Be your own bartender with a top-notch, five-bottle home bar that lets you make pretty much any popular cocktail and costs only $100. We’ll drink to that!
Five spirits experts share the bottles that deliver the best bang for your Benjamin. Try these pro picks to make your living room the best bar in town!
Plantation 3 Stars White Rum ($18 for 750 ml)
“This is one of my favorite white rums for any budget. An aged blend of Caribbean rums, it adds hints of tropical fruit to any drink, especially a daiquiri.” —Blair Reynolds, owner of bar and restaurant Hale Pele in Portland, OR
Another great pick
Boozy Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum will wake up a mai tai—or any tiki drink. ($19 for 750 ml)
Citadelle Gin ($25 for 750 ml)
“Leave it to the French to come up with a delightfully flavorful gin. (No wonder: it’s made with nearly 20 herbs, roots, spices and flowers.) It pairs particularly well with citrus. One Tom Collins, please.” —Paul Clarke, author of The Cocktail Chronicles
Another great pick
Juniper-heavy Gordon’s London Dry Gin is a steal, and ideal in a gin and tonic. ($13 for 750 ml)
Pueblo Viejo Blanco ($18 for 750 ml)
“This blanco tequila (which isn’t aged) is distilled in a traditional way. It has a citrusy, earthy flavor that shines in a margarita.” —Courtenay Greenleaf, corporate beverage director at Rosa Mexicano restaurants
Another great pick
Spicy Cimarrón Blanco offers fresh agave flavor. ($20 for 750 ml)
Tito’s Handmade Vodka ($21 for 750 ml)
“Corn-based Tito’s is one of the most bright- tasting, clean vodkas around—which is why it’s so delicious on the rocks or in a martini. I also love that it’s from Austin, my hometown.” —Christina Cabrera, bar consultant at San Francisco’s Barbarossa Lounge
Another great pick
Crisp Gruven Handcrafted Vodka, made from wheat and rye, is a cocktail go-to. ($11 for 750 ml)
W. L. Weller Special Reserve ($18 for 750 ml)
“I don’t make cocktails with anything I wouldn’t drink on its own. This bourbon has a sophisticated sweetness balanced by a fiery kick, which makes it great neat and in a mixed drink.” —Michael Neff, bar director at NYC’s Holiday Cocktail Lounge
Another great pick
Aged in charred oak barrels, Jim Beam Black is just as complex as pricier bourbons. ($22 for 750 ml)
By Joshua M. Bernstein; Photography by Aaron Dyer
Though we rarely need an excuse to drink wine, here’s a good one: It’s National Drink Wine Day! While a nice glass of red will certainly do the trick, a holiday like this deserves something a little more special, like a sparkling cocktail or a wintry mulled punch. And while you’re add it, infuse your meal with some vino, too! As Julia Child once said, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food!”
Champagne, cava and prosecco all sparkle, but they’re not the same. Get to know them a little better with this handy cheat sheet.
The Champagne region in northern France
Can be toasty and dry (i.e. not sweet); available in a range of colors, from light golden to pink
A special occasion. Champagne uses high-quality grapes and takes longer to age, so it’s often the most expensive of the three. Save it for the times when you really want to celebrate.
The Catalonia region in northeast Spain
Earthier, fruitier and often less expensive than Champagne
A weekend party with friends. The crowd-pleasing flavor and budget-friendly price makes this sparkling wine great for a group. And who says you have to start the party with bubbles? Spaniards sometimes serve cava after a meal.
The Veneto region in northeast Italy
Light, crisp and apple-y; usually the sweetest and least expensive of the three sparklers
A leisurely Sunday brunch. You can sip prosecco on its own, and it also makes a great cocktail mixer. Thanks to its super-affordable price and low alcohol, bottomless mimosas can be had by all!
No matter which bubbly you choose, you can whip up a killer cocktail for your New Years Eve party. Here are some of our faves:
The dog days of summer are upon us, and while we’re all about keeping hydrated, sometimes you need something stiffer. These cocktails are refreshing, delicious and super seasonal– you may even forget how hot it is after all!
The best way to celebrate Wine Wednesday during the summer? Chill out! A bottle of white wine on ice is great, but a pitcher of sangria or a fruity spritz is even better. So try one of these deliciously cooling cocktail this evening, and Wine Wednesday may never be the same again.
The Kentucky Derby may be over, but its famous cocktail, the Mint Julep, lives on– it’s National Mint Julep Day! So in honor of this fresh and strong cocktail, we’re sharing our best recipe. T-G-I-Saturday, right?
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
5 fresh mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
1/2 cup bourbon (4 ounces)
Add the sugar, the mint leaves and a few drops of the bourbon to a chilled glass. Muddle or crush the mint with a spoon to create a thick paste.
Add a handful of crushed ice to the glass. Place a straw so that it reaches the mint paste at the bottom of the glass. Pour the remaining bourbon over the ice.
Add more crushed ice, making a mound that reaches to the top of the glass and leaving about 1 inch of the straw peeking above the rim.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
For a fun twist on the Mint Julep, try our Rye Julep, with a hint of grapefruit!
The classic Italian cocktail is getting shaken and stirred into all kinds of delicious treats. During Negroni Week, June 1-7, participating bars and restaurants around the country are serving up fresh takes on the tipple and donating at least $1 from each sale to a charity of choice. Check out some of our picks for places to get your Negroni on. Cheers!
The Negroni pie at Brooklyn’s Butter & Scotch stars a custard of Campari, gin and vermouth. (butterandscotch.com)
For a dessert of pillow-soft Negroni marshmallows, hit Cambridge, MA’s Ames Street Deli. (amesstreetdeli.com)
Gin-flavored ice cream meets vermouth, Campari and Cheerwine in the Cheergroni float at Chuck’s in Raleigh, NC. (ac-restaurants.com/chucks)
The Negroni pop at San Francisco’s Humphry Slocombe blends the cocktail’s spirits with grapefruit juice. (humphryslocombe.com)
Serve yourself! To make a classic Negroni, stir equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in an ice-filled rocks glass (strain to serve if you wish). Garnish with orange peel.
By Erin Meister
It turns out that whiskey is such a beloved spirit, it doesn’t just get a national holiday—it gets a global one! Today we’ll celebrate World Whiskey Day by imbibing one of the most versatile and delicious liquors out there. And, since it wouldn’t be a true holiday without a sweet ending, we’ll put a splash of whiskey in our dessert, too. Cheers to that!
Partygoers will be pumped to chip away at this spread
From the April issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine
Cocktail: Classic Margaritas
Mocktail: Watermelon Agua Fresca
Food: Classic Nachos
Dessert: Mexican Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes
With just a week and a half until the Superbowl, it’s time to start thinking about the snacks and drinks you’ll be serving (or bringing!) during the game. This year, instead of picking up a few six packs of your favorite brew, incorporate it into a show-stopping cocktail that might even steal the spotlight from the halftime show. We’ve got a recipe for any type of beer drinker, from the traditionalist to the trend-setter. They’re bound to score a taste bud touchdown!
For the (almost) beer purist: Lager & Lemon-Limeade