Cocktails anyone?

Spring into Happy Hour with a Green Machine Champagne Cocktail

Happy first official day of spring! Whether you’re surrounded by sunlight or still shivering in your sweaters, use today as an opportunity to drink something seasonal: our Green Machine. Made with earthy green tea, tart lime juice and a sprig of mint, this green cocktail is perfect for brunch or a night in. You may even gain a little bit of hope for warmer weather!

 

 

 

Green Machine

Ice

2 ounces chilled prepared green tea

1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce agave nectar or honey

Champagne

Fresh mint

 

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add green tea, lime juice and agave nectar or honey; shake well. Strain into 2 flutes, then top with champagne. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tip: Look for matcha green tea to create the greenest hued cocktail.

 

 

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The Rosy Mimosa

Happy Mulled Wine Day!

Here’s a fun fact that’s sure to ease your Monday blues: It’s Mulled Wine Day! Mulled wine is a classic cocktail that’s perfect for these chilly nights. It’s spicy, sweet and just strong enough to warm you from the inside out. While we usually associate white wine with being chilled, here’s a mulled wine recipe that calls for pinot grigio. It’s light, spiced and just sweet enough, it may even make your Monday feel like Friday. Cheers!

 

 

Spiced Mulled White Wine

 

1 lemon

1 (750ml) bottle white wine, such as pinot grigio

1/2 cup honey

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds

8 whole cloves

6 star anise pods

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

 

Using a peeler, zest lemon. In a saucepan, bring zest and remaining ingredients to a simmer over medium. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 10 minutes. Makes 4.

 

 

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Cocktails, Anyone? The Rosy Mimosa

Just two short days stand between you and the weekend, and even less time stands between you and happy hour. No matter what time your drinking activities begin, you should enjoy this blushing twist on a brunch classic: The Rosy Mimosa.

 

 

Not only do you swap out champagne for sparkling rosé wine, but also try using the juice of a Cara Cara orange, an extra juicy, low-acidity navel orange that’s pretty in pink. Here’s the full recipe:

 

Rosy Mimosa

1 part Cara Cara orange juice

2 parts sparkling rosé

 

Combine juice and rosé in a champagne flute and enjoy! Does it get much simpler than that? Cheers!

 

 

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Dirty Pickle Martini

Cocktails, Anyone?

Inspired by one of my friends’ favorite shots–the Pickle Back, a whiskey shot chased with pickle juice–the Dirty Pickle Martini is crisp, sour and salty all at once. Though I prefer all of my martinis made with gin, the Dirty Pickle Martini is especially tasty when made with gin. Get ready to say “Cheers!” with this super satisfying and lip puckering cocktail.

 

 

 

 

Get the recipe: Dirty Pickle Martini

 

 

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Negroni Time

Cocktails, Anyone?

I’ve always been fascinated by people with a “signature drink.” Not the type of drink that they have named after them, but the type of drink that they order all the time. I’ve always wondered, first, how did they find or decide on this drink? And second, what did their drink of choice say about them? Perhaps one of the reasons I was intrigued by these drinkers and their single cocktail devotion was that I didn’t have a signature drink of my own–that is until I discovered the Negroni.

 

 

How to Make a Negroni

Photo by Judith Pena

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A Blurry Bicicletta Cocktail

Cocktails, Anyone?

 

At brunch recently, an Italian friend of mine cancelled my normal brunch drink and ordered me a Bicicletta instead. “Trust me,” he said, laying on the Italian accent of course, “you’ll love it.” And he was right. Bitter, sweet, effervescent and not too strong, this vibrantly colored cocktail is a must for brunch or a summer picnic when you wanna mix it up. Get the supersimple 3-ingredient plus garnish recipe below.

 

 

The Bicicletta supposedly gets its name from the old Italian men who would wobble and swerve on their “biciclettas” (Italian for “bicycles”) on their way home after having a few too many to drink. Personally, I think it’s best made with a dry Italian white wine, such as pinot grigio, as it balances the bitter components of savory Campari. Play around with the amount of club soda you add too. The goal is to add enough club soda to make the drink light and sparkling, but not so much that you dilute the drink and it’s bright red color.

Bicicletta

Please forgive the bluriness of the photo, perhaps I had one too many biciclettas at that point.

