5 Gorgeously Festive Cranberry Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
If you’re looking for festive, seasonal cocktails, it can be a bit limiting around this time of year, when we tend to lean toward rich, creamy drinks like eggnog and twists on chocolate peppermint.
Of course, these are all wildly delicious, but it can feel like more of a challenge to find something fruity and perhaps a bit lighter while staying appropriate to the theme for those holiday parties.
Fortunately, I have a solution for you: cranberries! These distinctively tangy fruits just scream winter, especially when you pop a few of them in a drink for an utterly festive garnish.
This big, sparkling cocktail can be made in a huge batch, and it’s a great crowd-pleaser if you’re throwing a bash.
This tasty, set-it-and-forget-it beverage is chock full of subtle, seasonal spices — plus, you can make it boozy or non-alcoholic, whatever you prefer.
With just three ingredients, these are super fast to make, and the vanilla brings a unique richness to the whole thing.
This lovely mulled wine uses a sugar substitute, but if you want to use the regular stuff, you can use about a third of a cup of white or brown sugar. A glug of triple sec would be great too!
With red wine, white wine, apple cider, cranberry juice, brandy and spices, this easy slow-cooker warm sangria is perfect for winter — plus there’s an option to make it virgin if you don’t want the booze.
Featured Image: Personal Creations/FlickrTags: cocktail recipes, cranberry cocktails, cranberry drinks, drinks for holiday party, Thirsty Thursday
7 Stupendously Sippable Cocktails Perfect For November (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Looking for some delightfully seasonal cocktails to make this month? You’ve come to the right place!
Whether you want to indulge a little on a night in or keep yourself and your Thanksgiving guests calm and relaxed while you rush to finish making dinner, you’ll surely be able to find the perfect fall-flavored drink here.
Be warned: This punch packs some serious power, just as the name indicates, but it’s so smooth that you might not realize it! Plus, with cinnamon, ginger, cranberry and nutmeg, you’re getting the perfect balance between refreshing fruit and seasonal spices.
Not only is this fabulously festive, uniquely flavored sangria totally tasty, it’s perfect for when you’re hosting a large group — like for Thanksgiving — because you can make it a few hours in advance and not have to worry about it when you’re busy prepping all the food. Or just, you know, prep it in advance if you’re planning a lazy night in.
Hot buttered rum is just delightfully cozy and warming after dinner on a cool fall evening. So why not add a bit of rich pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to really amp up the desserty seasonal feel to this twist on a classic?
This beautiful cocktail is wildly refreshing without being terribly sweet. With cranberry, citrus, ginger ale and gin, you get a bright, subtle fruity and complex bubbly delight that is just so dang good!
If you love whiskey sours, you’re going to adore this spin on them — it’s pretty much the same formula, but with a couple tweaks to bring some added brightness and depth. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can sub honey or dark brown sugar, though they might be a bit sweeter, so if you’re going to do this, start conservatively and sweeten to taste. Yum!
The original recipe calls for Honeycrisp apples, but you can use any sweet apple like Fujis, Pink Ladies or really whatever you want — you can even try it with sour Granny Smiths or even something totally different, like pears.
A light, bright pumpkin cocktail? Who would have thought? Bonus: You can throw a Harry Potter party, call it pumpkin juice and serve it out of goblets and tankards, which is pretty much the only way to improve what is already such a lovely sipper.
Featured Image: PixabayTags: cocktail recipes, fall drinks, November cocktails, Thanksgiving cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
Reward Your Inner Child With 7 Candy-Inspired Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
It’s time to let loose and indulge. What’ll it be: booze or dessert?
Dilemmas, dilemmas. And this is a near-impossible one.
But you know what? You are a gosh darn adult. You can have both, for goodness’ sake!
If you are technically grown up but secretly a kid at heart, you are probably well aware of the joy of candy-sweet cocktails. Why not whip up a drink based on your favorite sweet treat and let beautiful things happen?
Love the gentle creamy mint taste of this boxed classic? Why not turn it into a rich, elegant dessert cocktail?
This tastes just like the chewy fruity candy. Jokes are not attached, but you’ll be making your own after a few sips of the strong, sweet drink.
This one calls for marshmallow vodka, though you can use any similarly sweet flavor, like whipped cream or birthday cake.
Just like its namesake, the Nilla Wafer Martini is a little sweet and simple but won’t hit you over the head with heavily concentrated, syrupy concoctions that can be a little tough to stomach at times. This two-ingredient treat makes for a perfect and easy after dinner sipper.
Remember everyone’s favorite popsicle as kids? If you think about it, sweet orange and cream is the absolutely perfect environment to add a few drops of booze. How did I not think of this before?
You’ve probably had vodka gummy bears, but why not put a new and honestly waaaay better-tasting spin on the boozy snack by soaking soda bottle gummies in a ton of smooth whiskey? It’s the perfect combo. Plus, who doesn’t want to get buzzed off candy?
Remember those chewy, spicy cinnamon candies everyone used to love? Well it turns out that those flavors go perfectly with tequila. A few of these and you’ll definitely be feeling nostalgic.
Featured Image: PixabayTags: candy booze, candy cocktails, childhood cocktails, cocktail recipes, Thirsty Thursday
Take A Vacation With These 6 Hawaiian Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Did you know that I’m kind of psychic?
Let me show you.
Right about now, you want to be on a tropical, breezy Hawaiian island with dense black sand or soft green grass between your toes, breathing in the gentle fragrance of local flowers and sipping on something fruity and alcoholic.
