Tag Archives: homemade happy hour

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: 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

Introducing Homemade Happy Hour, the ebook!

In January of 2015, I started focusing this blog around the idea of a “homemade happy hour” – recipes for drinks and snacks that could be made easily at home with minimal effort. 

A month later I found out I was pregnant. 

So much for developing and taste testing a bunch of drink recipes. And very quickly the blog took a BIG back seat to being a new mom.

Since then, the answer to “what would you do if you could do anything?” has been “produce a cocktail book.” It’s been 5 years and I still want to pursue this idea. That must mean something, right?

When I was furloughed from my job in June, I knew this was my chance to make this project a reality. 

So I turned publishing a cocktail ebook into a B.A.G. – Big Audacious Goal. It’s a new goal for me too – not one I set at the start of the year. Which means I haven’t spent the year focusing on it and planning it into my schedule – I just grabbed the idea and ran with it. (See also, why goals are adjustable.) 

This recipe’s in the book!
Bourbon Apple Cider
This one too.

I definitely have some suggestions for snacks, but my Homemade Happy Hour ebook is focused on the cocktail portion of happy hour. 

My goal with this ebook is to provide cocktails that have easy-to-find ingredients (even the liquors!) and take minimal effort. There are 18 cocktail recipes in the book – all of which fit this description. There are also 5 cocktail syrup recipes that can be made (1) with pantry ingredients and (2) well in advance of your happy hour so you can make your drinks even easier! 

Sound good? You can learn more or buy the ebook at the link below! 

Homemade Happy Hour ebook displayed on iPad and iPhone devices.

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.

Delicious & Easy Appetizers

Make something tasty to go along with your happy hour sips. These easy appetizers can be made in advance and reheated (if needed) when you’re ready to snack.

Did you make one of these easy appetizer recipes? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment on the recipe or message me.

Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade

This refreshing strawberry lemonade is all grown up! You can easily keep it all ages by leaving out the vodka.

2 oz vodka
2 oz strawberry simple syrup (recipe below)
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
3-4 oz club soda
Mint sprig

Fill a tall glass with ice. 

Add vodka, strawberry syrup and lemon juice. 

Give the mint a clap between your hands, then add it to the glass. 

Top with club soda. 

Stir and enjoy your strawberry lemonade!

Make it a mocktail – Just leave out the vodka!

Strawberry Simple Syrup: 

1 ½ cups fresh ripe strawberries
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Clean the strawberries. Remove the tops and slice the berries in half.

Combine berries, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Carefully pour strawberry mixture into the strainer. Using a spatula, gently press the berry mixture into the strainer until all berries are crushed and all liquid has been pressed through to the bowl below. Discard the berry remnants left in the strainer. 

Refrigerate syrup until ready to use. 

Strawberry Lemonade

Recipe: Blackberry Vanilla Martini

Blackberry and vanilla are a perfect pair. Adding lime to the mix creates a refreshing summer cocktail in this blackberry vanilla martini.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz simple syrup
½ oz lime juice
4-5 fresh blackberries
4-5 fresh mint leaves

Muddle mint, blackberries and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.

Add ice, simple syrup and vodka. 

Shake well. 

Pour through a fine mesh sieve held over a coupe or martini glass.* 

Enjoy your blackberry vanilla martini!

*This step keeps the blackberry seeds and mint pieces out of your cocktail. If you don’t mind some berry and mint pieces in your drink, feel free to skip it. 🙂

Blackberry Vanilla Martini

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Recipe: Coffee Old Fashioned

Coffee and bourbon are the perfect pair in this take on a classic Old Fashioned cocktail.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz bourbon
1 oz cold coffee
1/2 oz brown sugar syrup
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
4 dashes chocolate bitters

Stir everything together with ice in a large glass or cocktail shaker. 

Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.

Garnish with a couple cherries and/or an orange peel. 

Enjoy your Coffee Old Fashioned!

Coffee Old Fashioned

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Recipe: (Not Quite A) Paloma

It started off as a craving for a Paloma, but I didn’t have any grapefruit soda. So now it’s not quite a Paloma. But it IS easy and delicious!

Makes 1 cocktail.

3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
2 oz white tequila
1 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Place everything in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake it all up. Strain into a glass filled with ice.


Recipe: Espresso Martini

Sweet and strong, this easy Espresso Martini cocktail is the perfect replacement for the traditional after-dinner coffee.

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 oz strong brewed, cold coffee
1 oz vodka
0.75 oz coffee liqueur
4 dashes chocolate bitters

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a martini glass.

Enjoy your espresso martini!

If you prefer cream in your coffee, add 1 oz of half and half along with the rest of the ingredients in the cocktail shaker.

Espresso Martini

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