Enjoy the postseason with a libation or two
Baseball season isn't over yet, celebrate the postseason with team-inspired cocktails.
Cracker Jacks, hot dogs, 10-ounce beers. The crack of the bat and the strong gust of wind you feel when sitting up in the nosebleed section of your favorite team’s home stadium. These fantastic things are just some of the treats that one gets to enjoy at a baseball game. With the changing of seasons from summer to fall, so comes a much bigger change, the change from regular season baseball to postseason baseball.
There is a real appeal to baseball in the trekking out to the home team’s field, sitting in whatever seats are available, and watching one of America’s favorite pastimes. And although the traditional beverage of choice at a baseball game may be an ice-cold beer, why not get creative and enjoy a cocktail or two in support of your favorite team?
To really step up to the plate, we’ve put together some cocktails that give special shouts to some of the teams that are getting a lot of hype going into postseason. Whether you’re having baseball game-watching parties at your home, going to a bar, or even going to the games, stir up some of these cocktails to really get in the batting spirit. Cheers, and may the best team win!
Click here for the drinks inspired by the Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, the New York Yankees, and more.
— Sara Kay, The Spir.it
There’s nothing like seeing a baseball game at Safeco Field. Or any other stadium, for that matter, but I like Safeco best — especially when my pal Mark shares one of his season-ticket-holder seats.
To flip the ball over, though, I also believe that listening to a baseball game on the radio in your own backyard when the team’s on the road is pretty special. It’s better than watching a game on T.V. any ol’ day, especially any sunny day.
While baseball tends to be associated with beer (hence the “hey, beer man” yelps at games), I think, now and again when I’m pondering such things between innings, that our national pastime deserves and goes dandy with a good cocktail. I’m shaded into the current camp that sees the Mariners as showing some signs of better things to come but I also know supporting our local heroes sometimes needs to be accompanied by a strong drink. The following, while maybe not designed for baseball, fit this cocktail bill like a glove. And all go well with peanuts.
The Enchanted Field
On good days for our home team the field seems to have an otherworldly nature —it’s where heroic and wacky things happen. This drink can help replicate that feeling when listening to the team play an away game, especially if Alex Liddi is in the lineup. Just follow the recipe from Dark Spirits: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add 1-1/2 ounces rye (I’d suggest a High West rye if you can find it), 1 ounce Strega (a golden Italian liqueur), 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1/4 ounce simple syrup. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Have this one in honor of Rusty Kuntz, who may never have played for Seattle but who is as far as I know the only baseball player who shares my birthday (you can toast Rusty Staub, too, if you want). Also, this has that sweet-with-a-kick nature that sometimes goes hand-in-hand with being a fan. This version of the classic is out of Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz. Add ice cubes to an Old Fashioned glass until it’s about halfway full. Add two ounces Scotch (a nice blended variety like the Famous Grouse) and 1 ounce Drambuie. Stir briefly.
Drink this when watching the Robert Redford classic of the same name or reading the Malmud novel it’s based on, but also drink it when listening to any young prospect knock the ball around or throw a perfect inning (Danny Hultzen might soon be good for the latter). This recipe’s from Dark Spirits: Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes and then add 2 ounces dark rum, 1 ounce brandy, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 ounce orgeat syrup, and 1/2 ounce grenadine (B.G. Reynolds is a good brand for both syrups). Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
The Set Up
There’s thanklessness to being a setup man. You don’t have the glamour of the starting pitcher or the drama of the closer. In my mind all the setup hurlers and one time setup hurlers deserve a cocktail sipped just for them, even without the accolades. And this is it, with a recipe from Good Spirits: Fill an Old Fashioned or other short squat glass with ice cubes, add 2 ounces whiskey (I suggest Woodinville Mash Bill No. 9 bourbon), 1-1/2 ounce fresh orange juice, and 1/2 ounce Pernod. Stir everything with a miniature bat.
This drink from days of yore may be a bit tuxedo-with-tails for baseball at first glance. But darn it, the King on our team deserves a little sparkling reverence and there’s nothing that shows appreciation better than a glass of bubbly. And besides, I’d be willing to bet at least an order of waffle fries with cheese sauce that Babe Ruth slurped his fair share of Champagne. And channeling the sure swings of his bat on any night couldn’t hurt us. This recipe is also from Dark Spirits: Put one or two ice cubes in a Champagne flute or a plastic glass from the ballpark. Add 2 ounces Cognac or brandy and then fill with chilled brut Champagne or sparkling wine. Stir briefly.
