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Dream Up Your Own Cocktails!

Dream Up Your Own Cocktails!

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You don’t have to be a chef to create your own recipes, and you don’t have to be a bartender to dream up your own cocktail creations. But it helps to have the imagination of a liberal arts major married to an engineer’s love of tinkering.

It also helps to have good ingredients at the bar as well as in the pantry and refrigerator.

For example, I was recently given samples of Purely Syrup’s premixed simple syrup — a staple of bartenders — that was lightly flavored with ginger. A few days later, I received two samples of Martin Miller’s gin, one the standard 80 proof and the other 90 proof.

The proximity of the deliveries of the simple syrup and the gin convinced me to try the two of them together, but I knew I would need at least a third ingredient. When it comes to cocktails, I like to think like an Italian cook — stick with a few ingredients so that each will be identifiable even in a blend.

For the third ingredient, I had recently tried a recipe for halibut prepared in a harissa bouillon that required Meyer lemons. I had a few left over, so here was the perfect opportunity to use them up as well.

I started by squeezing a couple of the lemons to test their flavor and acidity. Then I tasted the Purely Syrup — rounded sweet, not too much ginger flavor, and no bite. Finally, the gin. I love Martin Miller’s because it doesn’t hit you over the head with a juniper branch, and it has a great glycerol mouth feel — not fat, but lightly sweet.

Even though the ingredients in both are the same, the 90 proof seemed to accentuate the citrus notes more. If I wore cologne, I would have a small bottle of Martin Miller’s London Dry next to my basin to slap on my face and perhaps to gargle with each morning. I next worked on proportions until I found a formula that fit my palate. Finally, I added a couple of ice cubes and a splash of soda — something sparkly but less flavorful than tonic water.

I fixed a glass for my wife — the gin judge in the family — for her comments. “I love the flavors, but it’s a little too puckery for me,” she said. “I would cut the lemon in half.” I like pucker, so I ignored her and downed the drink.

Now I needed a name for my new creation. Some people like to name their cocktails the way rock bands like to use nonsensical fronts for themselves — Dumb Turtle or Marjorie’s Complaint. I prefer to name the drinks the way most horses are named, taking something from the sire and something from the dam.

I finally decided on “The Ginger Miller,” which worked in gin, ginger, and Miller’s. A few pages of Google convinced me it was a somewhat original name for a cocktail as well as providing me an inspiration to dedicate it to the several women who bear the name.

See The Ginger Miller Recipe

(For more on Purely Syrup’s products, go to Martin Miller’s gins are imported by Kindred Spirits of North America.)

15 Fun and Easy Cocktails You Can Make Using Baileys

Baileys Irish Cream is probably one of the most iconic Irish drinks, apart from Guinness of course. Back in the 1970s, Baileys slogan was: ‘A drop of the soft stuff’, as opposed to the hard stuff – whiskey, which was seen as a ‘manly’ drink. However, Baileys has come a long way since then, and is popular with both men and women. It is particularly popular during the Christmas holidays, served in a whiskey glass over ice.

Because of its sweet and creamy flavour, Baileys lends itself well in various desserts. It can be used in dishes dishes such cheesecake, chocolate brownies and even tiramisu. Some people even make their own version of Baileys Irish Cream. However, whether homemade or store-bought, we believe that the best way to enjoy Baileys is in a cocktail.

1. Baileys White Russian

Photo courtesy of @baileysofficial on Instagram

The White Russian was featured in the 1998 classic movie, The Big Lebowski, which gave the drink its cool status. Here, indulgent Baileys adds a sophisticated twist to this true cocktail classic.

2. Baileys Honey Bee

Photo courtesy of @baileysofficial on Instagram

This smooth blend of Baileys, whiskey and honey is super sweet but still packs quite the punch. Not only does honey potentially have some amazing health benefits, it’s true that whiskey will always be the real MVP of the night.

3. Baileys French Dream

Photo courtesy of @baileysofficial on Instagram

This super-classy cocktail is made with Baileys, coffee liqueur, and raspberry liqueur. Not often seen on a classic cocktail list, this will not fail to impress at your next cocktail party.

4. Baileys Birthday Cake

This is a really fun and simple shot to make, consisting of classic Baileys, shaken over ice, and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles. Take this drink to the next level with some edible shot glasses.

