Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Egg Nog (Non-Alcoholic)

For those non-drinkers this holiday season, thank goodness for Egg Nog. The spices and richness go a long way to creating a holiday feel with just simple eggs, sugar and milk. While vanilla and almond extract have some alcohol in them, only a quarter tsp. of each is pretty much a negligible portion.

There's something amazing about a made-to-order Egg Nog, one that makes a single glass with only freshest ingredients. Whipped cream and nutmeg on top seem especially indulgent--which is the point, really.
  • 1 whole egg
  • 8 oz. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract. 
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • whipped cream
Add one well beaten egg to a shaker with sugar, extracts and milk. Add ice and shake vigorously for a minute. Strain into a mug and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Add a whipped cream top garnish. 

Black Maria

Black Maria is a Caribbean Black Russian made with rum, coffee liqueur and real coffee. As such it feels a little more special than the garden variety Black Russian.

Cruzan white rum is labeled "aged rum" only as if to point out that their rum has a respectable aged flavor. Use it instead of Bacardi Superior if you want to be able to distinguish between the coffee drink with vodka and the one made with rum.
  • 2 oz. white rum (Cruzan used)
  • 2 oz. coffee liqueur (homemade used)
  • 4 oz. cold black coffee
  • 1 tsp. sugar
Combine all ingredients in a brandy snifter. Add cracked ice. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Black Russian

The Black Russian is a classic of the 1950s, when Kahlua first hit the scene. It's more famous brother, the White Russian, came along at the same time, at the height of the red scare. It was seen as a way to drink more Kahlua by spacing the sugary coffee liqueur out with neutral spirits. It still caused plenty of headaches the next day, but you still had half a bottle of Kahlua left. And it tastes pretty good without the cream of the White Russian, so there's still a strong demand for this drink.
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass. 

Claret Cup

Claret is a rich red wine that can be made into a punch with the addition of liquors, fruits and soda. There's a good bit of liquor in this punch all around: the recipe calls for a pitcher that serves four people. I used Copper and Kings brandy, Vitae orange liqueur, and Airfield Cabernet for the spirits.

Add orange slices and mint leaves to each individual glass and top with soda, don't try to mix the soda into the punch where it will go flat. 
  • 16 oz. of Claret or Cabernet wine
  • 2 oz. brandy or cognac (Copper and Kings brandy used)
  • 1 oz. Cointreau (Vitae orange liqueur used)
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 8 oz. sparkling water
  • mint sprigs
  • orange slices
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice and stir (leaving out the sparkling water is recommended, though.) Garnish with fruit and mint and serve in wine glasses. 

Coffee Flip

If you can "Flip" anything, why not coffee, and port and cognac all at once. That's the idea behind the Coffee Flip. These creamy drinks taste mostly of spirits and nutmeg, but you pretty much only notice the coffee in this one. In fact, the directions produce enough Flip for two glasses, so feel free to use less coffee (2 1/2 oz.) if you are drinking alone.
  • 2 oz. cognac
  • 1 oz. ruby port
  • 5 oz. cold coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • freshly ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender with ice. Blend until slushy and pour into a chilled wine glass. Dust nutmeg on top. 


I was very pleased with this simple drink made with some hard-to-find ingredients. Jacopo Tintoretto was an Italian painter known for a depiction of "The Last Supper." He may have been called Ill Furioso, but this drink is tame.

It is made with Poire Williams (a French pear cognac) and blended Anjou pear. Sparkling wine tops it off and makes it extra boozy.
  • 2 oz. Poire Williams
  • 1/4 cup Anjou pear pealed and diced
  • sparkling wine
Blend pear in a food processor and pour it into a chilled wine glass. Add Poire Williams and sparkling wine and stir.

Stinger & Vodka Stinger

I don't know why I hadn't considered these for a double post, but it makes sense. The original Stinger is two parts Cognac and one white creme de menthe. It is far better than expected, even when you only have peppermint schnapps. The mint just cools the whole drink down and leaves you feeling more refreshed than a cognac on the rocks.