These pitcher cocktails serve groups, but you'll want them all to yourself.
Here are 13 recipes for pitcher cocktails that your guests will love.
2 tbsp honey
.25 cup (60 ml) warm water
1 cup (240 ml) Little Black Dress pineapple honey-flavored vodka
.25 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
.5 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Lemon slices, for garnish
Dissolve the honey in the warm water by microwaving for 30 seconds. In a pitcher, combine the vodka, honey water, and lemon juice. Add a couple of leaves of basil and 2 dashes of bitters to 4 to 6 mason jars or glasses and muddle with a wooden spoon. Add ice.
Top each with club soda. Garnish with the lemon slices and serve.
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12 oz Aviation American Gin
6 oz freshly pressed lemon juice
4 oz freshly pressed orange juice
4 oz organic strawberry jam syrup*
6 oz s parkling apple cider
6 oz soda water
In a large mixing bowl, add spirits & mixers, excluding cider, soda water and ice. Cover and cool. When ready to serve, add the cider cider, soda water, ice and stir. Garnish with sliced strawberries and orange wheels.
*Strawberry jam syrup: combine 2 oz jam with 2 oz heated water and stir until jam is dissolved, let cool.
6 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
6 oz Skinos Mastiha Liqueur
14 oz Pisco Control C
6 oz fresh lime juice
14 oz sparkling wine or dry prosecco
20 sage leaves
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Combine all the ingredients together in a punch bowl. Mix with a ladle. Add ice and garnish with six wheels of pink grapefruit, lime and lemon.
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2 pounds fresh red seedless grapes, plus 1 cup sliced
1/2 cup clover honey
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup vodka, very cold
1 bottle rose sparkling wine, very cold
Combine grapes, honey and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
Pour into pitcher. Add the vodka and sliced grapes. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Add the rose to the mixture just upon serving.
12 cucumber slices
18 oz Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
12 oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato
6 oz Verjus
6 oz lime juice
6 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey: 1 part water)
12 oz sparkling wine
All the ingredients minus the sparking wine should be whip shaken (a short and quick shake) and then fine strained over ice in the punch bowl. Top off with the bubbles and additional cucumber wheels. Serve in punch cups, garnished with extra cucumber slices.
16 meyer lemons (or 11 bar lemons)
¾ cup Crown Maple Syrup Medium Amber
2.5 qts water
¼ fresh vanilla bean
8 oz vodka or white rum
Juice lemons and place into a 3 qt pitcher (you need at least a pint or 16 fl-oz of juice. Add Crown Maple Dark Amber, vodka or rum, and water. Cut vanilla bean in half, and scrape half of one of the halves into the lemonade (you can add the scraped pod quarter in the mix too).
12 parts Q Club Soda
12 parts Q Tonic
6 parts Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
8 parts Cocchi Americano Italian White Vermouth
12 parts dry white wine
2 cups sliced winter citrus (pink grapefruit, mandarin oranges, Cara Cara, lemon)
.5 cup pomegranate arils
Mint for garnish
Combine Solerno, Cocchi Americano, and wine in a bowl and stir. Add sliced citrus and pomegranate arils, cover and refrigerate overnight to allow fruit to macerate. When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to a pitcher, top with Q Club Soda, Q Tonic and stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a sprig of mint.
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6 oz Macchu Pisco
3 oz pineapple-cinnamon syrup*
2 oz lime juice
2 oz Cocchi Rosa
4 sprays clove tincture*
40 dashes Peychaud&rsquos bitters
6 oz club soda
Limes wheels, for garnish
Cloves, for garnish
Stir all ingredients except club soda together in a large shaker or punch bowl, then stir in club soda. Garnish with lime wheels studded with cloves.
*Clove Tincture: Let cloves infuse into high-proof vodka for 4-5 days.
*Pineapple-Cinnamon Syrup: Buy Small Hand Foods Pineapple syrup. Add a cinnamon stick and let it infuse overnight.
7 oz Four Roses bourbon
7 oz iced tea
3.5 oz mint simple syrup
3.5 oz lemon juice
5 oz water
Combine all ingredients in a bottle or pitcher. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a mint spring.
1 bottle Aperol
1 bottle Prosecco
.75 L chilled seltzer
Combine the Aperol, Prosecco, and seltzer in a pitcher. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with an orange slice.
