chocolate/vanilla swirl. Well, in honor of the days of yore, we’ve updated your favorite ice cream dessert with some yummy, grown-up twists on the classic milkshake.

You’re an adult now. Put some booze in your milkshake.

1. Bananas Foster Milkshake

Not only can you shakify your favorite dessert, you can boozify it as well. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. Pina Colada Milkshake

If pina coladas are your jam, don’t stop there — mix in some ice cream for some extra-decadent goodness.

3. White Chocolate Rum Milkshake

A little mint adds an extra kick that goes stupendously well with the white chocolate, for a perfectly balanced adult dessert.

4. Boozy Banana Cream Pie Milkshake

It’s still a milkshake, and a decadent one at that, but this recipe cuts out a few calories by replacing some of the ice cream with frozen bananas and nonfat yogurt. Give it a try!

5. Coconut Rum Shakes

If you can never get enough coconut in your life, go ahead and ditch the vanilla for double portions of coconut ice cream (or coconut chocolate? Whatever you’re into) for a fantastically creamy, flavorful drink.

6. Spiked Snickerdoodle Milkshake

Your favorite cookie just got promoted.

7. Tequila Caramel Milkshake

Name one thing that isn’t better with tequila. Whatever you said, it probably wasn’t dulce de leche and sea salt. If it was, you should be ashamed of yourself. Pro-tip: add a shot of espresso for a surprisingly tasty pick-me-up.

8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Bailey’s Milkshakes

A match made in heaven. If you want to get even boozier (we’ll allow it!), you can throw in a glug of vodka (we’ll never say no to the whipped cream variety), Irish whiskey or bourbon.

9. Apple Pie Hard Cider Milkshake

If you ever find yourself with the impossible conundrum of having extra apple pie (is this a real thing that happens?), whirl it in the blender with some ice cream, cinnamon and hard cider. Want to turn up a little harder? Throw in some bourbon or vodka — apple or vanilla flavor would be pretty tasty, or maybe just cut back on the cinnamon and use Fireball instead.

10. Cherry Lambic Beer Milkshake

This sweet and sour milkshake is the perfect boozy treat for you, even if you’re not a beer lover. The tangy, fruity and sweet “beer” gives the cherry and vanilla shake the perfect je ne sais quoi. You’ve got to try it.

11. Guinness Milkshake

If you ARE a beer lover, you’ll go nuts for this amazing milkshake that is greater than the sum of its parts, if possible. Malty Guinness and rich vanilla ice cream really are a match made in heaven. Feel free to swap out Guinness for your favorite stout or porter, as long as it is relatively sweet, chocolaty and malty — like Guinness — it’ll be great.

12. Dark ‘n Stormy Milkshake

Hop on board if you are a ginger lover! If you’re not a rum person (we’ll let it slide, though we really shouldn’t), you can totally use vodka or Irish whisky to make a Moscow Mule or Irish Mule shake instead.

13. Apocalypto Milkshake

Love Fireball? Blend it up with some chocolate ice cream and top with some marshmallows (or marshmallow fluff — roast it if you have a creme brulee torch!) for a slightly spicy dessert. Want to take it further? Add Rumchata, sea salt, or a little caramel.

14. Candy Bourbon Milkshake

You know those times when you just need to go big or go home? Like those times when you’re already making an adult milkshake and want it to be as decadent as possible? Yeah. That’s what this beautiful masterpiece of a recipe did, with chocolate bars, caramel, espresso, bourbon and whipped cream, for an enchanting experience that goes 100% overboard in the best kind of way.

Featured Photo Credit: Kitchen Konfidence

Tags: adult milkshake recipe, alcoholic milkshake, boozy milkshake, cocktail recipe, Thirsty Thursday
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Live The High Life With These 8 Junk Food Cocktail Recipes


By Cooking Panda

It’s National Junk Food Day! We want you to be able to commemorate the extra-special holiday by enjoying all of your favorite childhood treats while retaining maximum levels of self-respect. So we went ahead and adultified everything by adding booze to it. Enjoy!

1. Bacon and Donuts Margarita

Name one thing that bacon and donuts don’t make better. One thing’s for sure — the answer definitely isn’t “a margarita.”

2. Boozy Cadbury Creme Egg Milkshake

You’re an adult now. Act like it by putting whipped cream-flavored booze into your Cadbury Egg shake.

3. Froot Loops White Russian

A guide on how to boozify your favorite breakfast cereal, because you can.

4. Nutella Old Fashioned

Call it what you want — it’s hardly an old fashioned anymore — the important thing is that you drink it.

5. The Crazy Worm

If you didn’t already know, you can put gummy worms into your fruity cocktails. You’re welcome.

6. Pizza Bloody Mary

Bloody delicious.

7. Cotton Candy Champagne

Seize the day by pouring whipped cream vodka and grape juice over your cotton candy and watching it disappear. You can also do more of a bubbly thing with St. Germain and champagne/prosecco, but we won’t tell you how to live your life.

