ALL POSTS TAGGED "“cocktail recipes”"

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Whenever I head to a summer soiree, I always bring my favorite warm-weather staple: Sangria. There have been so many times, though, where I’ve made it and one ingredient overpowers another and the fruit becomes just a garnish rather than a prime part of the cocktail. Nick Accardo, head mixologist at W Scottsdale in Arizona, has crafted no-fail sangria and margarita recipes for summer — no blender and no sweet/sour mix needed.

Perfect Sangria Recipe

Easy Sangria Recipe

Photo: W Scottsdale

Ingredients

1/2 ounce brandy
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
3 ounces Lolailo Red Sangria wine (or similiar wine)
splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice
fresh cherries and mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)

Directions

Pour all ingredients into empty red wine glass, including cherries and fresh berries. Then, fill glass with ice. Stir thoroughly. Enjoy!

Perfect Margarita Recipe

Easy Margarita Recipe

Photo: W Scottsdale

Ingredients

1.5 ounces Don Julio Blanco tequila
1/4 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
float 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
lime and orange wedge, for garnish

Directions

Fill two glasses with freshly cracked ice. Pour all ingredients, except Grand Marnier, over ice in one of the glasses. Shake vigorously and strain into the other glass. Then, float the Grand Marnier on top. Drop in both the orange and lime juice and garnish with a lime and orange wedge. Enjoy!

Try out one of our other delicious concoctions this weekend:

Photos and recipes courtesy of W Scottsdale Hotel

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Next time I’m in New York to visit Lili, Briana and Alyssa, I have a few hot-spots on my list to check out: PDT (Please Don’t Tell), Milk & Honey, Little Branch and Gwynnett St. Some of these bars accept guests by reservation or referral only, or only allow members after a certain time. For some reason, that makes them so much more intriguing. I’m dying to check out the drink menu more than the atmosphere, though. Over at Milk & Honey, for example, fruit juices and extracts are all made by hand; mixing glasses are stored in the freezer to keep drinks cold; and ice is cut by hand using an ice pick to create imperfect, jagged pieces. If I know that’s the process going into my cocktail, I can certainly wait a few minutes for it.

So, are you ready for 5 p.m. to get here so you can wrap your hand around a refreshing, warm-weather concoction? I’m with you! Let’s celebrate the start of summer with four delicious drink recipes from renowned NYC mixologists (or alchemists, rather).

UP ALL NIGHT COCKTAIL:

Summer Solstice Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Lauren Schell, Little Branch, NYC

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces Reyka Vodka
1/2 ounces rosemary-infused cognac
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce cane syrup
bar spoon
rosemary sprig, for garnish

Directions

Whip and strain into iced Collins glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with large rosemary sprig.

STEAM 75 COCKTAIL:

Summer Solstice Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of John deBary, PDT, NYC

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces Reyka Vodka
3/4 ounce Art in the Age Rhubarb
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce strawberry puree
1 ounce Brut champagne
lavender sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Shake and strain into chilled coupe. Top with 1 ounce Brut champagne. Garnish with sprigs of lavender.

More Cocktails

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Memorial Day’s late May date has marked the unofficial start of summer for years. Most schools unlock the doors and release students for the year that Friday before. [FREEDOM!] The weather is finally at a solid seasonal temperature. It’s also an unofficial rule that you must spend the day/weekend outdoors. Rain is not tolerated. No matter how you choose to spend your holiday weekend, unwind with these refreshing summer cocktails that will leave you ready for lazy pool days all season long.

Cantaloupe Tea Daiquiri

Memorial Day Cocktail Recipes at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces Numi Emperor’s Pu-erh Tea
1 1/2 ounces Van Gogh Blue Vodka
3 ounces frozen cantaloupe, cubed
1 ounce coconut milk
splash of lemon juice
lemon wedge, for garnish

Directions

Steep tea at four times the normal strength for two minutes, then remove tea bag and chill liquid for later use. Combine and blend ingredients in blender, adding a splash of lemon for each serving. Serve on the rocks and garnish with a lemon wedge.

More Warm-Weather Concoctions

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Do you prefer less spicy and more fruity concoctions for your upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration? Well, these will surely please your senses. From grapefruit and tamarind to guava and watermelon juices, mix up drinks that are light but still strong.

Sparkling Frescas

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Combine your favorite fruit juice with fruit seltzer, and garnish with fresh fruits or veggies for a flavorful and refreshing drink.

Mixer Ideas

Blueberry Seltzer
Fresh pomegranate seeds
Mango juice
Cucumber Melon Seltzer
Watermelon juice
Cucumber slices
Georgia Peach Seltzer
Guava juice
Kumquat slices

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Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year, but don’t let that deter you from concocting some serious cocktails to celebrate the occasion. I mean, you still have Friday and Saturday to raise a glass or three. So, break out the tequila, jalapeno peppers and Tabasco sauce for some spicy drinks that are perfect for those that love a little kick.

Skinny & Hot Margarita

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

Ingredients

1 part quality anejo tequila (for smoother taste)
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
1-3 slices jalapeno chile (depending on your taste)
splash of pineapple juice
Polar Ruby Red Grapefruit Seltzer

Directions

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the Polar Seltzer. Shake vigorously. Pour over crushed ice. Include all the jalapeno if you want extra heat. Top with Seltzer and gently stir.

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This might be the most fitting post I’ve ever written for Design Happens. Yesterday, I returned from an eight-day vacation to Chile where their most famous cocktail is the Pisco Sour. And today, I received some oh-so-delicious recipes that incorporate Chilean Pisco from the Elqui Valley with egg whites to create some refreshing, spring-y cocktails. If I can’t be in Chile, I might as well bring that South American feel to my kitchen.

KAPPA Sour

Kappa Sour Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces KAPPA Pisco
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Angostura bitters, for topping

Directions

Combine KAPPA Pisco and remaining ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a small champagne flute. Top with half dashes of Angostura bitters.

KAPPA Blue Star
Kappa Blue Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces KAPPA Pisco
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
10 blueberries

Directions

In a shaker, muddle blueberries with simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice, add KAPPA Pisco and remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into a small champagne or martini glass.

Photos and recipes courtesy of KAPPA Pisco

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Winter blues, anyone? I know I’m not alone here. Most of the HGTV.com editorial staff is taking turns seeking sunshine. Camille hit up her sister’s beach house for a little R&R (relaxation and remodeling); Lili just got back from a family vacay in Hawaii (I know!); and Marianne is somewhere in sunny Florida and we hate her for it. So, while some stick their toes in the sand, we can pretend we’re there with umbrella-embellished cocktails. Hey, it does the trick for me!

Blue Hawaii:

Blue Hawaii Cocktail Recipe at HGTV.com's Design Happens Blog

Beachy Cocktail Recipes

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. Every store is covered in pink and red; candy companies are churning out their holiday favorites; teddy bears are being sold in abundance. No matter your romantic status (happily single, not-so-happily single, in love, crushing, bitter over a breakup, etc.), we have the perfect Love Day cocktail for you. I mean, nothing will soothe your tears this Valentine’s Day like a “Bleeding Heart” cocktail, amiright?

BLEEDING HEART:

Bleeding Heart Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

3 tablespoons pomegranate vodka (or raspberry)
fresh cranberries
Polar Pomegranate Seltzer (or Cherry)
2 tablespoons frozen cranberry juice concentrate

Directions

Combine the vodka and cranberry concentrate in the bottom of a glass. Add fresh cranberries, then add Polar Seltzer and watch it bleed before drinking with abandon.

Get More Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

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