How did I do?
Sadly, most of us can’t be on a tropical beach right now (shout out to those who are — I’m jealous of you), but at least we can all enjoy tropical cocktails.
You’ve probably had a Mai Tai before. If you haven’t, you’ve likely at least heard of the delightfully strong drink that features citrus juice, lovely almond-flavored orgeat syrup and orange curacao liqueur, with dark rum floated on top. This drink may have been invented in California, but its quintessentially tropical flavors will immediately transport you to an island paradise.
With passion fruit, rum and orange liqueur, this drink tastes a lot like your standard tiki fare — but once you add a hefty dose of bourbon and a couple dashes of bitters, you’ll see that this cocktail has a lot more going on than meets the eye, and the darker flavors perfectly complement the fruity, floral tones to make them stand out.
Orange juice, pineapple juice, rum and grenadine kick this off like a Mai Tai, but things get a little more interesting when you add some vanilla and coffee flavors. It sounds a little unexpected, but they bring the most satisfying pop of complexity to what would otherwise be a super sweet drink.
Fresh minty mojitos are always glorious and never go out of style, but if you want to put a decadent tiki twist on the classic Cuban drink, try adding a bit of coconut rum and cream of coconut, and swap out the regular sugar for the darker brown variety.
Everyone knows the classic Pina Colada, and for good reason, but if you want to really elevate it another notch, consider blending it with strawberries and a banana (frozen, if you want a thicker milkshake texture). This is a great one to make virgin and serve to the kids and non-drinkers too!
If you’re looking for a tasty dessert cocktail that’s more creamy than fruity, this coffee, vanilla and rum drink will do it for you. The coconut milk keeps things tropical-tasting, while its velvety thickness mixes perfectly with the decidedly rich flavors.Tags: cocktail recipes, Hawaiian cocktails, summer cocktails, Thirsty Thursday, tiki drinks
7 Cocktails To Make You Fall In Love With Chartreuse (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Chartreuse is one of those liqueurs that that you might see 100 times at fancy bars, but you never see anybody drinking it, and you probably wouldn’t have the first clue what to do if you had a bottle.
Here’s the thing: Chartreuse is delicious, though the intense bitter, herbal drink can be a bit of a love it or hate it thing. If you love Negronis and drinks with a similar sweet-bitter flavor profile, then you should absolutely give Chartreuse a try.
Note: Chartreuse has two varieties — green and yellow. Like Benedictine, the exact recipes are top secret (seriously!), but the green stuff is brighter and spicier, with sharper botanical flavors, while the yellow version is a little easier and more mellow, and it tastes of saffron and honey.
Now that you are a Chartreuse expert, it’s time to get mixing!
This perfectly balanced drink is the quintessential Chartreuse cocktail, so start here if you are new to it. P.S. If you’re headed to a moderately fancy, well-stocked bar, this is a good one to order, although you should still memorize the ingredients, just in case.
Sweet, honey-flavored Yellow Chartreuse goes stupendously well with the subtle fruit tones and rye spice of Benedictine
If you love the thick, sweet herbaceousness of Chartreuse, you’ll fall head-over-heals in love with this 1900-era drink. Complete with equal parts dry gin, sweet vermouth and Green Chartreuse, it’s topped with a dash of orange bitters to bring it all home.
This is an old school drink, so there are a few variations, some which involve sugar, while others use seltzer. Do what you want, but in my opinion this drink tastes best as a lowball without too many bells or whistles — just a harmonious blend of deep, ever-so-fruity brandy, thick, sweet Yellow Chartreuse and a squeeze of bright lemon to cut through it all.
Moscow Mules are fantastic! Add a splash of Yellow Chartreuse to give it an extra pop of honey-toned complexity. P.S. Feel free to make this the traditional way, with ginger beer instead of syrup and club soda, but keep the lemon juice — it’s perfect with the Yellow Chartreuse.
Sweet, spicy and fresh, this green tequila, jalapeno and cilantro cocktail gets an earthy flourish with a paprika salt rim to highlight the woody flavors of Green Chartreuse, while a hefty dose of pineapple juice ensures that it goes down easy.
Well hello there, fancy cocktail. This rye and Green Chartreuse blend is absolutely fabulous with a dash of lemon bitters and a hint of Absinthe to make your night a little more wild. Cheers!
Featured Photo Credit: Don LaVange/FlickrTags: Chartreuse, Chartreuse cocktail, cocktail recipes, Thirsty Thursday, unusual cocktail
7 Cocktails To Ensure That The Fourth Is With You (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
May the Fourth be with you!
Have you caught the Star Wars bug today? If you can catch a few minutes of a break between blowing up the Death Star and completing your Jedi training, consider mixing up a few festive cocktails that are as fun as they are delicious.
This Long Island-type hybrid drink that features Jagermeister, triple sec, sweet and sour, cola and some more booze is as powerful as they come. Join the Dark Side!
Oh, Carrie, you are sorely missed. Toast to the memory of everyone’s favorite princess with this cocktail that is fittingly tart, unusual and surprisingly strong.
If you’re boring, you can also call it the Shibuya Shake. Either way, we’re pretty sure Finn drinks this after a hard day at work.
AKA the black widow martini, this stunningly dark cocktail with an easy sugar rim gets its theatrics from a couple drops of black food coloring, although the chocolaty rummy treat is tasty on its own if you prefer to do without.