6 oz Grey Goose vodka
6 oz lime juice
3 oz St Germain
1.5 oz simple syrup
18 oz Champagne
Berries and thin sliced lime wheels (for garnish)
Muddle berries in a preparation bowl then add vodka, lime juice, St Germain, and simple syrup stir and strain. Add mixture to serving bowl. When ready to serve add ice and top with Champagne. Garnish with berries and thin sliced lime wheels.
1 part Milagro Silver tequila
.5 part Ancho Reyes
1 part mandarin juice
.5 part lime juice
.5 part agave nectar
1 part Vanilla Dry Soda
Combine all ingredients except soda and stir to mix well. Top with soda and garnish with lime wheels and dry ancho chile strips or garnished glass with dry ancho chile confetti over dehydrated lime wheel.
&ndashCreated by Jaime Salas, Milagro Tequila National Brand Ambassador
Buy Now Milagro Silver Tequila, from $18.99
6 oz Montelobos Espadín mezcal
3 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 oz Campari
6 oz pomegranate juice
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz agave syrup
4 oz cava
Build in small tin. Combine mezcal, vermouth, Campari, pomegranate juice, lemon and lime juice, and agave syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into punch bowl and finish with cava. Place 3 large ice cubes into bowl. Garnish with 2 dehydrated orange wheels, 3 lime wheels, and 2 bar spoons of pomegranate seeds. Serve with chilled toasted avocado leaf salt half-rimmed coupe glasses. Garnish with dehydrated orange and 3 pomegranate seeds.
&ndashCreated by Courtenay Greenleaf, master mezcalier at Rosa Mexicano
The double-shake method is key to this cocktail’s texture. The first round is to break up the egg white the second is to chill and froth the drink.
A beer cocktail for whiskey lovers, starring Highwest Campfire, a cold lager, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
Watch the skilled Dominic Venegas teach Fox News how to make Father's Day-themed cocktails like the 'Founding Father' and the Papa-loma.
Despite states lifting stay-at-home orders, some businesses are still not up and running, which means it might be challenging to follow normal Father’s Day traditions like tickets to a baseball game or drinks at his favorite watering hole. But you can still make new memories and give your dad, grandpa, or father figure the celebration or "cheers" that he deserves with recipes and tips from experts across the cocktail spirit industry.
Check out the recipes below for some ideas, but first, learn a few tricks of the trade from the master distillers and mixologists behind some of the industry's biggest brands. After all, if you're making cocktails with dad, it never hurts to have a few dad-like anecdotes (and jokes) to share while clinking glasses.
Fox News: What's some drink-making lingo that fathers and their kids can use to feel like a bartender?
Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris: As a dad, it is part of my duties to embarrass my drinking-age children. So [I like to attempt] a James Bond accent, and asking if your kids prefer their drinks "shaken or stirred" when taking orders. Quiz them on the difference between serving a Bourbon "straight up" or "neat." When making a Julep or a Smash, talk about "bruising" the mint or fruit as opposed to "muddling" it. How soon should a drink be served before it "wilts"? Does using egg whites in a "sour" also make it a "flip"? Drop these terms during the cocktail hour and you are sure to impress.
Belvedere Global Brand Education & Training Manager Alice Farquhar: [Dads and their drinking-age children] should get to know the equipment and tools to make the most of creating an experience around the drink. From the jigger, bar spoon, hawthorne strainer, fine strainer, shaker and mixing glass, these are just a few of the pieces that can help bring precision and flair to the experience of creating a cocktail. They also happen to look beautiful on display, and you can have fun using them and emulating your most revered bartenders. Glassware is also a nice touch to enhance the presentation of the drink.
Trust us, it tastes better this way. (iStock)
Fox News: What's a major mistake to avoid when it comes to whiskey?
Blackened Whiskey Master Distiller and Blender Rob Dietrich: I would avoid overpowering a great whiskey with too many cocktail ingredients. You need to trust your palate when it comes to whiskey, and to do that, it's important to taste the whiskey in your cocktail. Also, if you are spending the money on a high-end whiskey, enjoy it neat or with just a small dash of filtered water to allow the whiskey to open up and bloom. The best part is enjoying the learning process! Challenge yourself to try new whiskeys and you might be surprised at what you might like.
Fox News: What are some important tips when it comes to combining ingredients?