5.Caramel Apple Martini

Photo courtesy of

The classic autumnal combination of caramel and apple makes this the perfect drink for a bonfire night party or thanksgiving celebrations.

6. Baileys Chocolatini

Photo courtesy of @baileysfrance on Instagram

This drink is the perfect way to satisfy those chocolate cravings while still appearing sophisticated. If that’s still not enough chocolate for you, try this amazing alcoholic hot chocolate.

7. Baileys Orange Bliss

Photo courtesy of @baileysfrance on Instagram

Creamy Baileys combined with fresh, citrusy orange creates this delicious cocktail that tastes similar to a Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

8. Baileys Almande Refresh

Photo courtesy of

Made with almond milk, this type of Baileys is actually dairy and gluten free. Combined with coconut water, this makes for a deliciously refreshing and low-calorie cocktail.

9. Baileys Snowflake

Photo courtesy of @baileysus on Instagram

With biscotti, vanilla and butterscotch flavours, the Baileys Snowflake is a creamy drink perfect for the wintery weather. Pair it with this 3-ingredient chocolate peppermint bark for an indulgent Christmas treat.

10. Extra Creamy Orgasm

Photo courtesy of @thetipsybartender on Instagram

This shot certainly lives up to its naughty title. Containing Kahlua, Baileys, amaretto, creme de cacao, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles, it is simply pure pleasure.

11. Henny Chocolate Bar Cocktail

Photo courtesy of @85lastwyatt on Instagram

This is a must-try for all the Hennessy drinkers out there. This insanely decadent drink is a rich concoction of deliciously creamy flavours and some seriously strong alcohol.

12. Baileys Freakshake

Photo courtesy of @baileysofficial on Instagram

A hybrid of a milkshake, cocktail, and dessert, this is an indulgent treat not for the faint hearted. Click here to read about a freakshake that is even more extravagant than this one.

13. The B-52

Photo courtesy of @baileysofficial on Instagram

A fun layered shot that should definitely be a staple at every pre-drink party. This drink can be taken to the next level by igniting the top layer, creating a blue flame. Alternatively, turn it into a B-52 with Bomb Bay Doors, that is a B-52 with a 4th layer consisting of Bombay Gin.

14. Flat White Martini

Photo courtesy of @lmcsweeet on Instagram

A truly classy cocktail with a rich, smooth flavour and caffeine kick. Perfect as an after dinner drink when more than just a cup of coffee is required.

15. Baileys Grasshopper

Photo courtesy of @baileysus on Instagram

This bright-green cocktail is a great dessert substitute, as it tastes just like mint choc chip ice cream. If you can’t get enough of the classic baileys and mint combo, these boozy baileys mint chocolate chip pancakes will be right up your street.

How To Make Jamaican Sorrel Drink


  • water
  • dried sorrel
  • grated fresh ginger
  • allspice berries
  • cloves
  • orange peel
  • simple syrup or maple syrup, to sweeten

Make It:

  1. Boil water in a saucepan.
  2. Add in sorrel, ginger, berries, cloves, and orange peel.
  3. Let mixture steep for about an hour in the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, make the simple syrup (follow my easy recipe below) and set aside.
  5. Strain sorrel juice into a pitcher and sweeten with maple syrup, to taste.
  6. Serve over ice and garnish with orange and lime wedges.

How to Make Simple Sugar Syrup

Making your own simple syrup is quite easy.

Just add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of water to a saucepan, and cook on low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. As soon as sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let it cool.

For a thicker syrup, you can use a 2:1 ratio. Add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup of water to a saucepan, and cook until sugar is dissolved.

If you do make a thicker syrup like this, note that you will need to use less to your cocktail. Spice jars are great for storing leftover syrup.

Recipe Tips

  • This recipe uses dried sorrel. If using fresh hibiscus, the drink will be a lighter red.
  • For a deeper red color, add a few more tablespoons of sorrel.
  • When entertaining a crowd, simply double (or even triple) this recipe.
  • Prep it ahead of time and just store in the fridge until needed.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut off the peel from an orange if you need to.

Delicious Variations

  • Make it into a punch – spike it with rum for a delicious adults-only version.
  • Add fruit – colourful fruit slices will add to the festive look.
  • Vary the sweetener – feel free to sweeten with maple syrup or honey.