The Vodka Stinger is pretty self explanatory: two parts vodka to one part creme de menthe. For some reason it is served up, rather than on the rocks. The same serving is suggested for the most unusual of this family, the Tequila Stinger.
  •  2 oz. base spirit (Cognac for the original Stinger and vodka for the Vodka Stinger)
  • 1 oz. white creme de menthe (peppermint schnapps is a fine substititue)
Shake all ingredients and pour into an Old Fashioned glass (for the Stinger) or strain into a cocktail glass (Vodka Stinger.)

Mulled Cranberry Juice (Non-Alcoholic)

Mulling a spiced juice is a great holiday tradition that fills the whole house with delicious winter smells. Making your mulled juice with non-alcoholic cranberry juice and real cranberries is a fantastic idea! The original Mulled Cranberry Juice I used did not call for real cranberries, but I recommend them, as they add a wonderful real berry flavor. This recipe was very problem free. It makes for one glass, but feel free to size it up for a group of friends.

  • 6 oz. cranberry juice
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • honey to taste
  • cinnamon stick
  • (1/2 cup of real cranberries recommended)
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon stick in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until warmed or longer to mull the spices even more. Ladle into a heat-resistant mug and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bird of Paradise

This is a pretty simple gin fizz drink that, with a little color, masquerades as a tiki cocktail. Serving it in a tall glass accentuates the bold color of the grenadine used to sweeten this cocktail. It looks like it could be a jungle bird.

Homemade grenadine means that the flavor is drier than it would be if you used Rose's grenadine. That's not a bad thing, but it lacks the color that is sometimes desirable from Rose's.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grenadine (2 tsp. recommended if using homemade grenadine)
  • 1 egg white
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a chilled highball glass. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. 

French Kiss

Filibuster dual cask bourbon was a fitting choice for this sweet bourbon cocktail. This bourbon is finished in French wine casks to soften the spice of the Virginia spirit. I was glad that there wasn't much lemon juice in the cocktail made me excited to try this one. Alas, I was disappointed by how sweet it was.

Part of the problem was that the amount of apricot brandy was overkill. Use a half ounce. Then two tsp. of grenadine can impart the color and sweetness without overdoing it.
  • 2 oz. bourbon (Filibuster dual cask used)
  • 1 oz. apricot brandy (1/2 oz. recommended
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Chocolate Cocktail

This drink isn't made with chocolate liqueur. The only chocolate in it is grated on top. It is a sweet combination of silky egg yolk, port and yellow Chartreuse. The port is the major spirit here, and gives the frothy drink the flavor of a Port Wine Flip, or some other colonial cocktail. Chartreuse, especially the yellow type adds more sweetness of honey and plenty of herbal complexity without upping the alcohol content too much. Sipping through the foam topped with bittersweet chocolate is a decadent experience.
  • 3 oz. ruby port (Sandeman used)
  • 1 oz. Yellow Chartreuse used
  • 1 egg yolk
  • grated semi-sweet chocolate (Taza super dark used)
Combine all ingredients except chocolate in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a wine goblet. Grate chocolate on top. 

Strega Flip

Like the Pernod Flip, this dessert drink proves that you can flip anything. I was surprised that the recipe calls for brandy, but it makes sense. Strega is pretty tart and brandy can smooth it out. Also like the Pernod flip, this drink is especially herbal. There's also a lot of juice for a flip in there. Citrus from the lemon and orange juice and spice notes come through even on the nose from beneath the nutmeg top.
  • 2 oz. strega
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. sugar syurp
  • 1 whole egg
  • grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled highball glass. Grate nutmeg on top. 

Strega Sour

Strega is a citrus, mint and saffron liqueur made with a secret recipe. It does have enough sugar that you don't need to use it when making this sour. It still requires the help of gin to make it big and strong enough to enjoy as a cocktail and not just a shot. Caorunn makes this simple drink very deluxe and exotic.
  • 2 oz. gin (Caorunn used)
  • 1 oz. Strega
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • lemon slice
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled sour glass. Garnish with the lemon slice.

Mocha Slush (Non-Alcoholic)

Oh, my! This yummy mocktail, similar to a Mudslide, reminds me of the coffee slushies that I enjoyed as a high school student, back before I learned to drink coffee hot and black. To make this, I made my own coffee syrup--chocolate syrup is easily purchased at the grocery store. The coffee syrup is made from hot black coffee and hot simple syrup. Simply mix a cup of hot coffee with 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan and heat on low while stirring.

