Sure beer is good and, depending on who you ask, wine is even better. But you don’t have to stick to just two types of drinks when relaxing at home. There are countless delicious drinks you can make right in your own kitchen. Below, you’ll find a few you simply must try, whether you’re a complete novice or an expert mixologist.
1. The Cosmopolitan
Whether you’ve been to a lot of swanky bars or you’ve seen Sex and the City one too many times, you’ve probably heard of the cosmopolitan. This iconic cocktail is bright pink and packs a powerful fruit-forward punch. It’s the perfect drink for every celebration, from birthday parties to baby showers.
Pour the vodka, lemon juice, cranberry juice, Cointreau and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds before straining into a martini glass. Squeeze a fresh lime wedge and serve. Garnish with a lime wheel if you want to feel like Carrie Bradshaw in NYC.
2. Humble Pie
Fall is the perfect time for apple pie but, if you’re craving this sweet treat any other time of year, it might be hard to find. Luckily, you can enjoy this drinkable version instead. Take a skip of humble pie, the holiday beverage that’s delicious all year round.
Add apple brandy, blended scotch, ginger syrup, demerara syrup, allspice dram, bitters and black pepper to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with candied ginger and serve. Bonus points if you add vanilla ice cream and blend it into a shake.
3. Chai Hot Toddy
Perhaps winter’s got you in the mood for something warm and comforting. That’s when this chai hot toddy recipe will come in handy. If espresso is your thing, you can easily make this drink dirty and add a shot or two just before serving.
First, bring six cups of water to a rolling boil. Add eight chai tea bags, cover and steep for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk and sugar to a boil, constantly stirring it so that the milk doesn’t scald. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the tea, add the spiced rum and serve. If you’re hosting a party, keep a large batch in your slow cooker and turn the heat on low.
4. Mason Jar Margaritas
Love tequila? Try a jargarita! Simply put, the drink is a margarita in a mason jar, so it’s highly portable and easy to prepare ahead of time. The alcohol content ensures the margaritas stay slushie, too, so they’re ready to go right out of the freezer.
Simply mix water, frozen limeade, lime juice, tequila and Paula’s Texas Orange or Cointreau in a large pot or bowl. Ladle the mixture into mason jars, slap on the lids and store them in the freezer. They’ll be ready for sipping in about four hours so ready your paper straws and lime wheels.
5. Spiced Cranberry and Rose Sangria
Sangria might sound like a holiday drink, but it’s a year-round staple in many parts of the U.S. Plus, it’s super easy to make and has a high ABV, so just a glass or two is sure to take the edge off. This recipe makes one large batch that you can store in a pitcher in your refrigerator.
In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cloves, allspice and cinnamon stick. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl and add two diced Granny Smith apples and two cups of cranberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The following day, strain the fruit but save the syrup and combine one three-fourths cup of it with the Cointreau, rosé, port, cranberry juice and fruit. Refrigerate and serve in wine glasses over ice.
6. Shirley Temple
The Shirley Temple is a classic drink so, if you haven’t tried it yet, you simply must. Yes, this beverage is actually a virgin cocktail, a mocktail, if you will. It won’t leave you tipsy, but it is kid-friendly, which means fun for the whole family!
Simply pour six ounces of lemon-lime flavored soda into an ice-filled glass. Sprite, 7-Up and similar carbonated drinks work well in this recipe. Add a dash of grenadine and a few maraschino cherries and serve. Add silly straws for double the fun.
Shaking It Up in the Kitchen
You don’t have to be a mixologist or liquor connoisseur to enjoy great cocktails at home. All you need are the right ingredients, a few basic tools and a little bit of passion. Invest in top-shelf spirits for the tastiest drinks and experiment with DIY syrups and infusions. If you lean into your creative side, who knows what you’ll shake up in the kitchen.