Refrigerate in an airtight container and store for up to 1 week.

25 Rosé Cocktail Recipes To Add A Bit Of Bubbly To Your Summer

Yes way, rosé &mdash all day, and all summer.

These concoctions prove that summer drinks made with rosé never fail to impress and refresh.

With the rise of cachaça in the American market and the Rio games just around the corner, this summer sipper couldn't be more apropos. New York bartender Anthony Bohlinger (Maison Premiere, Seamstress) uses Avuá Prata (the brand's unaged expression, which is rested briefly in stainless steel casks prior to being bottled by hand) and highlights the sugarcane-based spirit's light floral notes.

Splash Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve

Shake first four ingredients with ice strain into Nick and Nora glass and top with dry sparkling rose. Garnish with lavender sprig and oils of lemon zest (discard peel). Add pinch of salt to finish.

Jared Schubert of The Monkey Wrench in Louisville, Kentucky gives rosé a Southern twist.

2 oz Laird's Applejack, bonded

Using a vegetable peeler, cut away the peels of two lemons in strips. In a saucepan, add peels to 1 cup of sugar and muddle to release citrus oils. Allow to infuse for an hour. Add 1 cup of water, set over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow syrup to cool and then strain into a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep for two weeks.

In a Collins glass, gently muddle mint with lemon syrup to release oils. Add Applejack and rosé, stir to combine. Fill glass halfway with crushed ice, add salt and stir again. Top with more crushed ice to mound over top. Garnish with mint sprigs, red berries and lemon wheel.

This recipe originally appeared on PUNCH.

NYC newcomer The Lucky Bee, helmed by husband-and-husband duo Matty Bennett and Rupert Noffs, is as vibrant to the eye as it is on the palate. With pops of pink around every corner, it's only fitting that they'd dream up a cocktail as dreamily rosy as its surroundings. Round up your funkiest tropical garnishes and try this one at home:

.5 oz Elysium Black Muscat

Build cocktail in wine or Burgundy glass stir until chilled.

Latin in construction and French in spirit, this concoction brings the best of both worlds together in a glass at the hands of Connecticut cocktail connoisseur Anthony de Serio. La Rosa Paloma's tequila base makes way for an interesting take on the classic French rosé-and-grapefruit combination, adding a sweet softness with strawberry and the crisp bubbly finish of a rosé Crémant d'Alsace.

1.5 oz 100% Patron Silver tequila

1 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice

.75 oz fresh strawberry syrup

.75 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

In a saucepan, add one cup water to one cup Demerara sugar and one cup hulled diced strawberries. Simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and stir for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer through a strainer into a refrigerator-safe container for future use. To keep up to 3 months, add one ounce vodka to syrup before storing.

Add all ingredients into mixing tin with ice. Shake and double strain into an ice-filled wine goblet lined with thin grapefruit slices. Top with Lucien Albrecht Cremánt d'Alsace Brut Rosé and thread a straw through a hulled rose sculpted strawberry as garnish. Insert and serve.

Raspberry Lemonade Sangria

Refreshing, fruity, and a fabulous party drink for summer, it's hard to beat this raspberry lemonade sangria. It requires just six ingredients, including your favorite white wine and fresh raspberries, and mixes up in minutes. When you use homemade lemonade, it's just a little better and sure to be a hit with all your guests.

Brew up your own Batuuan cocktails with the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge cookbook

You don't have to travel to Florida or California for a taste of the Batuuan cuisine at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Thanks to the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook from the good folks at Insight Editions, you'll be able to re-create the drinks, dishes, and snacks from places like Oga's Cantina, Ronto's Roasters, and Kat Saka's Kettle. The recipes come courtesy of Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, while Marc Sumerak wrote the book in the voice of Strono "Cookie" Tuggs, a former head chef for Maz Kanata's castle who eventually opened his own food freighter called Tugg’s Grib. According to the Galaxy's Edge prose novel by Delilah S. Dawson, Cookie stops on Batuu one week out of every month, serving some of the best fried Endorian tip-yip in the known galaxy.