Call it the Luke Skywalker if you want. Whatever you want to name it, this creamy, coconutty delight is sweet and rich — even more so if you swap out the milk and/or cream for coconut milk to really amp up that tropical flavor.
I’ve got to be honest here. This drink looks sort of gross. It looks like a fizzed-up smoothie, and that’s basically what it is. It tastes great, for what it’s worth, and the swampy appearance is actually pretty perfect for Yoda. However, if you’d rather make it look a little less sludgy, feel free to juice the fruit so that it doesn’t look so thick.
Also known as the Smoked Hudson, this combination of peaty scotch, bold, bitter spices, smoke and a little bit of fire couldn’t be more fitting for everybody’s favorite blaster wielder.
Featured Photo Credit: PixabayTags: cocktail recipes, May the Fourth, Star Wars cocktails, Star Wars Day, Thirsty Thursday
7 Tasty Cocktails You Can Make With Only 2 Ingredients (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
It can be fun to mix up all kinds of fancy, elaborate cocktails using 50 billion ingredients and as much flair as you can muster, but that can also be a real pain.
Think about your go-to well drinks: booze+soda, booze+juice, booze+sweet and sour… The formula is simple, but it’s anything but boring. It’s hard to get tired of a vodka cranberry, whiskey sour or gin and tonic, but just in case you want something new AND easy, here are some easy two-ingredient options for you:
It might sound offensive and blasphemous to mix scotch at all, but imagine grabbing a bitter, hoppy and slightly oily IPA and floating an ounce of the peatiest, smokiest scotch you can find on it. This unexpected pairing is truly unforgettable.
Sweet, bitter Campari is lovely when topped with something fizzy. The bitterness of both the Campari and the IPA marry nicely, while the sweet cherry and slightly spicy orange flavors of the liqueur play well with the citrus undertones of your beer.
Grab yourself a nice, strong ginger beer and let the magic happen.
It’s like an easier, less salty Michelada — use Bloody Mary mix, or just plain tomato/Clamato juice if you’d like. Squeeze in a little lime juice if you want a nice fresh twist.
Technically, there are three ingredients if you include the dash of Angostura bitters, which isn’t completely necessary but does add fantastic complexity. It takes three to four days to infuse the vodka, but if you don’t have time for that, shake your cocktail with broken-up candy cane pieces and place a candy cane in your glass to infuse the flavor as you drink.
Sweet, sour grapefruit juice is stupendous with either gin or vodka, or even tequila for a different spin. Rim your glass with salt and call it a Salty Dog, or garnish it with a sprig of fresh rosemary for an herbal pop of brightness.
Lemonade + booze. That’s seriously it. The recipe recommends vodka, but you can honestly use just about anything, and it’ll be tasty — gin and whiskey are great too.
Featured Photo Credit: PixabayTags: 2 ingredient drinks, cocktail recipes, easy cocktails, quick cocktail recipe, Thirsty Thursday
These 10 Cocktails Are Just Peachy (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
As the weather heats up and prepares us for summer, people have a tendency to crave fruitier, lighter drinks flavored with bright, fresh ingredients.
So what better way to usher in the season than with bright, clean and crisp peachy flavors mixed into a fun cocktail?
No matter what your preferred booze is, you’re sure to find something you like here. As a bonus, most of these adult beverages lend themselves well to becoming alcohol-free, so you can can enjoy them any time of day.
An easy, light and refreshing spin on the classic Bellini, with a bright, herby pop. If you want to make this virgin, you can use sparkling grape or apple juice or just any delicate, mild soda — even club soda would be fine. Alternately, make it boozier with a bit of gin, rum or tequila.
If you’re a vodka lover, you’ll adore this refreshingly bright yet mellow drink. Feel free to sub the peach vodka for the plain stuff or any other complementary fruity flavor like raspberry, lime or apple.
If you love this classic cocktail but want a clean, spring-appropriate way to jazz it up, swap out the maraschino cherries for a single muddled peach slice. You’ll love it!
Roasted peaches? It might sound odd, but heating your fruit in the oven will bring out extra peachy sweetness and give you a little extra juice. Add some fresh thyme and you’re in for a seriously gourmet treat.
Warning: When you combine white peaches with blueberries and gin for this light, sweet, summery cocktail, it’s easy to forget that this drink packs a punch!
Strictly speaking, you don’t need actual candy corn if you don’t want this whipped cream and fruit-flavored cocktail to look too Halloween-esque, but it does make an adorable garnish.
A little bit of savory smoked salt (here’s how to make your own) and bright lemon juice does wonders when paired with the woodsy rosemary. The heavenly combo is incredible with floral rye whiskey, although you can certainly use another variety of whiskey or even a bit of gin.
Bellinis are the absolute best!!! With only three ingredients, they are so simple yet so delicious. This recipe makes them even BETTER by using frozen peach puree.
You’ll love this Southern twist on sangria, complete with sweet tea, orange liqueur (like Triple Sec) and really any combination of fruit you want to use. The recipe suggests peaches and raspberries, which are fabulous garnished with a sprig of mint, but you can use anything that your heart desires — oranges, mango, blueberries, blackberries or pomegranates would be pretty nice too.
Margaritas are perfect as is, but they also lend themselves well to innovation. Why not try this unique spin, which swaps out lime juice for lemon that goes just perfectly with some easy peach puree? You’ll love it.