If you want to make this drink alcoholic, feel free to add vodka or light rum in the blender.
  • 2 oz. coffee syrup (homemade syrup used)
  • 1 oz. chocolate syrup
  • 4 oz. milk
  • chocolate shavings
Combine all ingredients except chocolate shavings in a blender with ice. Blend until slushy and pour into a wine goblet. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top. 

Chicago Fizz

This Fizz drink is best served very tall, like a Chicago skyline. This fizz, like most Chicago drinks, is a little different from its family of cocktails. First, it is the only Fizz I know of that uses rum. Gold rum is really a blend of rums defined only by its color. I used a mix of Cruzan 151 and Buzzard Point, both of which are flavorful blends.

There's also port in this cocktail, which makes it pretty and pink and sort of fruity, beyond the typical lemon juice bite of a typical Fizz.
  • 1 1/2 oz. gold rum
  • 1 oz. port (Sandeman ruby used)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • sparkling water
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into chilled Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir gently. 

Strawberry, Banana (Mango) Kefir (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a typical  smoothie drink that uses yogurt. It is unusual for a recipe in a cocktail book, though. Despite it being called a Kefir, it doesn't have to be made with kefir milk yogurt. I just used vanilla yogurt, for example.

The instructions say this same juice (any fruit juice), fruit (choose your fruit. I did.) and yogurt combo can be used in a number of combinations. This is what I came up with.
  • 1 Banana sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced mango (optional)
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 8 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 8 oz. apple juice
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into highball glasses. (Serves 4).

Alhambra Royale

Alhambra is a Moorish palace in Spain, which is a fitting name for this hot chocolate drink. It has flaming cognac added to it. When you make an Alhambra Royale you feel like an alchemist making alcohol in the middle ages. It looks magical.

The flaming cognac is mostly for show. It doesn't add flavor. But the addition to the orange peel produces this orange cognac effect similar to Grand Marnier. The heat really gets the orange oils out of the peel. 

I had to learn how to flame cognac for this drink. Initially I thought the 40 percent spirit wouldn't burn, but you have to warm it to cause evaporation first. Burning evaporating alcohol produces a ghostly blue flame that only appears in a dark setting. Observe the photos below: 

Igniting the cognac warmed over hot water in a ladle. Pouring the dark blue flaming liquid into the hot chocolate mix.

  • 1 1/2 oz. cognac
  • 1 cup hot chocolate
  • wide sliced orange peel
  • whipped cream
Fill a mug mostly full of hot chocolate and twist the orange peel and drop it in. Warm cognac in a ladle over hot water (not quite boiling). Ignite the cognac and allow it to burn several seconds before pouring it into the hot chocolate. Take care while pouring that the fire is extinguished while mixing the liquids, which may require stirring. Garnish with whipped cream. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Poker Cocktail

If you make this drink for yourself, you're in good hands, like this high strait. Rum Martinis are not unusual, but they often rely on very dry white rums and dry vermouth. This one gives you more wiggle room.

I used a mix of white rums that I like to give the drink more flavor. Bacardi is the dry one, but Buzzard Point from District Distilling Co. gave the drink a funky sugar flavor that was very interesting. Do this when you want to sip something with taste.
  • 3 oz. light rum (Bacardi and Buzzard Point used)
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Exit 13-E (Non-Alcoholic)

A little research shows that just about every major U.S. highway has an Exit 13-E. The most notable might be New York's I-95 exit, for some reason. Everything is more important if it is in New York, if you haven't noticed. A little more research reveals that loganberry juice is almost never used in cocktails, this being the one exception! How rare that it is a mocktail as well.

So loganberries are a wild breed that is crossed between blackberries and raspberries. They are much more like blackberries in taste, but they have a red color. Good luck finding them, they aren't really harvested like other berries of this kind. So I had to get creative.

I juiced a pint of blackberries and added a previously-made blackberry syrup. This used all the juice from the blackberries just to make this one drink (something like $5 dollars worth of berries). I used the juice with no added sugar, which was a great move. Had this deep black color, but when mixed with pineapple juice it got this luster that I could barely capture with my camera. It was really beautiful and drinking it was the experience of drinking a quart of blackberries.
  • 4 oz. loganberry juice (blackberry and raspberry juice substituted)
  • 4 pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
Combine all juices in a Collins glass full of ice and stir. 