"Lucky for us, Strono was already an established character before he ever landed on Batuu and parked his food freighter atop Black Spire Outpost’s Docking Bay 7. Between The Force Awakens, its tie-in stories, and the amazing narrative for Galaxy’s Edge developed by Margaret Kerrison and the WDI team, I already had everything I needed to help bring 'Cookie' — and his cooking — alive on the page," Sumerak tells SYFY WIRE.

Our mouths watering, we requested an exclusive look at the cookbook, and Insight was all too happy to oblige, providing us with the recipe pages for two drinks you'd easily be able to pick up at Oga's Cantina: the Hyperdrive and the Photon Fizzle. Just make sure you're of age.

"They look vibrant and exciting, for a start! But they're also delicious and refreshing. I think this recipe collection has a really solid drinks section, and I enjoyed drinking . uh . field-testing each of them!" says Monroe-Cassel, who has written cookbooks based on Game of Thrones, Overwatch, Elder Scrolls, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, Outlander, and World of Warcraft. "With any cookbook project I take on, I start with a list of what's canon in the world. In this case, it's mostly what we've seen in the films, along with some novels, comics, etc. Then I build outward from there, trying to represent the various worlds, cultures, history, and so on. After that, it's a matter of balancing the number of side dishes, main courses, etc. I am always prone to having too many drinks and desserts, since they're my favorites!"

"With the Photon Fizzle, it’s all about the cool, refreshing flavors, enhanced by the unusual texture of the boba orbs floating in the mix. As for the Hyperdrive, it’s got a powerhouse combination of fruity flavors that’ll have you ready to make the jump into lightspeed in no time!" adds Sumerak.

As we said above, this book allows you to enjoy the food of the theme park without having to go there. While writing the recipes, Monroe-Cassel was cognizant of the fact that they would be replicated not in industrial-sized kitchens, but in regular households.

"There are several recipes that are for dishes you can enjoy in the parks, but downsized for a home kitchen. If you're planning on opening up your own cantina, they'll take some tweaking to be sure you have large enough portions for a crowd! But I was able to follow my own creative drive, for the most part, which was really fun," she explains. "It's a seriously daunting delight. Being able to work on a Star Wars cookbook has been on my dream project list for years now, so when I was asked, I was over the moon. There's never been an in-world SW cookbook before! But as with any much-loved world, there's a really high bar for quality set by the fans, and it's important to respect what's come before and, when possible, really honor that legacy."

"It’s hard to pick, but my favorites are always the ones that have a deep connection to existing lore, whether it comes directly from Galaxy’s Edge or from elsewhere in the Star Wars saga. Getting to help bring these fan favorite foods home was a real honor, and I can’t wait for folks to get their hands — no matter how many they might have — on this book!" says Sumerak.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook goes on sale everywhere Tuesday, Nov. 5. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon here.

Put some spring in your cocktail party

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French 75

Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Champagne, Lemon Zest

  • Ice Cubes
  • 1 Part Gin
  • ½ Part Lemon Juice
  • ½ Part Simple Syrup
  • Champagne
  • 1 Spiral Lemon Zest

How to make

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a champagne glass. Top up with champagne. Garnish with a lemon zest.

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Mint Julep

Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Mint Leaf

How to make

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in a rocks glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add bourbon. Stir. Garnish with mint leaves.

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Strawberry Dream

Vanilla Ice Cream, Cream, Strawberry, Basil

  • 2 Parts Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 2 Parts Cream
  • 4 Whole Strawberries
  • 2 Leaves Basil

How to make

Muddle strawberries and basil in a shaker. Add vanilla ice cream and cream. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

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Raspberry Spritzer

Soda Water, Simple Syrup, Raspberry, Mint Leaf

  • Ice Cubes
  • 5 Parts Soda Water
  • ½ Part Simple Syrup
  • 5 Whole Raspberries
  • 3 Leaves Mint Leaf

How to make

Muddle raspberries and simple syrup in a highball glass. Fill with ice cubes. Add two mint leaves and soda water. Stir. Garnish with a raspberry and a mint leaf.

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Cucumber and Rosemary Lemonade

Water, Lemon Juice, Peach Syrup, Cucumber, Rosemary

  • Ice Cubes
  • 2½ Parts Water
  • 1 Part Lemon Juice
  • ½ Part Peach Syrup
  • 4 Slices Cucumber
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary

How to make

Muddle cucumber in a shaker. Fill with ice cubes. Add lemon juice, peach syrup, water and rosemary. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with rosemary.