Chad Solomon, director of trade advocacy and innovation for Cooper Spirits: Water is an important and often overlooked component of a good whiskey cocktail, so failing to consider the impact of water on a cocktail and its role in a well-balanced drink is a mistake to avoid. Furthermore, avoid over-stirring an Old-Fashioned, as you want it just a tad under diluted. This will give the drink a long enjoyable arc as it continues to dilute and evolve from the ice it's served on. I recommend using a single 2-inch-by-2-inch cube as it melts slower.
Caledonia Spirits Beverage Director Sam Nelis: You'll often hear people talk about how they wouldn't want to ruin a good craft gin by mixing it into a cocktail, but I look at this quite differently. You wouldn't ever think organic heirloom tomatoes are too good to put in a salad, so I always tell people that quality spirits make quality cocktails. When it comes to making a cocktail, I recommend grabbing a well-made gin and using that spirit to set the standard for the rest of the drink. Fresh, local, or homemade cocktail ingredients — like syrups, tonics, juices, and garnishes — will pair perfectly with a quality spirit to make a fantastic cocktail.
Farquhar: We are all about keeping things all-natural and honest. Stick to fewer but better ingredients and focus on quality over quantity. Use seasonal, locally sourced all-natural ingredients rather than pre-made over-the-counter juices and syrups. This will enable a fresh and true flavor and bring authenticity to the drink. Always consider the balance of acidity and sweetness, they should complement each other and not overpower. Perhaps consider using honey to sweeten as a nice alternative to sugar syrup.
Fox News: What about some ‘teachable’ facts for fathers or father figures to deliver to their drinking-age kids?
Nelis: Around the 1750s, England drastically increased how much it was taxing its gin producers and retailers. Pub owners started posting wooden signs in the shape of a black cat on the outside of their establishment, secretly signaling to people that they had gin on hand. Folks would stop by, deposit some coins — often in the mouth of the cat — and a shot of gin would come pouring out for them to drink quickly before continuing on their way. This is how Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin got its name.
Morris: A fun fact about bourbon is that it is the most versatile of whiskies when making a cocktail. It can literally be used in any whiskey cocktail. Another fun fact is that bourbon predates the modern cocktail era — there was Bourbon before there was a Manhattan, Old-Fashioned and more. It was bourbon that made a Virginia Dram, otherwise known as a "Bracer," into the Mint Julep we know and love today.
Farquhar: From the spirits side, many people (dads included) hesitate to have vodka by itself over ice. There’s a distinct stereotype that vodka is colorless, odorless, tasteless. Try treating it the same as you would any whiskey or bourbon and discover the unique characteristics as close to neat as possible.
Fox News: What is the first cocktail you remember making, and how was it?
Dietrich: Honestly, I think my first cocktail was a screwdriver, which is the entry-level cocktail for most people. As for my first whiskey cocktail, definitely an Old-Fashioned, which I have refined down to some key ingredients: 2 ounces whiskey, 3 dashes of black walnut bitters, brown sugar simple syrup, luxardo cherry and an orange wheel, muddled, add ice.
Solomon: The first round of cocktails I made for two guests on my first bartending shift included a margarita and an Old-Fashioned. Both were OK by the standards of the day. Neither was measured I free-poured both as it was the predominant practice back then, so the balance was questionable. The Old-Fashioned was made in the tragic late-century fruit-salad style, which included a muddled orange slice and cherry into the drink. (Hey, it was 2001.)
Just in time for tip-off later this week, we’ve got sixteen cocktails, one for each team still in the tournament, for all of your celebrations. These are so good, we won’t hold it against you if you try another team’s concoction! Oh, and feel free to cue up Sixteen Candles instead of the Sweet Sixteen )
For general tools, you’ll want plenty of ice, a cocktail shaker, cocktail strainer, bar spoon, jigger, measuring cup, knife and cutting board for garnishes, and assorted glasses depending on the drinks you’re making.
Now, let’s get this March Madness-inspired party started!
Not just a Shaun White reference, folks! This one is a beer-tail that celebrates the state fruit of Ohio.
What you need: Pabst Blue Ribbon tomato juice Sriracha lime celery and more PBR.
How to make it: Pour 3 oz tomato juice into a measuring cup, add about a teaspoon of sriracha (one solid squeeze of the big bottle), add 4 oz PBR and give it all a stir. Fill your glass with ice and pour in the mixture. Add lime wedges and celery sticks for garnish.
Celebrating the wine of California, this is a fizzy sangria.
What you need: red wine (we used ‘Two Buck Chuck’) brandy ginger ale sugar oranges and lemons (slice these up).
