Perky Popsicles

While everyone loves a cold popsicle on a hot summer day, they just got a whole lot better with this adults-only Boozy Grapefruit, Basil & Vodka Popsicles recipe. Packed with fresh ingredients and a dash (or two… or three) of vodka, these easy-to-make frozen treats are the perfect alternative to a typical cocktail. The sharp flavors of grapefruit and vodka pair together perfectly for a sour-yet-sweet kick, accented by the distinctively fresh taste of basil. Make a double or triple batch for barbecue get-togethers, or keep them [... more]

Give Me the Gimlet

There’s simply something about warm summer nights that makes them seem perfect for anything. They bring people together to share a meal on a restaurant patio; they let the kids tire themselves out after hours of play in the pool; and they also allow adults a chance to knock back a few drinks and relax. Emphasis on the few drinks part. The next time you have a get-together with friends – whether a small and casual dinner on the back porch, or an extravagant rooftop party – wow your guests with these fun, creative, [... more]

A Most Refreshing Lemonade

When you need a retreat from the hot Southern sun, sip on a refreshing glass of Blueberry Lavender Hard Lemonade. Sweet and tart like traditional lemonade, this recipe takes a twist with added hints of blueberry, lavender, and of course, vodka! You can use either dried or fresh lavender for this recipe, but don’t worry about the floral element being overwhelming; it subtly mixes with the flavors harmoniously. Added bonus:  this lemonade substitutes agave nectar for sugar, so you get all the sweetness without any of the guilt! Kick [... more]

Cherry Whiskey Smash

If your dad is a whiskey guy, serve him this drink and it may just be his favorite gift of the day. The Cherry Whiskey Smash combines an alcohol trifecta of whiskey, amaretto, and ginger brandy. A little cherry juice and a splash of cherry cola temper the spirits and add a sweet-tart fizz to the drink. Maraschino cherries start and finish the cocktail for a little extra color and fruitiness, but save them till you get to bottom of the glass so they’ve had time to [... more]

The Real Sangria

With a deep purple color and lots of aromatic fresh fruit, this Red Wine Sangria delivers big, bold flavors. Apple brandy adds depth to this refreshing beverage while the fresh-squeezed juices of a lemon and orange impart a citrus tang. The recipe’s main ingredient is Real Sangria, the number-one imported sangria from Spain. (European law restricts the usage of the name “sangria” to only those products made in Spain and Portugal.) Apple and orange slices and a handful of grapes contribute to the drink’s delicious fruitiness. While [... more]

Crisp & Clean: The GBC

A refreshing concoction of gin, basil, and cucumber, The GBC is likely to become your go-to cocktail this summer. To further enhance the drink’s freshness, the recipe also calls for lime juice (we recommend fresh-squeezed) and tonic water, which complement the gin quite well. Slicing the basil leaves before you toss them into your cocktail glass helps release maximum flavor. Before you serve, garnish with a cucumber slice and basil leaf. While the recipe may seem like an unusual assortment of ingredients, the end result is a crisp, [... more]

Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas

Mix a batch of margaritas that are as delicious as they are aesthetically pleasing. Ratcheting the strawberry margarita up a notch, this Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita recipe starts with a combination strawberry-rhubarb reduction on a stovetop to maximize flavor. The bright pink syrup is then strained and blended with lime juice and tequila to create an invigorating summertime cocktail. Cap off the drink with a sugar rim instead of salt for added sweetness. If you have strawberry-rhubarb reduction left over, it’s no problem. The syrup can be refrigerated [... more]

Pomegranate Margaritas

Juicy pomegranates add just the right amount of sweetness to summer recipes. This refreshing Pomegranate Margarita twist on the popular Mexican drink combines pomegranate juice, simple syrup (boiled sugar and water), and both tequila and Grand Marnier to really pack a punch. There’s no wrong way to mix this drink, so get creative and vary the amount of each ingredient based on your preference to achieve your desired amount of flavor. Line the rim of the glass with salt and garnish with a lime to top-off a [... more]

Durham’s Spanish Flavor

Durham, North Carolina, is widely known for its intricate architecture and captivating cathedrals. However, visitors to this college town should not miss another gorgeous gem—Mateo Bar de Tapas, a restaurant on West Chapel Hill Street that is the talk of the town. Located in the old Book Exchange building, the eatery features a modern rustic décor and an inviting atmosphere, making it the ideal place to grab a drink with friends at the polished wood bar or settle into one of the plush booths to bask in [... more]

5 de Mayo: Margarita Madness

Do you prefer your margarita on the rocks or frozen? With or without salt? While options on the classic margarita exist, you can experiment with this classic drink favorite in so many more interesting and flavorful ways. Some versions tend to be overpowered by their fruity components, but this Ginger Pineapple Margarita offers just the right flavor combo of spice and sweetness. The recipe takes a bit of preparation time, so we recommend making a big batch to freeze for later.

Fruitful Delight

Nothing beats a refreshing cocktail on a warm spring or hot summer night. Treat yourself to this wildly delicious concoction of light rum, sparkling water, and ginger passion fruit syrup. You can easily mix up a big batch of the Passion Fruit & Ginger Cocktail to serve a crowd. Omit the alcohol and you can serve it to the kids, too. Substitute tequila or vodka for the rum to achieve the same great taste, and garnish with fresh lemon and mint to create the perfect poolside drink.

Summer Rum

If you love to experiment with cocktails but haven’t met your match yet, may we introduce you to the Lemon Rum Drop. Spring’s warm weather turns every evening into happy hour, and this sweet-and-sour sipper delivers the perfect splash. This particular recipe uses Brugal Extra Dry Rum, but feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand. The sour punch comes from the lemons and limes, of course, while a shot of agave nectar injects the right amount of sweetness. So next time it’s a cocktail-drinking kind [... more]

A Virtual Whiskey Sommelier

A glass of bourbon after a grueling day can be a refreshing thing. So can a nightcap out with old friends. Choosing the right bourbon is half the battle. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. Distiller is like having a whiskey aficionado living inside your iPhone or iPad. You choose the setting of where you’ll be enjoying your drink (on the patio, at a bar, by a fireplace, etc) and your taste preferences, and Distiller creates a tailored list of recommendations, complete with tasting notes and a [... more]

Botany and Booze

Garden writer Amy Stewart recently released her book The Drunken Botanist, which brims with historical notes and fascinating anecdotes on the connection between plants and common spirits. The author admits to owning a garden in her own backyard full of plants specifically grown to use in cocktails. She encourages others to “grow things that you actually like to drink, but at the same time, be open to surprises.” A New York Times bestselling author, bookstore owner, and public speaker, Amy also works more than 50 cocktail recipes [... more]

Build Your Own Manhattan

At Article 14, a Midtown Atlanta bar, you choose the bourbon or whiskey, vermouth, and bitters to customize your Manhattan. It’s a great concept for Manhattan aficionados, but a bit too intimidating for me. I prefer the A-14 Martini, in my opinion, the best apple martini you’ll ever have. If you’ve sworn off apple martinis based on the overly sweet ones you’ve had in the past, put your prejudices aside and try this one. You won’t regret it. Need something to nibble on? Get the lobster pasta—it’s [... more]

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