Commodore Cocktail

This navy bourbon drink ranks highly among classic drinks. There's something magical that happens when you mix a lot of creme de cacao with lemon juice. It becomes a flavor that is almost unidentifiable but it really comes down to being sugary chocolate lemon--so like a sweet chocolate sour. This is so yummy that is shows up in gin and vodka examples as well, but the bourbon variation is the richest of all with vanilla. One sip and you'll see how instantly addictive this combo is. Fall in line and obey the chain of command.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. creme de cacao
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Red Apple Dawn (Non-Alcoholic)

I love how apple cider just makes things taste like a fall treat--even if there's no alcohol. That funky natural taste of pressed apples just suggests spirits in the making. This mocktail comes across like an applejack drink or rye cocktail with grapefruit juice. They are out there...but the fresh juicy flavor of this mocktail makes it hard not to chug, which will impress your unknowing friends who will think you are a lush.
  • 2 oz. apple juice (fresh cider used)
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice 
  • 3-5 dashes grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 


This is another old-world cocktail with a Laird's product. Applejack is fortified cider that is "jacked" or proofed-up by freezing and removing the water from the alcoholic cider. It is commonly known (at least a long time ago) as cider whiskey, but it isn't exactly a whiskey because whiskey cannot contain juice like applejack does.

Applejack is often misused, as this recipe illustrates. It's not the best idea to over-juice an already juicy spirit. Far better to let the natural flavor of the spirit come out, or else, you could do this with any grain spirit like vodka with the exact result--which is what I suspect the recipe intends for applejack. It doesn't respect the spirit. It is too acidic. Sugar improves the recipe, but not by much.
  • 2 oz. applejack
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 3-5 dashes grenadine 
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Marconi Wireless

Apple brandy is such a cold weather spirit. Laird's is especially rich at 7 and a half years old. Sweet vermouth and Hella orange bitters with their holiday spices really make this cocktail perfect for the winter months.

The cocktail is classic turn-of-the-century, as the name suggests. It's refers to the wireless radio telegraph invented by Guglielmo Marconi which later led to the invention of radio-wave communication that benefited military and aviation in the early 20th century. So all of this is to say, you'll feel very 19th century while drinking a Marconi Wireless. 
  • 3 oz. apple brandy (Laird's used)
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mulled Cider Warmer (Non-Alcoholic)

Hot mulled cider is so rewarding in the fall that it almost doesn't matter if there's alcohol in it at all. I mean, you really enjoy it for the seasonal apple flavor, the spices and the warmth. Of course if you were to throw a shot of whiskey in this, it wouldn't detract from the experience. But for me, it was a great sober Sunday afternoon drink fit for a chilly November.

This recipe makes for six servings, but can be adjusted accordingly.
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 oz. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 5 cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp. orange peels
  • 6 cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients except cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and stir over high heat until the honey dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or longer (covered). Pour into warmed coffee mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks. 

Huntress Cocktail

This is the creamy female version of the Hunter's Cocktail with rye and cherry brandy. Bourbon gives this cocktail a vanilla-forward flavor with cream and cherry from the Heering as sort of a flourish. Another flourish--that dash of Cointreau that keeps even this heavy dessert drink tasting nice and bright.
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1 oz. cherry liqueur (Heering used)
  • 1 oz. half-and-half
  • dash Cointreau
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Blueberry Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

Sometimes I wonder why the New York Bartender's Guide of the 90's would have such a drink. At times it seems revolutionary in terms of cuisine back then. It also seems unlikely that a bar would have fresh blueberries because it was the 90s.

This is a great non-alcoholic drink to make at home with breakfast. Super healthy and filling, it's the kind of thing you might want to boost your workout. So again, I'm wondering why it ended up in a bartender's guide.
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cherry Raspberry Shake (Non-Alcoholic)

Try this frozen mocktail that tastes like a berry smoothie. Cherry cider or tart cherry juice is perfect for mixing, and blending sorbet adds a sugary smoothness to a blended cocktail. You'll notice I upgraded my straw selection to include wide-mouthed straws that work better with frozen drinks. Those skinny ones couldn't cut it.
  • 4 oz. unsweetened cherry cider
  • 4 oz. raspberry sorbet
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Collins glass. 