Featured Photo Credit: Jelly ToastTags: Bellini recipe, cocktail recipes, peach cocktails, spring cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
11 Enchanting Harry Potter Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
If you want to do something a little extra fun for your next cocktail night, why not mix up some boozy Harry Potter-themed potions? Here are some of our favorites harry potter cocktails that are easy enough for even Muggles to make:
“Eternal glory! That’s what awaits the student who wins The Triwizard Tournament, but to do this that student must survive three tasks. Three extremely dangerous tasks.” – Dumbledore
And yes, you do get to light this drink on fire.
This stunningly green cocktail tastes of fizzy, sweet sherbet, but the vodka packs a serious punch — maybe even enough to make you feel like you’re someone else, if you drink enough of it.
This bittersweet and herbaceous drink is seriously intense and darkly appealing, sort of like the most notorious evil wizard of all time.
From spiked to alcohol free, from bubbly to creamy, there’s something here for everyone.
“If taken in excess, it causes giddiness, recklessness, and dangerous overconfidence.” – Professor Slughorn
Note: You can also make something similarly adorable with Goldschlager and cream soda, for a lighter, fizzier take if you’re feeling lucky.
With sweet fruit, tart wine and a touch of the herbal, botanical flavors of gin and aperol, you’ll be completely head over heels infatuated with this one.
If you’re looking to shoot or sip something that will pleasantly sear your throat like a real adult, Ogden’s is the way to go!
Obviously, you’ll need to serve up some chocolate frogs with this one … just in case dementors are close:
If you’d like a sweet yet boozy dessert to help keep the dementors at bay, this is definitely the way to go. The vodka packs a serious punch (you can also swap it out for brandy, if you’d prefer), while the Irish cream liqueur, amaretto and melted vanilla ice cream ensure that it is a ridiculously indulgent and all-around delicious treat.
This sweet, thick, golden dessert of a shooter has actual gold in it! If you really want to go all-out, print out wings (here) and glue them onto your shot glasses.
If you love apple cider, this is the perfect drink for you! Note: If you’re not into vodka, whiskey or brandy would also be quite tasty here.Featured Photo Credit: Simply PotterTags: cocktail recipes, cocktails, Harry Potter, Harry Potter cocktails, themed cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
9 Stupendously Refreshing Springy Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Now that spring is here, we’re having glorious visions of gardens, pastel colors, sunlight, temperate weather and, naturally, bright and fresh drinks to match!
Even if it’s still freezing where you are and the weather hasn’t caught up to the season yet, whip up one of these drinks to help usher it along!
We’ll drink to that.
Margaritas are pretty much our go-to when the weather heats up, but we just love how simple and fresh this canned limeade version is, and the basil absolutely takes it to a whole new level of delicious. Stir up a pitcher full for the ultimate crowd pleaser!
Kaffir lime leaves are usually pretty cheap at your local Asian grocery store, but if you can’t get your hands on fresh, frozen or dried ones, feel free to swap them out for a bit of lime zest and maybe even some basil for a totally different herbaceous twist.
This drink is a classic British favorite. We highly recommend that you sit in a garden or on a porch wearing polo or cricket attire while you sip it.
If you don’t know the classic whiskey-lemon juice-simple syrup combo, you’ll want to learn it, and you can thank us later. Once you master that, check out these fun ways to subtly change up the recipe — for example, by using honey instead of simple syrup. We love all of these variations!
If you make this easy syrup ahead of thyme, then you have one of the easiest cocktails in existence. Note: If vodka isn’t your thing, this would be absolutely delightful with bourbon and maybe a splash of bitters.
We love mojitos, but at the same time, sometimes we could use a new version of them. That bit of healthy, earthy iced green tea just makes all the difference on those days.
This blueberry simple syrup is the perfect way to get rid of those berries that have been sitting in the back of your freezer for way too long.
If you love classic cocktails with a pop of bitterness and complexity, give the Americano a try the next time you are looking for something a little lighter on the booze.
Gin and tonics never really ever get old, but at the same time, you certainly won’t regret giving them a lovely fresh, floral facelift. Feel free to use basil instead of rosemary, if that’s more your thing. A splash of grapefruit juice is also lovely for a complex, refreshing drink reminiscent of a mojito.
Featured Photo Credit: Liz Vidyarthi/The KitchnTags: cocktail recipes, cucumber cocktail recipe, refreshing cocktail, spring cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
8 Elegant Irish Whiskey Cocktails for St. Paddy’s Day (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Prepare yourselves! St. Patrick’s Day is coming, and we want to make sure you are ready to throw an awesome party on March 17!
Grab yourself a nice bottle of your favorite Irish whiskey, like Jameson, Powers or Bushmills, and mix up a few tasty cocktails, will you?
Irish coffee is a well-known and delicious concoction, but what about mixing Irish Breakfast tea and booze? If you love your black teas, brew some up strong and mix with Irish whiskey, fresh lemon juice and a bit of raspberry jam for a surprising fruity addition. It’s so good!
Your sweet and maybe even slightly smoky Irish whiskey gets a tart, bitter and fruity blast from strawberry syrup and, unexpectedly, aged balsamic vinegar, which pairs delightfully well with Lillet Rose, sherry and Orinoco bitters for a unique, sophisticated drinking experience.
Smoky mezcal and sweet Irish whiskey play well together in this cocktail that features herbal Benedictine and Peychaud’s bitters, although you can swap in a nice peaty scotch for the mezcal and whiskey if you’d prefer.