How to make it: Add ice to your wine glass and fill it about half full with red wine. Add 2 oz ginger ale and 1 oz brandy. Add in lemon and orange slices. Stir in one teaspoon of sugar.
Celebrating another state fruit (Texas and the Grapefruit), this is not your average spiked lemonade.
What you need: vodka lemonade grapefruit juice lemon.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz vodka, 4 oz lemonade, 2 oz grapefruit juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into your glass filled with ice. Add lemon slice for garnish.
Badger don’t give a … well, you know. It’s the cranberry, the state fruit of Wisconsin, and the hot sauce that’s making these badgers cranky.
What you need: vodka lemonade cranberry juice Tapatio hot sauce lemon.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz vodka, 1 oz cranberry juice, 4-5 dashes of Tapatio, 4 oz lemonade, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into your glass filled with ice. Add lemon slice for garnish.
This might be the ultimate liquid homage to a team. We used Gatorade for this cocktail creation.
What you need: tequila orange Gatorade grenadine orange.
How to make it: Add 1 oz tequila, 6 oz Gatorade, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir and strain into your glass. Pour ½ oz grenadine on a bar spoon and float it down the side of the glass to get the sunrise effect. Add an orange slice for garnish.
You know what feels like LA? Kale and avocado in a cocktail. Yes, you read that right. Get your blender out for this one.
What you need: rum (we used Malibu, any light rum will do) kale (dino or curly) pineapple avocado cream of coconut shredded coconut.
How to make it: Combine a handful of ice, 2 cups kale, half of the avocado, 2 oz rum, ⅓ cup cream of coconut, ½ cup pineapple, and a big tablespoon of shredded coconut in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with pineapple and shredded coconut.
Classic margarita with a twist. We’ll take one any time of year!
What you need: tequila lime juice Cointreau Grand Marnier limes.
How to make it: Combine 2 oz tequila, 1½ oz lime juice, 1 oz Cointreau, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Muddle slices of lime in the bottom of your glass and add ice. Pour contents of the shaker into the glass. Pour ½ oz Grand Marnier on a bar spoon and float it on the top. Garnish with limes.
For the beer crowd, this is how we do the ‘rita with a Corona.
What you need: Corona limeade Grand Marnier lime.
How to make it: Combine equal parts Corona and limeade in a measuring cup. Stir and pour over ice in your glass. Pour ½ oz Grand Marnier on a bar spoon and float it on the top. Garnish with limes.
We had to use Jack Daniels for this drink. Apricots play up the team colors.
What you need: Jack Daniels club soda apricot preserves canned apricots.
How to make it: Combine 2 oz of the apricot juice from the canned apricots, 2 oz Jack Daniels, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Spoon apricot preserves into the bottom of your glass, and add ice. Pour in the contents of the shaker, top off with club soda and stir. Add an apricot for garnish.
We went blue with this drink. Very blue.
What you need: tequila blue curacao club soda canned apricots limes.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz tequila, 2 oz of the apricot juice from the canned apricots, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Place an apricot half in the bottom of your glass, and ice. Pour in the contents of the shaker, top off with club soda and stir. Pour ½ oz blue curacao on a bar spoon near the edge of the glass and watch as the blue sinks to the bottom in a gorgeous display. Garnish with limes.
What you need: vodka Grand Marnier cranberry juice grapefruit juice lemonade limes.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz vodka, 2 oz grapefruit juice, ½ oz Grand Marnier, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice in your glass and top off with lemonade. Use a bar spoon to pour 1oz cranberry juice slowly over the drink so it cyclones through the drink. Garnish with a lime slice (and for an added bonus – we threw some Pop Rocks on top).
If the Cyclones get twisty, then let’s get fizzy at the other end of the court.
What you need: vodka lemonade cranberry juice club soda blueberries lemon.
How to make it: Combine 2 oz vodka, 2 oz cranberry juice, 2 oz lemonade, and ice into a cocktail shaker. Muddle blueberries in the bottom of your glass and add ice. Pour contents of the shaker into your glass and top off with club soda. Stir and garnish with a lemon slice.
In honor of the all-Kentucky matchup, we used the same base for the next two drinks: Kentucky bourbon and the state fruit, blackberries. This first drink is a julep-inspired recipe.
What you need: Kentucky bourbon blackberries simple syrup mint.