8. Marshmallow Jell-O Shots

Serving your boozy Jell-O in real marshmallows screams sophistication and luxury.

9. For The Love of Twinkies

Make this red velvet-inspired boozy Twinkie milkshake and others, because you’re worth it.

Featured Photo Credit: Lauren Zaser/BuzzFeed

Tags: candy cocktail, cocktail recipe, junk food cocktail, Thirsty Thursday, weird cocktails
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Impress Your Guests With These 13 Easy Infused Booze Recipes


By Cooking Panda

Put that skittles Vodka and those bloated alcoholic gummy bears away. We’re taking you to the next level with some seriously tasty infused booze.

Injecting flavor into your liquor is actually super easy and generally takes only one to three days. It’s also a really great way to level up your booze and make it look and taste super fancy. Plus, you get totally unique flavors that will go a long way in spicing up your cocktails. Basically, it wins on every level.

1. Pineapple and Red Pepper Vodka

This sweet, spicy booze is super versatile and would be great in a lot of classic vodka drinks, but we really love it with Dr. Pepper and a little bit of lime.

2. Orange and Vanilla Bourbon

Drink straight, as you would an old fashioned or just mix as you would any other cocktail — it would be great in a whiskey sour or with ginger ale.

3. Peach and Pecan Bourbon

Drink this one straight — pour it into a double old fashioned glass and garnish with a peach peel.

4. Jalapeno-Infused Tequila

This is made for margaritas, but it’s great with pretty much any tequila cocktail.

5. Rosemary, Ginger, and Asian Pear Vodka

Infuse all three together (we recommend it!) and serve with honey, lemon, sugar, a tiny grating of nutmeg, and top with soda water for a stunningly tasty cocktail.

If you’re doing them separately, we love the ginger with pretty much anything, but our two favorites are for kicking up your Moscow Mules or mixing it with fresh tangerine juice (two tangerines worth) and a splash of lychee syrup (you can get it from the can). Top off with ginger ale. Recipe here.

The rosemary vodka would be great with either grapefruit juice or tonic water.

6. Cherry Vodka

This versatile liquor would be great in any of your favorite vodka cocktails. We love it mixed with limeade or cream soda.

7. Strawberry Basil Vodka

Add a spoonful or two to desserts, blend into a milkshake or just mix as you would a regular fruity vodka cocktail — you might want to use a little less sugar/syrup than usual if the strawberries are very sweet.

8. Mango Tequila

Enjoy this in a margarita or a with ginger and cilantro.

9. Bacon and Habanero Infused Vodka

This mouthwateringly savory and spicy concoction makes the perfect Bloody Mary.

10. Watermelon Vodka


This gorgeous infused vodka is not only a crowd-pleaser, but it also makes for a super easy and cute gift. 

11. Same-Day Bacon Bourbon

This would be great in classic whiskey cocktails like old-fashioneds. Bonus: swap out the sugar for honey or maple syrup.

12. Blueberry Vodka

Perfect with lemonade.

13. Vanilla Honey Ginger Whiskey

You can’t go wrong mixing this with ginger ale or ginger beer!

Featured Photo Credit: Kitchen Konfidence

Tags: cocktail recipe, flavored alcohol, infused alcohol, liquor recipe, Thirsty Thursday
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Mix It Up With These 8 Surprisingly Delicious Savory Cocktails


By Cooking Panda

Whether you’re having a hangover brunch or simply want to branch out and add some new kinds of cocktails to your bartending repertoire, savory drinks are a must!

Bloody Marys are great now and again, but there are so many other savory cocktails out there that are totally underrated. Give them a try!

Note: A fair amount of these recipes call for pickle juice. If you don’t have any or just don’t like it, feel free to substitute with: one teaspoon white vinegar, ½ teaspoon dill weed and ¼ teaspoon salt to replace two tablespoons of pickle juice.

1. Black Pepper Gibson

The Gibson is an underrated classic martini with its trademark slightly-sweet cocktail onion. But add some black pepper to it and you have something out-of-this world delicious.

2. Rum Caesar with Basil, Roasted Garlic and a Bacon Wrapped Prawn

It is a well-known fact that all drinks should have pickle juice, steak seasoning and clamato juice.

3. Bacon Sour

Maple, bacon bourbon, egg white and Peychaud’s bitters add a deliciously welcome twist to your whiskey sour. Here’s how to make your own bacon infused bourbon.

4. The Botanist

Tequila, cucumbers and peppers go together incredibly well, but it’s the adorable bell pepper cup that totally pushes this delicious drink over the top in the best possible way.

5. Pickled Surfer

Like a pickleback shot but even more delicious and drinkable.

6. Ultimate Bloody Maria

Honestly, why would you settle for a Bloody Mary when you can have a spicy alternative that has tons more flavor?