Featured Photo Credit: Nick Caruana/Serious EatsTags: cocktail recipes, Irish whiskey, St. Paddy's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Thirsty Thursday
9 Must-Try Grapefruit Cocktails
By Cooking Panda
Grapefruit juice should be enjoyed in so many more ways than just breakfast. Refresh yourself by mixing it up with some booze, ice and other goodies for a fresh cocktail that’s so much more fun than your standard screwdriver or vodka cranberry.
Here are some of our favorite grapefruit concoctions:
Make with good-quality vodka for the best version of this fresh citrus drink that gets topped off with a bit of sweet Lillet Blanc to bring everything together.
This is a great “set it and forget it” pitcher concoction you can whip up for a crowd if you want, or just make it one at a time. Want something a little stronger? Swap out the ginger beer for champagne or prosecco.
Featured Photo Credit: Young AustinianTags: bitter cocktail recipe, cocktail recipes, grapefruit cocktails, grapefruit drink recipe, Thirsty Thursday
We’re Going Bananas For These 8 Tasty Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Bananas are awesome! They fill you up and nourish you with a blast of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and all kinds of nutrients and other good stuff. Plus, if you blend them up into your drinks, they provide an awesome creamy texture along with that delicious subtle, tropical flavor. Oh, and did we mention that bananas are pretty much in season all year round?
From fresh blended fruit to pungent liqueur, we are believers in bananas’ power to take your cocktail to the next level! Are you with us?
The classic cocktail gets a new fruity creaminess with a fresh banana blended right in. Bonus: want your cocktail to taste like a milkshake? Swap out that fresh banana for a frozen one, and you’ll be amazed at the dreamy creaminess.
Not sure what to do with your banana liqueur? Why not add a little chocolate and cream for a chocolate-covered banana spin on the White Russian?
The martini gets a makeover with banana and chocolate liqueurs. If you want to make things even more exciting, use vodka flavored with your favorite banana split topping, like strawberry, pineapple, coconut or even a second dose of chocolate, because when it comes to banana splits, you can’t overdo it.
Lemon bitters, nutmeg and cinnamon provide the perfect spiced balance to your favorite sweet bourbon-banana combo.
This dessert cocktail is about as decadent as you can get, with vanilla, butterscotch and chocolate, all of which pair beautifully with banana liqueur and cream. If you want to take it the extra mile, ditch the cream and blend the whole thing with a frozen banana for the ultimate chilled, fruity treat.
Ok, this cocktail might sound like an unappealing, bizarre insult, but it’s actually referring to the coffee liqueur that tastes DELICIOUS with rum, cream and spice. Blend it with some thick, sweet banana, and everybody will be asking for seconds.
Featured Photo Credit: Maria Hale/InstagramTags: banana cocktails, banana drink recipe, cocktail recipes, drink recipes, Thirsty Thursday
8 Delightfully Addicting Amaretto Cocktails (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Looking for a new ingredient to spruce up your cocktails? Consider using some amaretto: the sweet, nutty and thoroughly delicious almond liqueur that in our opinion is totally underrated.
Amaretto adds a nice yet versatile cherry blossom flavor boost to your cocktails that is both refreshing and perfectly appropriate for the season, as we transition from winter to spring. Give it a try!
So whether you bought a big bottle of amaretto liqueur for one recipe and you don’t know what the heck else to do with it, or you’re just looking for some new and exciting drinks, read on! You won’t be disappointed.
Everyone knows the basic amaretto sour, which is delicious in its own right. But if you really want to take the drink to the next level, consider brightening up your standard recipe with plenty of bubbles and two different kinds of citrus. Nice!
Bruleed oranges? YES. APPARENTLY THIS IS A THING. The best part is that you don’t even need a torch for these … although, of course, if you have one, it’s a great excuse to harness the power of fire.
What makes a classic vanilla milkshake even better? A generous splash of sweet almond booze with a perfectly complementary cherry on top!
If you love Cosmopolitans, you’ll fall completely head over heels for this sweetened-up version of the iconic pink martini. Who knew that almond and cranberry were such a delightful combination?
This dessert cocktail is naughty enough to live up to its name: creamy liqueur, vodka and a hint of orange go smashingly with amaretto that this drink might just become your go-to indulgence.
If you are a fan of a good classic White Russian but want to change up your pace a little and nix the vodka, consider this alternatively bright, sweet amaretto version.
The amaretto sour is a classic, and for good reason, but consider giving the sweet drink an extra spicy, bitter kick with lemon and freshly muddled ginger. The sweet nuttiness of the amaretto handles these big, bold flavors perfectly.
The perfect pick-me-up! Basically Irish coffee with a nice twist — and on that note, you can certainly swap out the rum for a nice bourbon or Irish whiskey if you prefer. No one will complain either way.
Featured Photo Credit: Elana Lepkowski/Serious EatsTags: almond cocktails, amaretto, amaretto sour recipe, cocktail recipes, Thirsty Thursday
8 Sour Cocktails Way Cooler Than A Whiskey Sour (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
We’re feeling a little sour today.
We absolutely adore whiskey, pisco and amaretto sours to the point that they are pretty much our go-to drinks when we go out, since they are pretty easy to come by and always taste delicious, no matter who makes them.
But when something is your go-to drink, you might eventually start to wonder what else is out there and if there is an even more delicious way to enjoy your favorite flavors, especially if you’re consuming frequently. Well, friends, we have some excellent news! We know tons of amazing sour drinks! Here are eight of them:
When it’s this easy to make good sour mix, there is no reason to go buying that stuff from the store! Follow this simple recipe for all your sour cocktail needs and you’ll never go back to pre-mixed again.