Union Jack

The Union Jack is the colloquial word for the British flag. Only a British gin will do for this cocktail! This drink has all the lines of a classic gin cocktail in English style. These usually use a berry or liqueur sweetener, twists, or juices. This one happens to make use of sloe gin, a very English ingredient that lends its bold red color.
  • 2 oz. gin (Tanqueray used)
  • 1 oz. sloe gin
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Ideal Cocktail

There's something to be said about the pursuit of the ideal cocktail. This may well be it--a drink with very classic lines and plenty of taste to recommend it. I like that it doesn't shy away from taking a Martini and adding that ever-so-important ingredient, maraschino liqueur. The flavor trends toward fruity and sweet, but gin keeps things spicy.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 tsp. maraschino liqueur (Luxardo used)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • maraschino cherry
Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Cherry Cherry (Non-Alcoholic)

Unsweetened cherry cider is the trick to the Cherry Cherry, a very tart treat of a mocktail that looks like some kind of Sea Breeze. It's tasty! And this virgin drink may be one of the best recipes I've made involving unsweetened cherry juice.
  • 4 oz. unsweetened cherry cider
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • sparkling water
  • lemon slice
Pour cherry cider, and lime juice in an Old Fashioned glass full of ice and stir. Top with sparkling water and garnish with the lemon slice. 

Pineapple Cooler

This is a very exotic tasting drink that is somehow familiar and re-assuring after so many strong tasting tropical drinks I usually make. Viognier is a semi-sweet white wine with a lot of character that won't be hidden in a cocktail. That is why it makes for an ideal spirit for this low-alcohol cocktail you can enjoy any time of the day.

  • 3 oz. white wine (Gayda viognier used)
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • sparkling water
  • lemon twist
Combine wine, pineapple juice, lemon juice and sugar in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and garnish with the lemon twist.

Mango Delight (Non-Alcoholic)

It's unusual to have a mango around just to make a smoothie with--and a non-alcoholic one at that. But I made an exception for this drink. And I was really pleased how nice it was, even with no added sugar or coloring. This is basically a slushie made with lime juice, mango and strawberries. All-natural goodness that's perfect for a high-vitamin snack.
  • 1/4 cup chopped mango
  • 3 fresh strawberries
  • 1 oz. lime juice 
  • lime slice and strawberries
Combine mango, three strawberries and lime juice in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled wine glass. Garnish with lime slice and strawberries. 

American Flyer

American Flyer is a champagne cocktail with one of the New World's favorite spirits--rum! In fact, this is pretty much a champagne version of a Daiquiri, an excellent drink in itself. I'm especially fond of how light and citrus-bright the flavor is with a bruit sparkling wine or champagne.
  • 1 1/2 oz. light rum
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar syrup
  • champagne or sparkling wine
Combine all ingredients except bubbles in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine or champagne. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


This drink could be all kinds of bad if you use poor quality ingredients. But that option is becoming less likely as bars up their selections of gin, vermouth and liqueurs. G.E. Massenez creme de cassis is the real deal. French cremes, while sweet, are leaps and bounds better than the junk peddled in the U.S.

Dolin dry vermouth is also an amazing dry vermouth (some of the best that France has to offer.) In fact, the French are so known for their production of dry vermouth that old recipes specifically called for French vermouth when they wanted to indicate dry vermouth.

When mixed with Hendrick's gin, you have a top shelf cocktail that will win over the staunchest Martini drinkers. And it is this kind of quality that exemplifies a cocktail bearing the name Parisian, with two French spirits boosting a quality gin.
  • 2 oz. gin (Hendrick's used)
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin) used. 
  • 1/2 oz. creme de cassis (G. E. Massenez used)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Park Avenue

This is a typical New York cocktail that doesn't mention Manhattan in its name. It turns out that this is one of two of NY drinks use pineapple juice. I'm thinking of the Harlem Cocktail, for instance. Pineapple juice adds foam to what would be a wet Martini. It's not all that original of a drink, but it was probably invented a long time ago when pineapple juice would have seemed exotic. And the cocktail has a certain appeal, very drinkable compared to a wet Martini.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Faux Kir / Faux Kir Royale (Non-Alcoholic)

