cocktails

Recipe: Blackberry Bourbon

It’s a Halloween Happy Hour! This blackberry bourbon cocktail was developed for maximum taste and spooky color without using any food coloring or hard-to-find coloring ingredients. It’s perfect for your Halloween festivities – whether you’re walking trick-or-treaters around the neighborhood, passing out candy to costumed kiddos, or watching your favorite scary movie. 

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz bourbon
1 oz honey syrup
0.5 oz ginger liqueur
2 dashes orange bitters 
4-5 blackberries 
0.5 oz fresh orange juice*

Muddle blackberries and orange juice in a cocktail shaker until all of the blackberries are crushed.

Add 3-4 ice cubes to the shaker.**

Add honey syrup, bourbon, ginger liqueur, and orange bitters. 

Shake well. 

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a glass. (Be patient! With all those fresh blackberries in your shaker, this step will take longer than usual.)

Enjoy your blackberry bourbon cocktail! 

*Fresh squeezed is important here! 

**You need just enough ice to chill your drink. Don’t load the shaker with ice or it’ll take even longer to strain your cocktail.

Blackberry Bourbon Cocktail

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Recipe: Apple Cider Sangria

Made with white wine, this crisp apple cider sangria has all the tastes of fall. It’s perfect for your next get together or just to have on hand in the fridge.

Ingredients

1 – 750ml bottle of dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc) 
½ cup apple brandy (I like Long Road)
1 ½ cups apple cider
1 oz lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
5 dashes aromatic bitters 
12 oz ginger beer
Apple slices for garnish

Combine wine, brandy, cider, lemon juice, and bitters in a large pitcher. 

Add apple slices and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

To serve:

Fill a glass with ice.

Add sangria to glass, filling ¾ full.

Top with a splash of ginger beer. 

Apple Cider Sangria

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Recipe: Spiced Apple Cocktail

This refreshing spiced apple cocktail is full of cozy fall spices. It’s the perfect sip on an autumn day.

Makes 1 cocktail.

1.5 oz apple vodka
1 oz apple liqueur (I used Du Nord)
0.75 oz brown sugar simple syrup 
0.25 oz lemon juice 
1 oz ginger ale

Combine everything except the ginger ale in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake well and strain into a glass filled with ice. 

Top with ginger ale. 

Enjoy your Spiced Apple Cocktail! 

Spiced Apple Cocktail

Recipe: Apple Orchard Cocktail

Skipping the traditional fall spices, apple vodka and elderflower liqueur keep this Apple Orchard Cocktail fresh and slightly floral.

Makes 1 cocktail. 

2 oz apple vodka
1 oz ginger syrup (recipe below)
0.5 oz apple brandy (I use Long Road)
0.25 oz elderflower liqueur
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes aromatic bitters 

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 

Shake up and strain into a glass.

Garnish with an apple slice, if desired.

Enjoy your Apple Orchard Cocktail! 


Ginger Syrup

¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Heat the water to boiling. Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Peel and slice the ginger. 

Add to the hot water and sugar mixture. 

Allow to cool to room temperature. 

Cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled. 

Note: The longer you leave the ginger in the syrup, the stronger the flavor. If possible, make the syrup a day or two ahead of making cocktails to allow the ginger more time to infuse the syrup. 

Apple Orchard Cocktail

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12 Easy Vodka Cocktails

Vodka is a super versatile liquor and one people often have on hand. Whether it’s your favorite spirit or you’re just starting out with vodka, give one of these vodka cocktails a try.

Did you give one of these a try? Leave me a comment on the recipe or send me a message! I’d love to know your thoughts.

Recipe: Cosmopolitan

A classic vodka cocktail that’s too often made with a heaping helping of cranberry juice. This cosmopolitan recipe brings the cranberry back in balance with its fellow ingredients for a crisp, tart drink.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz vodka
2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz triple sec
0.5 oz fresh lime juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well and strain into a martini glass.

Garnish with a wedge of lime or float a few cranberries in the glass.*

Enjoy your Cosmopolitan!

*Tip: Stash some fresh cranberries in your freezer for easy garnish and a way to keep your cosmo chilled.

Cosmopolitan

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Recipe: Bee’s Knees

This classic gin cocktail is a crisp blend of tart and sweet. It’s only 3 ingredients and perfectly refreshing.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz gin*
1 oz honey syrup
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake it up and strain into a glass.

Enjoy your Bee’s Knees!