This tangy, slightly spicy sour is perfect for winter! The coolest part? You can make the ginger syrup in the microwave if your lazy side is calling to you.
Sure, you’ve had whiskey sours, but did you know that they were traditionally shaken up with a bit of egg white back in the day? Now we call these frothy, light and delicious drinks Boston sours. If you love the more common egg white-free kind, you’ll need to give these recipes below a try!
Craving something a bit fruity? Give this pomegranate take on the whiskey sour a chance for a tangy treat.
Sweet Meyer lemon juice, woody maple syrup, fluffy egg whites, tart red wine and fruity blueberry jam make for an unexpected but deliciously harmonious combination. There’s no going back after this one, folks.
Sour AND spicy! Make the habanero simple syrup in advance (that way you can taste as you go and make it as spicy or mild as you like) and impress all your friends.
The best way to mix up your whiskey sour with a gorgeous color and rich, deep flavor? Float a bit of red wine over the top. Fancy!
With soothing, floral honey, smoky whiskey and fresh, tart tangerine juice, this drink is a real crowd pleaser. Make it in large batches and swap out the whiskey for a nice, peaty scotch, and you’ll have a treat that will impress all your guests.
Featured Photo Credit: Patricia Bozeman/RhubarbariansTags: cocktail recipes, sour cocktails, Thirsty Thursday, whiskey sour, whiskey sour cocktails
10 Refreshing Cocktails That Are Perfect For Brunch (Recipes)
By Cooking Panda
Look, don’t misunderstand us. There’s not a darn thing wrong with a mimosa or a Bloody Mary. Not a thing! We absolutely love the way fruity, bubbly mimosas and intense, savory Bloody Marys perk us right up at brunch, no matter how crazy we got the night before. We really do.
At the same time, there is SO much more to brunchy cocktails than those two standbys, and we want you to know that you can expand your horizons a little if you want to mix it up and win brunch.
Below are some of our favorite noon-approved cocktail options. Of course, they will work equally well at your evening #ThirstyThursday turn up. Don’t limit yourself.
We just adore how light, crisp and refreshing this one is. Plus, the green tea and apple juice has a bit of healthy stuff and a dash of caffeine, which is always a bonus.
We know you’re familiar with mimosas, but if you want to have a similar drink, try swapping out the orange juice for another variety. We love this tangy grapefruit version!
You’re still drinking a strong margarita, but the coconut aspect here adds some extra health and body, making it feel a little brighter and more brunchable. Morning or evening, we sure can’t resist this one.
If you’re feeling a little off, the ginger, mint and lemon will fix you right up, while the beer and vodka make things a little more exciting.
This is sort of like a tastier version of sangria, and it’s especially awesome if you have cheap white wine lying around that needs a little extra help. Feel free to mix this one up with any citrus and herbs if you’re feeling creative.
Add a little bright, fresh sweetness to your sparkling wine with the just ever-so-tart flavor of elderflower and sprinkle in whatever berries (fresh or frozen) you have around. This would be delightful with edible flowers too, if you have access to them.
You drink grapefruit juice at brunch anyway, right? Don’t stop there! Add a little vodka and salt, and you have a super tasty cocktail.
If you’ve never had one of these creamy, fluffy drinks, you are in for a cocktail unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Yes, it’ll take you a bit of elbow grease to shake the cream until it is pretty much all foam, but we assure you that the decadence you will create is WORTH IT.
This is basically the sweet version of a Michelada. Swap out Clamato juice for sweet mango nectar for a real crowd pleaser. P.S. This would be awesome garnished with some sweet Lucas candy. We dare you to prove us right.
If you’re chilly but still need a pick-me-up, consider this creamy hazelnut and orange take on everybody’s favorite Irish coffee. You’re welcome.
Featured Photo Credit: Maureen Petrosky/The KitchnTags: brunch, cocktail recipes, mimosa recipe, spring cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
These 9 Boozy Coffee Cocktails Will Perk You Right Up
By Cooking Panda
We’re here on National Coffee Day to honor the magical bean juice that wakes us up in the morning and helps us push through tough days at work. There are definitely some days that we wouldn’t have made it through without the stuff, which, let’s face it, is the elixir of life. (Want the scoop on where to score free coffee on Sept. 29? Click here.)
But coffee isn’t just for a long day at the office! It’s also delightful in the evenings with a little booze, as a digestif or just a sweet way to get the party started. If you are looking for a change of pace from your favorite boozy coffee classics like White Russians, Black Russians and Irish Coffee (which are delicious, make no mistake!), you’ve come to the right place.
Here are some of our favorite coffee cocktails that are a little more off-the-beaten-path:
This drink is orangey and spiced with a smoky touch from the Scotch, and it’s sure to wake you right up.
If you love your Irish coffee but want to try something new, you’ll love this fresh take, complete with Irish dry stout (like Guinness), cold brew coffee, cream and a touch of cinnamon.
The most important, and surely exciting, feature of this drink is that you get to light it on fire. So there’s really no way you can turn it down.
This Italian espresso digestif will warm you up and keep you perky on cold days.
You might not be able to see straight after guzzling a few of these guys, complete with sweet Irish whisky, cinnamon syrup and Angostura bitters, but you’ll definitely be full of wisdom.