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Bee’s Knees

How to make

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

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Basil and Strawberries

Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Strawberry, Basil, Soda Water

  • Ice Cubes
  • 1 Part Lemon Juice
  • ⅓ Part Simple Syrup
  • 4 Pieces Strawberry
  • 2 Leaves Basil
  • Soda Water

How to make

Muddle strawberry, lemon juice, basil and simple syrup in a highball glass. Fill with ice cubes. Top up with soda water. Garnish with a strawberry.

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Absolut Strawberry and Kiwi

Absolut Vodka, Strawberry, Kiwi, Sugar, Superfine, Half And Half

  • Ice Cubes
  • Crushed Ice
  • 1½ Parts Absolut Vodka
  • 4 Whole Strawberries
  • 1 Half Kiwi
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar, Superfine
  • 1 Slice Half and Half

How to make

Muddle strawberries, kiwi and sugar, superfine in a shaker. Fill with ice cubes. Add Absolut Vodka. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with half and half.

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Spring Fling

Tequila Blanco, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Triple Sec, Lime

  • Ice Cubes
  • 1⅓ Parts Tequila Blanco
  • ⅔ Part Orange Juice
  • ⅔ Part Pineapple Juice
  • ⅓ Part Triple Sec
  • 1 Wheel Lime

How to make

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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Spring Feeling

Gin, Green Chartreuse, Lemon Juice

How to make

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

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Parisian Spring Punch

Dry Vermouth, Calvados, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, Champagne, Apple

  • Ice Cubes
  • Crushed Ice
  • ⅓ Part Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Part Calvados
  • ⅓ Part Lemon Juice
  • ⅓ Part Simple Syrup
  • Champagne
  • 1 Slice Apple

How to make

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add calvados, dry vermouth, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a wine glass filled with crushed ice. Top up with champagne. Garnish with apple.

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Absolut Spring Leaf

Absolut Vodka, Absolut Peppar, Sambuca, Bitters, Grenadine

  • Ice Cubes
  • ⅔ Part Absolut Vodka
  • ⅔ Part Absolut Peppar
  • 1 Dash Sambuca
  • 1 Dash Bitters
  • 1 Dash Grenadine

How to make

Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Stir and strain into a cocktail glass.

Southern Sips

Raise a glass to goin’ fast with a Speedway, the official cocktail of racing!

Southern Sparkler

Fix yourself this patriotic, refreshing cocktail and toast to the good ol’ USA, y’all!

Dixie Honey Lemonade

A simple, refreshing summertime sip that goes down easy — but pace yourself, friends, it might just sneak up on you.

Spicy Southern Sipper

Just like a Southern mama, this drink is a little sweet and a little sassy—and a great addition to any get together.

Raspberry Dill Mule

Give this unique cocktail a chance — it’s like a garden in a glass.

Kiwi Fresno Mule

Get your daily dose of fruits and veggies in this mouthwatering mashup.

Pineapple Jalapeño Mule

With one sip, you’ll be transported to the Caribbean, with a kick.

Blueberry Basil Mule

This fruity and herbal cocktail is a summertime masterpiece in a mule mug.

Strawberry Mint Mule

This sip is as fresh as a Southern gentleman and sweet as a Southern belle.

South of The Border

A fresh take on a South-of-the-Border favorite when mango nectar meets the World’s Best Flavored Vodka.

Dixie Pick-Me-Up

Whipped coffee meets a White Russian!

Dixie Black Pepper Grilled Bloody Mary

There are cocktails, then there are grilled cocktails. Take the traditional Bloody Mary to the next level by grilling up vegetables to purée into your own mix. Combine with Dixie Black Pepper Vodka and grilled garnishes. Yes, you are a serial griller.

The book is ASTOUNDING . Derek's ILLUSTRATIONS make it a concert of creativity .

Charles Phoenix

Dude, this is seriously outstanding. Like this is a very, very cool book. I'm very excited to get a copy!

Nick M.

Beautifully illustrated by well-known retro artist Derek Yaniger, Kiddie Cocktails is sure to rev up your next soirée, with or without kids.

Boing Boing

All 𠆌hoked Up

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