I am by no means a cocktail expert, but I am definitely a hobbyist bartender. My husband and I have a nightly ritual to get our kids to bed, get the kitchen and den cleaned up, put on our comfy pants, and enjoy a nice drink together. When you don’t get to go out much, little things like that can feel like a date. I finally decided to make this page in order to have all of my favorite cocktails in one place.
One of my top two favorite drinks. Muddle an orange slice, a lemon slice, a cherry, a spoon full of sugar (or simple syrup) and 4 dashes Angostura bitters. Add bourbon, top with a splash of soda.
My other top two favorite is the Manhattan. Bourbon or Rye (I tend to go with Rye lately), sweet vermouth, and bitters. So good.
This is one of my favorites, a slightly fruitier whiskey sour. Orange juice, lemon juice, grenadine, and bourbon or rye. Here’s a recipe.
I love a classic whiskey sour with bourbon or rye. This version I make by substituting maple syrup for simple syrup and meyer lemon for regular lemon juice.
A must when it’s super cold or I’m catching a cold. A shot of whiskey, a tablespoon of honey, the juice of an entire lemon, a couple cloves, maybe some fresh ginger, all topped with boiling water.
Bourbon+ Honeysuckle Syrup+Lemon+Soda
This one from Smitten Kitchen involves making a fancy syrup, but it was delicious, and the syrup later served as dressing for my version of her winter fruit salad, too.
This was an attempt to recreate a $14 drink my husband had at a bar in LA. It was similar to a Manhattan, but instead of just 2 parts whiskey and 1 part sweet vermouth, it had 2 oz whiskey, 1/2 oz sweet vermouth, and 1/2 oz orange liqueur.
Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda, and an orange slice.
Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, bourbon, and simple syrup. I think it would be fantastic with rosemary or thyme syrup.
Thanks to my beloved Blenheim super spicy ginger ale, this is more than just a ginger snap, it’s a ginger SLAP. Bourbon, apple cider, bitters, and Blenheim red cap if you’re brave, gold cap if you’re less interested in your nose burning.
I created this at my 30th birthday party and convinced a friend that she didn’t hate gin after all. Gin, 2 dashes Black Walnut Bitters, and tonic, garnished with an orange slice and stirred with a cinnamon stick.
Another favorite with my friends who think they hate gin, this is honey lemony goodness. I got my recipe from Not Without Salt.
I’m a huge fan of Deep Eddy’s grapefruit vodka. It’s a lazy way to feel like you’re having a fancy drink. Just mix with tonic or soda and add a twist of lime.
The first drink I ever had and a favorite of The Dude, this one is like adult chocolate milk. Recipe here.
Bloodys can get complicated fast. I make a simple version most of the time, based on the recipe from Tito’s Vodka that I couldn’t find on their website but thankfully saved on Pinterest: 2 oz vodka, 4 oz tomato juice, 4 dashes of worcestershire sauce, 3 dashes of tabasco sauce, pinch of kosher salt, pinch of coarse ground pepper, juice of a fresh lemon or lime.
Traditionally served in a copper mule mug, but great even out of a mason jar, this is a super simple cocktail. It’s traditionally made with ginger beer, but I often use ginger ale if I don’t have the ginger beer handy. It’s basically vodka+lime juice+simple syrup+ginger beer, though if you use ginger ale, you can skip the syrup.
This twist on a traditional mule uses rosemary simple syrup.
Swap grapefruit for lime and you’ve got a grapefruit mule.