Rum belongs in your coffee too! Don’t let it feel left out. A little bit of half and half and spices, and you’ll be best friends.
It’s like a rum and coke with sweet cold-brew coffee and cream, and it’s just crazy enough that you have to try it.
A little bourbon, absinthe and bitters jazzes up that iced coffee in just the right ways.
Peanut liqueur always sounds a little strange, and it always tastes incredible. Mix it with coffee and sherry for the perfectly nutty marriage of salty and sweet.
Featured Photo Credit: Bon AppetitTags: boozy coffee, cocktail recipes, Coffee cocktails, National Coffee Day, Thirsty Thursday
Catch All 7 Of These Stunning Pokemon-Inspired Cocktails
By Cooking Panda
I want to be the very best / Like no one ever was / To catch them is my real test / To drink them is my cause…
Read on to find out how to Drink Them All:
More like “melted gummy candy shots,” but that didn’t have the same ring to it. Alcohol, I choose you!
Three different flavors of margarita slushies to represent the three different teams. Team Instinct’s yellow should be the smallest layer on the bottom for obvious reasons, while Team Valor’s red should reign supreme with a nice tasty layer on top. Naturally. (Cue hate mail from the three people on Team Instinct.)
This drink is stunning but actually super easy and delicious. All you need is Malibu rum (or something similar), melon liqueur and blue curacao. Garnish with edible flowers and mint.
A.k.a. Rosemary and Rhubarb, featuring apple vodka and rhubarb syrup, among other things.
(Also known as the Ginger Smash) Pineapple, ginger, rum, and a few other tasty things. If you want to be less subtle, garnish with a few extra pineapple leaves.
This is just a Blue Hawaiian (cream of coconut, blue curacao, pineapple juice, light rum) garnished with a pineapple slice. If you want to go full Vaporeon, add an extra slice on the other side.
Basically just another reason to drink a super-tasty alcoholic milkshake with ears on it. Feel free to add candy eyes if you have little chocolates or something else that would work.
Official disclaimer: Team Valor will rein supreme.
Featured Photo Credit: Mooshu JenneTags: cocktail recipes, Pokemon cocktails, Pokemon Go, summer cocktails, Thirsty Thursday
Unwind And Relax With These 11 Summery Blueberry Cocktails
By Cooking Panda
Blueberry season is upon us! In honor of National Blueberry Month, we thought that we’d take full advantage of sales on the sweet superfruit and stock up. What better way to unwind than with a refreshing, slightly-sweet, antioxidant-rich cocktail?
If you love refreshing, fizzy cocktails, you’ll love this Caipirinha with fresh blueberries muddled right in.
Bourbon and blueberry preserves are an unexpected match made in heaven. You have to try this!
Blueberry vodka works great in a Cosmopolitan, although any berry or citrus vodka will go great, too. If you want to go full blueberry, you can use blueberry juice in place of cranberry for an even sweeter treat.
Sweet, tart, herbal and refreshing.
If you like sweet martinis, this blueberry-mango juice one will be right up your alley.
What goes best with moonshine and brandy? Blueberry preserves and mint, of course!
If you prefer using fresh blueberries to preserves but love the berry-mint combination, this vodka and St. Germain drink might be more up your alley.
We love our margaritas, and it’s always great to try a new spin on them. The fresh blueberries and orange bitters really elevate this drink.
Want something with a little more of a kick? Try this smoky-sweet version with pineapple juice and chipotle.
Simple. Light. Delicious.
Peach preserves and blueberry syrup take the already-delicious mojito to a new level of deliciousness. Perfect for a hot summer day.
Featured Photo Credit: Matt Taylor-Gross/SaveurTags: blueberry, cocktail recipes, cocktails, Summer drinks, Thirsty Thursday
5 Perfect Cocktails Your Old Man Will Love On Father’s Day
By Cooking Panda
Father’s Day is approaching fast! If you don’t have anything special planned yet, take a deep breath – we have just the thing for you.
Why don’t you give your dad something a little different this year? Stock up your bar and mix up some cocktails that he’s sure to love. We combed the best bars in Las Vegas, where bartenders were nice enough to give us some exclusive Sin City recipes so that you can bring the party home for the night. These Father’s Day cocktails are all about putting a new spin on the classics, and your dad will love them.
1. “Great Bambino” from The Still at the Mirage Hotel and Casino
Channel the spirit of this supreme man cave by making your dad a unique spiced rye drink. It is best in a double old fashioned glass, but any rocks glass should work just fine. Here’s what you need to make it:
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Dashes Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
2 oz. Cinnamon Spiced Infused JP Wiser’s Deluxe Rye Whisky
Build: Add all ingredients into mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into a double old fashion glass. Garnish with an orange peel and cinnamon stick.
2. “Negroni” from Salute Trattoria Italiana at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Your pops will love a bottle of Plymouth gin, and its earthy, slightly sweet flavor is absolutely perfect in this classic Italian cocktail.
1 oz. Plymouth Gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Cocchi di Torino Vermouth
Build: Stir all ingredients with ice for 20 seconds in a mixing glass. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange peel.
3. “Basil Bleu” from Hearthstone Kitchen and Cellar at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
If your old man likes bright, herbal flavors, try this super refreshing twist on a Moscow Mule that swaps mint for Thai basil for a unique, rustic experience.
6-8 Thai Basil Leaves
1 ½ oz. 50 Bleu Vodka
¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
2 ½ oz. Fever Tree Ginger Beer (Add to mixing tin after shake.)