How to make it: Layer ice, 2 oz bourbon, and several mint leaves into a cocktail shaker and muddle. Muddle mint leaves, blackberries, and 1 oz of simple syrup in the bottom of your glass and add ice. Strain the contents of the shaker into the glass. Garnish with mint leaves.
Now it’s time to add some basil to the Kentucky bourbon and blackberry pairing. We’ll be sipping this long after the tournament is over.
What you need: Kentucky bourbon blackberries club soda blackberry jam basil.
How to make it: Layer ice, 2 oz bourbon, big scoop of blackberry jam and several basil leaves into a cocktail shaker and muddle. Muddle blackberries in the bottom of your glass and add ice. Strain the content of the shaker into the glass, top off with club soda and stir. Garnish with basil leaves.
Fun Fact: Virginia is known for their peanuts. How do you get that into a cocktail? Make peanut butter simple syrup (which is as easy as making simple syrup, adding in a big scoop of peanut butter, and stirring until it’s completely dissolved). Tackle that first, then build this delicious drink.
What you need: Chocolate vodka Kahlua milk (we used almond, use your preference) chocolate syrup peanut butter simple syrup.
How to make it: Combine 1 oz chocolate vodka, 1 oz Kahlua, 2 oz of peanut butter simple syrup, 2 oz of milk, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Line your glass with chocolate sauce and strain in the contents of the shaker. For a bonus garnish, add a peanut butter cup.
Not quite over St. Patrick’s Day? No problem. We’ve brought the green for the other Michigan team in the tournament.
What you need: Kahlua green creme de menthe milk (again, use your preference).
How to make it: Combine 2 oz Kahlua, 2 oz milk, 1 oz creme de menthe, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour the contents over ice into your glass.
There you have it! Our version of the sweet sixteen. Now, get to mixing.
Do you have a favorite March Madness beverage that you’ve created? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
This NCAA season, show your team spirit with your spirits. We can’t promise that your favorite team will make it to the Final Four, but we can promise that you’ll drink well for the rest of tournament season thanks to our roundup of signature drinks from a number of your favorite March Madness contenders’ hometowns. Don’t have a hometown team? We have an easy-sipping beer or cocktail with your name on it, too. Cheers all around.
1. Apricot-Whiskey Smash
Kentucky fans might be partial to a Mojito, but the fruit of this cocktail makes it a great pairing with all those salty snacks and hot wings you’ll chow down during the game. Feel free to substitute any stone fruit, fresh or frozen. Get our Apricot-Whiskey Smash recipe.
2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Hailing from the swamp of Gainesville, Florida, The Jones is a popular eatery with craft cocktails, like this woody St. Augustine rum paired with mango purée and lime plus the minty, peppery flavoring of gunpowder pearl mint tea. Top it with Champagne (or sparkling white wine) and pour it down that gator gullet. Get the recipe.
3. Basil Lime Gimlet
Nothing sweet about this cocktail, just bold and herby. The drink featuring Grey Goose vodka, lime, basil simple syrup, and basil leaves comes from Aut Bar in Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan. Get the recipe.
4. Respect Your Elders
Tart calamondin citrus fruits formed the foundation of this chilled wine cocktail using Sauvignon Blanc from Good Oak in Tucson, Arizona. Blood orange juice and elder syrup make a fine beverage with high rankings. Get the recipe.
If you’re rooting for Wisconsin’s Badgers, odds are you know New Glarus, and for that you have a one-up on any opponent. No need to muddy this farmhouse ale—just smooth, easy drinking. Try not to be too smug. Find it here.
6. Green Apple Sparkler
What better way to celebrate Washington’s abundant apple crop than with a tangy, sparkling cocktail? Made nonalcoholic or spiked, this is a great match for your hottest hot wings and salsas. Good fuel for cheering for those Bulldogs in Spokane. Get our Green Apple Sparkler recipe.
There’s one at every gathering: that party-goer who opts to bring the cheap bottle of wine over the cheap six-pack. This Aperol-fueled batch cocktail will make that wine more than welcome. Get our Chardonnay Cover-Up recipe.
8. The Dirty Flower
This riff on NYC-based Pegu Club’s cocktail swaps beer for champagne, far more appropriate for the plastic-cup game-day festivities. Get our Dirty Flower recipe.
9. Ginger Pear Cosmopolitan
Better than your standard cranberry-lime Sex and the City cocktail, this recipe from Monarch in Wichita, Kansas, starts with house-infused pear vodka, and adds ginger liqueur and a cranberry juice float. Find it here.