 

Bicicletta

Makes 1 drink

2 ounces Campari, an Italian liqueur
2 ounces white wine, preferably Italian
club soda
lemon slice

  • Combine Campari, white wine and club soda.
  • Gently stir to mix–you don’t want to deflate the carbonation.
  • Garnish with lemon slice and enjoy.

 

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Keep Cool with Cucumber Cocktails

Cucumbers are cool…literally! Did you know that cucumbers are about 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature on a warm day? Yup, so put that in your cocktail. No, really–do it! As an unexpected cocktail ingredient favorite, cucumbers lend a light melon flavor and mouthwatering freshness to cocktail creations all year-round.  Keep reading below for to see how you can put this crunchy green in your cocktails.

 

 

Cucumber Cocktails

 

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A Star-Spangled Sparkling Sipper

Cocktails, Anyone?

 

Let’s be honest, I’ll drink bubbly anytime, but I find it especially satisfying when a celebration is afoot. So what could be more fitting than pairing the palatial fireworks of sparking wine with an Independence Day celebration? Nothing. Get the tasty recipe below.

 

Star-Spangled Berry Champagne Cocktail

Go red, white and blue with this champagne cocktail from our “Year of Champagne Cocktails” recipe collection. You’ll enjoy drinking this sparkler all monthlong with its all-American kicker, a homemade bourbon simple syrup!

 

Get the recipe: Star-Spangled Berry Cocktail

 
 

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Watermelon Cocktail Time

I love our Get Fresh column because, even though I freely confess to a dependency on Lay’s potato chips, I’m also a fresh fruit and vegetable enthusiast, especially in the summer. So I encourage you to check out (and tear out) “Get Fresh with Watermelon” in our July/August issue, which is full of fun facts and helpful tips.

 

What we didn’t have room to include is the recipe for my favorite watermelon cocktail. My sister, Anne, and I concocted it for our Sisters’ Secrets to Confident Entertaining newsletter long before I became editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray, but you guys are my priority now, so I’m sharing!

—Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief

Watermelon Quencher
Makes 2 drinks
2 ounces fresh watermelon juice*
1 ounce vodka
½ ounce triple sec
½ ounce fresh lemon juice

 

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake 10 to 15 times to chill. Pour, with ice, into a glass rimmed with a mixture of half sugar, half salt.

 

Extra credit: Tint the sugar-salt mix with a couple of drops of red food coloring.

 

*To help you with portions: We bought a watermelon wedge that weighed about 2 1/2 pounds. That yielded about 4 cups of chunks. Puree those in the food processor (if you’re not using a seedless melon, please remove the seeds first), strain the mixture through a sieve, and you get about 1 1/2 cups of juice—enough for six cocktails. For kids and designated drivers, the watermelon juice, with or without a squeeze of lemon, is great straight up or mixed with seltzer.

 

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I Heart Watermelon Cocktails

Pink cocktails are my guilty pleasure. They simultaneously appeal to my inner girly-girl and taste a-maz-ing, and yet, I rarely order them in public. After bartending many years ago on the opening night of the first Sex and the City movie and making over 200 Cosmopolitans, I don’t think I (or any other bartender for that matter) can look at a pink drink in the same way. That being said, I do make an exception for watermelon cocktails. Juicy sweet and irresistibly fresh, watermelon–in juice or puree form– is like putting summer into a glass. So when there’s a watermelon cocktail on a menu, you better believe I’m gonna order it, but since that can get expensive, here’s a few of my favorite watermelon drinks that you can make at home.

 

Watermelon

Photo by Plamen Petkov

 

Get the recipes:

 

 

Watermelon Quencher

Watermelon Quencher

This lovely libation from our Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Purcell, and her sister, Anne, will put smiles on everyone’s faces. Use a couple drops of red food coloring to tint the sugar-salt mixture for a colorful cocktail rim.

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

Two kinds of plums and a half of a watermelon is all you’ll need for this thirst-quenching sip. Use a melon baller to scoop balls out of the watermelon, then plop ‘em into your pitcher. How easy is that?!

Melon Patch Champagne Cocktail

Melon Patch Champagne Cocktail

From our “Year of Champagne Cocktails” recipe collection, this June-inspired sparkler combines slightly sweet watermelon, botanical-infused gin and savory rosemary to create a crisp, clean and ultra-refreshing concoction.

Watermelon Mint Cooler

Watermelon Mint Cooler

Mint and lime heighten the cooling and refreshing factors in this 4-ingredient cocktail. Make it by the pitcher for the easiest signature party cocktail ever!

 

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