Build: Shake all ingredients – except ginger beer – with ice. Add ginger beer, then strain into a copper mug over crushed ice. Garnish with a skewered lime wheel and Thai basil sprig.
4. “Heat of the Moment” from Borracha Mexican Cantina at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa & Casino
Don’t settle for a margarita. If your dad is a tequila drinker, he’ll love this spicy spin on the Mexican favorite, which features hot Fresno chile to balance out the sweet passion fruit.
2 Slices Fresno Chile
2 oz. Espolon Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Funkin’ Passion Fruit Puree
½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Agave Syrup
Build: Add All Ingredients Into Mixing Tin. Add Ice And Shake Vigorously. Strain Over Fresh Ice, Into A Big Martini Glass. Garnish with half Cinnamon Sugar Rim, Fresno Chili Horns, Lime Spiral.
5. “Apple Rye Old Fashion” from Tilted Kilt
Bring home a funky sports bar vibe straight from Sin City with this sweet and bitter apple whiskey concoction.
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Rye Whiskey
½ oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple Whisky
1/8 oz. Monin Sugar Cane
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
Orange Peel garnish
Build: Pour ingredients into a large mixing glass with ice. Stir for 20 to 25 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into 7 oz Rocks Glass. Garnish with an Orange Peel.
Happy Father’s Day!
Featured Photo Credit: Jazz Guy/FlickrTags: cocktail for dad, cocktail recipes, Father's Day, Las Vegas cocktails, present for Father's Day
10 Tropical Tiki Drinks You Should Make For Thirsty Thursday
By Cooking Panda
It’s time for some tiki drinks! Classic cocktails never go out of style, but if you find yourself in a rut serving up the same rum and Coke for every Thirsty Thursday, why not mix it up with some tropical cocktails? A few decorations, a few new ingredients, and some spicy grilled shrimp is really all you need to have an amazing evening with some truly delicious, sweet, spiced drinks that pack a serious punch.
Note that most tiki drinks are super strong, so plan your night accordingly.
The ultimate classic tiki drink, the mai tai is a go-to for good reason. Perfectly sweet, tangy and fresh, this is a great place to start if you are new to tiki drinks.
There’s a reason this spiced drink is called the Zombie – it is so powerful, it could bring you back from the dead!
The allspice and grapefruit flavors really shine in this perfectly balanced spiced libation. Plus, the name is really cool.
With rum, gin and brandy, this drink is kind of like the tropical Long Island, but the mint and orgeat (almond-flavored syrup) make it soooo much tastier.
Amaretto, lime and a cinnamon stick really bring out some great flavors in the mango puree. Even if you aren’t crazy about mango drinks, you might like this one.
Exactly how it sounds – a truly refreshing drink that’s a little lighter on the alcohol if you’re looking to pace yourself.
Putting in a little bit of coffee or Kahlua might sound a little odd, but it gives the drink a super interesting, complex pop of flavor. Give it a try with some homemade Kahlua.
Kind of like a pina colado, but so much cooler, spiced and more complex.
Because why on earth would you not drink a delicious passion fruit cocktail named after one of history’s greatest badasses?
With the mix of coffee, coconut, pineapple and SO MUCH RUM, how can anyone turn this one down?
Featured Photo Credit: Killing TimeTags: cocktail recipes, mai tai recipe, Thirsty Thursday, tiki drinks, tropical cocktail
8 Flower-Infused Cocktails For A Fancy Thirsty Thursday
By Cooking Panda
Spring is upon us! Put some flowers in your drinks with these beautiful floral cocktails. We’ll walk you through it.
First things first, make sure to buy only specially labeled edible flowers like food-grade orchids, nasturtiums, pansies, and snapdragons. Or grow them yourself, obviously.
If you really want to release the flavors of the flowers in your cocktails, we suggest muddling the blossoms to release their aroma. Place some stemless flowers and any herbs you are using in your cocktail shaker or glass. Add a splash of water and, if you’d like, sugar. With your muddler (wooden spoons work too), press down on the mixture and give it a few gentle twists until you can really smell the floral notes. Then mix the rest of your drink like usual.
Another way to amp up the flower power is to put the blossoms in a simple syrup. Mix equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and heat it until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn off the heat, add your flowers, and let the mixture cool for at least an hour. Strain the liquid and use it like you would any simple syrup.
And don’t forget to save a couple flowers for beautiful garnishes!
Here’s another stunningly gorgeous trick to jazz up your gin and tonic or any of the drinks below. The best part? It’s super easy but looks very elaborate.
This fizzy drink is light, crisp, refreshing, and oh so purple.
Super delicious on a warm day. Bonus: if you’ve recently lost your voice at a concert, this will fix you right up in no time.
The slight herbal flavor of the gin goes perfectly with blackberries and geraniums for an incredibly drinkable cocktail.
Like a Tom Collins, but with the added benefit of cucumbers and roses.
Lemon spice, peppery geraniums and smooth elderflower-flavored St. Germain combine to give this vodka cocktail a truly complex, sweet punch.
This sweet, herbal, fizzy drink is as beautiful as it is refreshing.
Can you improve upon perfection? In this case, yes, you sure can. Hints of orange blossoms, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg give the tropical drink a whole new level of excitement and drinkability.
Featured Photo Credit: DIY in PDXTags: cocktail recipes, floral cocktail recipe, flower cocktails, flower recipe, Thirsty Thursday