— Original article by Kelley Peters on March 11, 2015 updated by Amy Sowder on March 18, 2017.
Kelley Peters is a Brooklyn-based wine writer and educator. She still sometimes gets confused in wine shops.
This fruity and refreshing cocktail will keep your guests in high spirits all night long.
No Sunday brunch is complete without this classic hair-of-the-dog cocktail.
This sweet and sour sipper is great for a warm summer night.
It doesn&apost get much better than homemade infused vodka. Serve it over ice or use it to spike eggnog or hot chocolate.
This bright drink gets its frothy topping from fresh egg whites.
Use pompoms and sanding sugar to make these martini glasses look fully Santa-fied!
Make eggnog even more decadent by adding a dollop of your favorite dessert spread.
Switch up your mimosa for one of these brunch cocktails, made with pineapple juice, vodka and, of course, bubbly!
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Give this traditional cocktail a spicy kick with homemade jalapeno simple syrup.
Keep your drink cold without watering it down by using frozen grapes instead of ice cubes.
Two ingredients are all it takes to create this bright, thirst-quenching cocktail.
A fresh and fruity cocktail is perfect for weekend brunch.
During the holidays, it&aposs totally acceptable to shake up some over-the-top cocktails, like this decadent dessert in a glass.
A sweet, blushing cocktail makes the perfect party starter during the holidays.
Relax and refresh with this floral and fruity cocktail.
Swing back this shot at Thanksgiving to get the evening started!
This recipe lets you prep drinks and dessert at the same time, so you won&apost be stuck in the kitchen all night during your party.
Just like the cookie, this cocktail is spicy-sweet and oh-so delicious!
You probably have most of the ingredients already on hand to make these spooky sippers.
Homemade caramel sauce takes this drink from delicious to decadent.
Start things right. Leave a few open bottles of wine or champagne on a table in the main mingling area. A help-yourself bar immediately sets the vibe: no fussy formalities here!
A homemade rosemary simple syrup adds a boost of earthy flavor to this bitter-sweet cocktail.
No holiday season is complete without a mug or two of warm spiked cider!
Spiced just right, this bubbly cocktail pairs well with savory dishes at dinnertime.
Don't go outside. Just stretch your last bottle with these dranks.
Wine is the gemini of alcohol. Not only does it pair just as well with fancy-ass pasta as it does pizza (and chips and dip and chicken fingers and literally anything), but there&rsquos so! much! you! can! do! with! it!
There are red wine cocktails for the &ldquoOmg, I hate anything sweet&rdquo sippers, sugary white wine for the &ldquoI want to feel like I&rsquom literally drinking juice&rdquo peeps, and rosé for the, well, drinkers who want to turn the f*ck up any time of year.
Sure you can drink it straight up, but you'd be doing this
tasty alcoholic nectar a disservice if you didn't use it as the base of a cocktail.
They&rsquore easy, tasty, packing ABV, and simple to throw together. Sometimes it really is as easy as hard liquor + wine + agave (or simple syrup). But if you need some guidance or inspo, here are 33 recipes to get your head in the wine cocktail game.
Oh, unrelated, (but also very important): Cosmo makes wine now and it's so effing good! You can scope it out here!
To batch or not to batch—that is always the question when you know a gathering is coming. By batching cocktails, it frees you up to play host, mingle, and ensure everyone is having fun without having to be constantly on call at the bar. It also allows guests to feel welcomed and elevates a party—guests don’t have to mix their own cocktails from a selection of items, no one has to worry about what wine to open, and it gives the vibe of a signature drink.
However, there are several pitfalls when it comes to batching cocktails. While some of these can be combated ahead of time with proper prep, others—like the proper amount of dilution—need to be carefully accounted for in order to have a delicious drink.
We spoke to Maggie Hoffman, author of “Batch Cocktails” to make sure that no matter what type of cocktail you batch, each sip stays good until the last drop.
“All the recipes in ‘Batch Cocktails’ are tested with proper dilution—they walk you though how much water to add before serving. Sometimes people forget that every cocktail you’ve ever had has water added, whether through shaking or stirring with ice. When you’re batching, you’re not going to shake each drink to order, so you need to make sure it’s properly diluted first. When you’re batching, you’re never just multiplying an ingredients list. You’ve got to add water or ice somehow.”