7. Tallulah

The peanut flavor adds an unexpected yet deliciously savory complexity to the whiskey. You have to try this one!

8. Celery Cup No. 1

This cucumber-celery-based vodka drink is about as refreshing as it comes. With fresh cilantro, agave, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, this is hands-down the savory cocktail you should be drinking on a hot summer day.

Featured Photo Credit: Katie Foster/Tasting Table

Tags: Bloody Mary, cocktail recipe, savory cocktails, savory drink, Thirsty Thursday
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10 Classic Whiskey Cocktails You Should Know


By Cooking Panda

Wow your guests with these timeless cocktails, because whiskey never goes out of style.

1. Old Fashioned

There’s a reason this classic cocktail is as popular as ever, and it’s not because of Don Draper. It truly is a classic, delicious drink. Instead of using a whole orange wedge, we recommend just muddling the cherry and sugar. Garnish with another cherry and a twist of orange rind, and you’re in business. If you’re feeling daring, (carefully) light it on fire to enhance the aroma like this.

2. Sazerac

If you have been wondering what to do with that absinthe you have lying around, grab some rye and try this sweet, herbal recipe!

3. Manhattan

Ah, the Manhattan. If you can get your hands on high quality Luxardo cherries, absolutely do it – it’s totally worth it. But if they are a little too pricey or hard to find, regular maraschino cherries or a twist work just as well.

4. Mint Julep

If you feel like drinking your whiskey straight but want something a little refreshing, try adding mint and simple syrup to it, grab your fancy hat, and head on over to the Derby.

5. Whiskey Sour

Put down that sweet and sour mix and make your own. It’s super easy and tastes way better.

6. Boston Sour

A slight variation on the whiskey sour, the Boston sour has been around just as long as its cousin – maybe even longer. All you do is shake up some egg whites for a slightly creamier drink. It might sound a little crazy, but we love it and think you will too.

7. Penicillin

Feeling a little under the weather? Mix up some scotch, lemon, honey and ginger and you’ll be better in no time.

8. Hot Toddy

We love a good Hot Toddy with brandy, a cinnamon stick, and an orange slice, but the beauty of this drink is that you can make it however you want. We suggest adding your whiskey or brandy a couple minutes after the rest of the ingredients, so that the boiling water doesn’t cook out any of that valuable alcohol.

9. Brown Derby

If you are looking for something strong, sour and refreshing, try this Old Hollywood bourbon and grapefruit cocktail.

10. Irish Coffee

Need a pick-me-up? Make a mug of Irish coffee. It’s also great with Irish cream like Bailey’s – just cut back on the brown sugar, since Irish cream is already sweet.

Photo credits: Cheatsheet, Dude Living, Graeme Maclean/Wikimedia CommonsErich Wagner/Wikimedia Commons, Martin Asche/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: classic cocktails, cocktail recipe, Thirsty Thursday, whiskey, whiskey cocktails
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9 Refreshing Spring Cocktails For Thirsty Thursday


By Cooking Panda

Spring is in the air! The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and we’re discarding our sweet, spiced winter cocktails for light, refreshing spring ones. Take a look at these one-of-a-kind spring drinks and wow your friends for Thirsty Thursday:

1. Cucumber Basil Gimlet

Gimlets are seriously delicious. Here’s how you make a basic one. But if you want an extra refreshing kick, try muddling cucumber and basil in your shaker. If you don’t have basil or are not a fan, a few sprigs of rosemary will be equally delicious, and they make a great garnish.

2. Grapefruit Thyme Fizz

It may be pink, but this cocktail is more tart than sweet. It’s jam packed with flavor but still light and bubbly and would also work great at a hangover brunch.

3. Ginger Gin Fizz

Ginger can do so much more than a Moscow Mule, and mint is way more versatile than a julep or mojito. You’re in for a real treat with this cocktail.

4. Bees Knees

If you want something straight up with no frills or pink fruit, you’ll love this honey and lemon libation. Bonus: if you’re under the weather, the honey and lemon make for a great excuse to keep drinking.

5. Kumquat Whiskey Sour

Improve your whiskey sour with these sweet, tart little citrus fruits. They make a perfect and simple sweet and sour mix that is infinitely better than that store-bought stuff.

6. Beet Balsamic Shrub

Want to try something original? This sweet, sour, earthy cocktail is truly one of a kind.

7. Strawberry and Kumquat Caipirinha

If you like mojitos, you’ll love Caipirinhas. (Here’s how you make a classic one.) If you want something even more refreshing, you can’t go wrong by adding more fruit.

8. Kiwi Caipiroska

The Caipiroska is the Caipirinha’s fizzy cousin that uses vodka instead of cachaca, and the added kiwis make everything even better.

9. Lemon Meringue Martini

Want dessert? Try this unique limoncello and whipped cream vodka concoction.


Photo credit: Didriks/Flickr, Windell Oskay/Flickr

Tags: cocktail recipe, spring cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
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