Happy Almost-Fourth! We’ve got the perfect cocktail for your holiday BBQs. Super easy to make with a great sweet-sour balance. And you can leave out the alcohol to make a fun sparkling drink for the kids, too.
Sweet + Sour Cherry Sparkler (slightly adapted from The Kitchn)
– 2 ounces vodka
– 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 ounce cherry simple syrup (recipe below)
– sparkling water
– fresh basil for garnish
Combine vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Pour over crushed ice into a glass and top with sparkling water. Garnish with fresh basil. If making it for kiddos, shake lemon juice and simple syrup only. Pour over crushed ice and top with lots of sparkling water.
Cherry Simple Syrup (from The Kitchn)
– 1 cup water
– 3/4 granulated sugar
– 1 cup ripe cherries, pitted*
In a small saucepan heat the water, sugar, and cherries until the sugar has completely melted. Using a potato masher, smash the cherries. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, discarding solids. Chill to room temperature.
*if you don’t have a fancy cherry pitter (I don’t), you can push the cherry pits out using a pastry tip.
There are few things that make me as happy as a cold pitcher of sangria just waiting to be served (especially on a warm spring or summer evening). Last year for my birthday Jim actually gave me a case of wine with a gift certificate for 12 batches of sangria anytime I wanted. It was a lovely and thoughtful gift which resulted in many an impromptu bbqs with our neighbors just because we had some sangria to celebrate with. So, now that the weather is finally starting to heat up I made my first batch of sangria of the season.
I’ve been fiddling around with perfecting my recipe over the last few years. This recipe isn’t very sweet but just sweet enough. While a lot of sangrias use brandy in addition to the wine, I have started using dark rum. It kinda happened by accident the first time because I didn’t have any brandy on hand, but I was so happy with how it turned out that I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It is also equally good with or without the addition of some sparkling water. Since you all know that I am addicted to sparkling water, I can’t help myself but it definitely isn’t necessary.
Classic Spanish Sangria (by A Feteful Life)
1 1/2 cups dark rum (spiced rum would probably work as well)
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 (750ml) bottle of dry red wine
1 cup orange juice
1 liter sparkling water (optional)
Thinly slice the orange and lemons. In a large pitcher combine the rum, orange juice, wine and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced fruit to the pitcher and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve crush the fruit lightly with a large spoon. You can either add the liter of sparking water to the entire pitcher or mix it into each glass individually. Cheers!
My husband is a big fan of bourbon (and scotch) and while he normally drinks them straight or on the rocks, I’m always on the hunt for a good cocktail for him to mix things up. For his speakeasy birthday party this year we served a classic sidecar, which uses cognac as the main ingredient along with cointreau and lemon juice. It was delicious but I figured it might be even better substituting the bourbon for the cognac. I was right!
In addition to substituting the bourbon for the cognac, I also decide to serve it over some crushed ice and top it off with some sparkling water. So, essentially, it’s not a true sidecar anymore but the flavor profile is still there and it is delicious!
Sparkling Bourbon Sidecar (recipe by A Feteful Life)
2 ounces quality bourbon
1 ounce cointreau
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, cointreau and lemon juice. Shake to combine. Strain into a old fashioned glass filled with ice. Top off with club soda and garnish with a lemon or orange wedge.