*Pick your favorite gin for this one. If you’re new to gin, try a more neutral flavored gin like Beefeater or Aviation. My favorite is New Holland’s Knickerbocker Gin, made right here in West Michigan.

Bee's Knees Cocktail

DIY Liquor Infusions

Try out these 3 DIY liquor infusions, all made with easy-to-find ingredients and liquors. Each infusion also includes a custom cocktail recipe so you can get sipping and enjoying your new liquor creation.

Making your own flavored alcohol is fun, but can also be daunting. 

Liquor is expensive and you don’t want to risk a combination not tasting good. 

And once you’ve made it, what kind of cocktail do you use it in? 

Sometimes I don’t know what to do with an infusion – even the store bought ones. 

Below are 3 DIY liquor infusions made with easy-to-find ingredients and liquors. I’ve also included a cocktail recipe along with each infusion to help get you started sipping your new creation. 

Besides the recipe’s ingredients, all you need for infusing liquor is a clean, glass, pint jar with a lid, and a strainer



Note: Lemon is a popular choice for liquor infusions, but not one you’ll find here. I’m not a fan because (1) lemon can easily overpower any other flavor you infuse with it, and (2) lemon infusions taste a lot like cleaning products to me. But if you love lemon, give it a try!

DIY Liquor Infusions - Day 1
Infusions – Day 1…
DIY Liquor Infusions - Day 14
Infusions – Day 14!

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Strawberry Vodka – DIY Liquor Infusions

Vodka takes on a natural sweetness and beautiful color when infused with fresh strawberries. Use the strawberry vodka in the bright and refreshing cocktail below.

Make the Vodka:

Clean, hull, and slice 1 cup of fresh, ripe strawberries.

Put berries in a clean, 1 pint mason jar.

Fill the jar to the top with plain vodka.

Tightly cover the jar and put it in a cool, dark place – like a pantry or cupboard.

Let the jar sit for 14 days, gently swirling the jar every day or two.

After 14 days, strain the strawberries out of the vodka.

Discard the berry remnants.

Enjoy the vodka!

Strawberry Vodka - DIY Liquor Infusions

Make a Cocktail:

Place 2 oz strawberry vodka, 1 oz fresh orange juice, ½ oz fresh lemon juice, ½ oz simple syrup, and 4-5 mint leaves in a cocktail shaker full of ice.

Shake the mixture as hard as you can for 10-15 seconds to break up the mint.

Strain into a glass and top with a splash of lemon-lime soda.

Enjoy!


Make it a Gift:

Recipe card for Strawberry Vodka Cocktail

Infused strawberry vodka is a great DIY gift for a cocktail lover in your life.

A free, printable recipe card is available to go along with your jar of infused vodka.

Cut it out, attach it to the vodka, and make someone’s day!

Strawberry Cocktail made from infused strawberry vodka

Try these other DIY Liquor Infusions:


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission at no cost to you.

Apple Cinnamon Gin – DIY Liquor Infusions

Give gin a unique and spicy twist with this apple and cinnamon infusion. Once your apple cinnamon gin is ready, use it in the cocktail recipe below.

Make the Gin:

Wash, core, and slice 1 small apple.

Place the apple in a clean, 1 pint mason jar.

Add 1-2 cinnamon sticks. Fill the jar to the top with your favorite gin.*
(A more neutral gin like Beefeater or Aviation works best here.)

Tightly cover the jar and put it in a cool, dark place – like a pantry or cupboard.

Let the jar sit for 14 days, gently swirling the jar every day or two.

After 14 days, strain the apples and cinnamon out of the gin.

Discard the apple and cinnamon remnants.

Enjoy the gin!

DIY Liquor Infusions - Apple Cinnamon Gin

Make a Cocktail:

Pour 2 oz apple cinnamon gin over ice.

Add 1 oz honey simple syrup, 0.5 oz lemon juice and a splash of ginger ale.

Stir and enjoy. 

*Bourbon Option: Swap your favorite bourbon for the gin and follow all of the instructions outlined above, even the cocktail recipe!


Make it a Gift:

Recipe Card for Apple Cinnamon Gin Cocktail

Infused apple cinnamon gin is a great DIY gift for a cocktail lover in your life.

free, printable recipe card is available to go along with your jar of infused gin.

Cut it out, attach it to the gin, and make someone’s day!

Try these other DIY Liquor Infusions:


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, I make a small commission at no cost to you.

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