“I don’t want people to stress out about this. If you have a pitcher, great. If you have a glass salad bowl and a ladle, great. If you have clean empty liquor bottles, that’ll work too. The only key is to know how big your container is—measure it with cups of water and you’ll also be making sure it’s not going to leak! In general, I like to use liter-size containers like empty liquor bottles or swing top bottles for boozier drinks, especially drinks you’d serve up (without ice)—I like to chill those in my freezer before serving.”
“If you’re making fizzy drinks for a crowd, you can basically batch up the rest of the cocktail, then add bubbles to each glass. Definitely keep sparkling wines or club soda chilled and add at the last minute.”
“The most important thing is to get prepared in advance—make a list of everything you need to shop for, make sure you have lots of ice, etc. When I’m starting to mix drinks, I like to keep the bottles I haven’t added yet on the left, then move them to the right as I’ve poured in the proper amount. That way you won’t lose track. Here are some of my cardinal rules for batching:
Reprinted with permission from “Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion” by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Makes about 12 servings in a 2-quart pitcher
This low-proof drink from San Francisco bartender Gillian Fitzgerald is salty, bitter, fruity, and sour thanks to Cynar, Campari, pineapple juice, and honey. Sherry brings a nutty note. If you have two pitchers handy, Fitzgerald recommends pouring the mixture back and forth between them to aerate the drink. If you don’t have a juicer, simply puree fresh pineapple cubes (from two large fruits) in your blender, then strain and measure your fresh juice. Save the pineapple leaves for your garnish!
1. Up to 12 hours before serving, make the batch. Pour Cynar, Campari, amontillado sherry, and chilled honey syrup into a 2-quart pitcher and stir to mix. If not serving immediately, seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
2. Up to 2 hours before serving, prepare pineapple and lime juices and stir into pitcher mix. Reseal and return to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
3. To serve, if you’d like to rim the rocks glasses, pour some flaky salt onto a small plate and rub each glass’s rim with a lime wedge. Gently dip and roll rim of each glass in salt to coat.
4. Stir pitcher mixture well, then fill pitcher with ice and stir until outside of pitcher is cool (or pour mixture back and forth between two pitchers a few times to add froth). Add lime wheels to pitcher and pour cocktail into ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish with pineapple leaves, if desired.
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is uniformly blended. Do not let boil. Pour into a resealable container and let cool. Seal well and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Makes about 12 servings in a 1-liter swing-top bottle
This is another bold but low-proof option, starring the Italian bittersweet vermouth Carpano Punt e Mes (which Hoffman calls her Kryptonite). Created by Jeremy Simpson at Bestia in Los Angeles, this drink combines the vermouth with sweet, rich maraschino liqueur, a little grapefruit liqueur, and a pinch of salt. This is great freshly made, but also ages wonderfully in the back of your fridge—but if you’re aging it more than a few weeks, leave out the bitters and just add 2 dashes to each glass when you serve.
1. At least 2 hours before serving, make the batch. Use a small funnel to pour Punt e Mes, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, pamplemousse liqueur, and bitters into a 1-liter swing-top bottle. Seal well, gently turn to mix, and refrigerate.
2. To serve, turn bottle gently end over end to mix. Place a large ice cube in each rocks glass, then pour in cocktail. Give each drink one gentle stir before serving. Garnish with a small pinch of salt.
Makes about 12 servings in a 2-quart pitcher
Believe it or not, combining coffee, Campari, and grapefruit results in a raspberry-filled chocolate truffle flavor that makes this rosy drink, created by Morgan Schick for Villon in San Francisco, perfect for brunch. The fruity, bitter, tart, and roasty notes are ideal beside a stack of ricotta pancakes or buttermilk waffles. Schick recommends buzzing the mix in a blender for a moment (or whisking it vigorously) to give it a frothy texture.
1. Up to 6 hours before serving, make the batch. Pour chilled Campari, chilled coffee, simple syrup, and salt into a 2-quart pitcher and stir to mix. Seal well, covering with plastic wrap if needed, and refrigerate.
2. Up to 2 hours before serving, prepare grapefruit juice and stir into pitcher mix. Reseal and return to refrigerator if not serving immediately.
3. To serve, whisk pitcher mixture well, or pour half of the mixture into a blender and blend for 20 seconds, then stir back into remaining pitcher mix. Fill 12-ounce highball glasses with ice and add 1/4 cup chilled tonic water to each glass. Top with pitcher mix and garnish each drink with a grapefruit twist.