This mocktail can be done in two ways: the Faux Kir with grape juice and raspberry syrup, and the Faux Kir Royale with sparkling cider and raspberry syrup. Both are good if you make your own raspberry syrup from fresh raspberries cooked in water and sugar and mashed. You get this brilliant color and the taste of real raspberries on top of whatever juice you pick.
  • 1 1/2 oz. raspberry syrup
  •  sparkling cider (Faux Kir Royale or white grape juice (Faux Kir)
  • lemon twist
Pour syrup into a chilled wine glass. Add a half glass of juice of choice and stir gently. Twist lemon peel over the glass and drop it in. 

Friar Tuck

This drink is an obvious nod to the Robin Hood tales' drunken friar. It's even more obvious with its use of Frangelico, the monk-shaped bottle with the rope belt like a Franciscian friar would wear.

Then all semblance of a monkish cocktail vanish when crushed ice, grenadine and citrus turn this cocktail into a sort of nutty tasting tiki. And it's a good one to know. How many Frangelico cocktails are out there that are not creamy dessert drinks? Almost none.
  • 2 oz. Frangelico
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  •  orange slice
Combine all liquid ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled Old Fashioned glass, garnish with orange slice. 

Applejack Collins

At some point, most of the popular cocktails have been tried with Applejack as an experiment. This is one that goes over very well. Applejack is less like a brandy and more similar to whiskey, and it has a neat herbal scent not unlike gin.

More strange discrepancies with this recipe: no Collins should be a blender drink, so I'm amending the recipe to a shaken cocktail as it should be. You'll see the original directions below, however.

Do this if you have applejack and the mood arises for a Collins in the fall.
  • 2 oz. applejack (Laird's used)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 3-5 dashes orange bitters
  • sparkling water
  • lemon slice
Combine all ingredients except sparkling water and lemon slice in a shaker (blender?) with ice. Shake (blend until smooth?) and pour into a chilled Collins glass. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Little Prince (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a nice mocktail--similar to an Apricot Daisy--if you can find apricot nectar. I couldn't so I got apricot preserves and warmed it in a sauce pan with equal parts water, then strained out the solids. This worked like a charm. There was strong apricot flavor, a lemon zip, and that fun fall cider sparkle on the tongue.

The look of the drink is great, too. Definitely do this one this fall.

One note, there was a huge error in the directions for this drink (first to place all ingredients in a mixing glass and second to shake all ingredients on ice.) It made no sense at all. Below you'll find how the recipe should read.
  • 2 oz. sparkling cider
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. apricot nectar
  • lemon twist
Shake lemon juice and apricot nectar in a shaker with ice and pour into an Old Fashioned glass. Top with sparkling cider and stir gently. Garnish with the lemon twist. 

Pink Lady

This drink should be pink and fluffy with egg white foam, but I used a homemade grenadine with less die. This is probably a good thing, but it made the photo wash out unappetizingly.

I like Vitae rum-based gin for its wetness in dessert drinks. This one is already pretty sweet and I feared that too much cream and juice will water it down. Vitae is 45% alcohol, so no danger of that.

There's a lot that can go wrong with this drink and I took special pains to prevent the tsp. of half-and-half from curdling into a ball in the middle of the shaker. If you are at all worried about this happening with your good gin, omit the cream altogether.

But the cream makes egg white bubbles firmer when mixed with lemon juice. So I see where this is going. Just shake all ingredients first, strain out the liquid into another shaker and add the cream. Shake again to create foam, then pour.
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. half-and-half
  • egg white
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice (or follow above paragraph on how to prevent curdling). Shake and strain (and follow above paragraph on using a second shake for the cream) into a chilled cocktail glass.

Baby Bellini (Non-Alcoholic)

The idea is simple, yet a tad more complicated than a virgin Mimosa. Bellinis usually use peach liqueur in champagne. The mocktail Bellini is sparkling cider, lemon juice and peach nectar. It's actually pretty awesome! Martinelli's cider is quite nice on its own and this mocktail has all the look and feel of the classic brunch cocktail.

Use chilled juices or shake them beforehand for the best results.
  • 2 oz. peach nectar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling cider
 Pour juices in a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling cider and stir gently.