winter spice bourbon cocktail recipe.

well. it’s been almost a month of radio silence from me. there are a lot of reasons for that, the main one being that we are potty training miss Amelia, while also dealing with a not-quite-three month old. i’ve also been a little short on blog post inspiration. so i figured, why not write about something near and dear to my heart? which right now, is this cocktail. or any cocktail really. i mentioned potty training, right?

(plus, it’s been a little baby heavy around here lately, so i figured we could use a change.)

this cocktail was inspired by those simmering potpourris you make on the stove with citrus and mulling spices, the ones that make your house smell like christmas. i had some clementine peels laying around one day during nap time, and after digging through my spice cabinet for the rest of the ingredients, this recipe was born.

drinking this cocktail is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and going out into the fresh snow. the mulling spices make it a bit warm and spicy and the citrus keeps it tasting bright and fresh. it’s perfect for the winter, especially when everything starts to feel a bit dark and you just feel generally blah. or you know, it’s perfect for an evening after a day spent potty training your strong-willed two and a half year old. whatever occasion makes more sense for your life right now.

let me know if you make it, and what you think! bonus: the simple syrup can be used to sweeten coffee or tea for a little seasonal flavor.

winter spice bourbon cocktail (makes one drink, easily multiplied)

  • 1 oz. winter spice simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 1/4 clementine
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ice

fill a lowball glass with clementine and cherries, smash together a bit. fill glass with ice. pour simple syrup and bourbon over ice and give it a quick stir with the cinnamon stick. garnish with another cherry and slice of clementine. best enjoyed while curled up with a blanket, a fire and a good movie.

winter spice simple syrup

  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. sugar
  • peel of 2 clementines
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

in a medium saucepan, bring clementine peel, star anise, cinnamon sticks, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes. let cool completely, then strain. discard the solids. bonus: syrup can be kept in fridge for 1-2 weeks, and can be used to sweeten coffee or tea with a subtle citrus and warm spice flavor. 

if you need ideas for other cocktails, check out these posts too:

apple cider sangria || cranberry moscow mule || spiked hot cocoa

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cranberry moscow mule recipe.

oh boy. that last post was a doozy, wasn’t it? i hope it resonated with some of you, because it needed to be written. but now, it’s time to get back to our regularly scheduled shenanigans. oh yes, i’m talking about cocktails.

cranberry moscow mule recipe. an easy, festive twist on the classic moscow mule. it's perfect for any holiday parties you might have this season! || everything with love

i’ve been thinking about this recipe for weeks now. ever since i saw this trader joe’s ginger beer, i just knew it was begging to be used in a moscow mule recipe. but not just any old moscow mule recipe, it had to be a moscow mule with a twist. and then i saw a bag of cranberries at the grocery store around thanksgiving and all i could think was CRANBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP. IN A MOSCOW MULE. thus, the inspiration for the cranberry moscow mule was born.

cranberry moscow mule made with trader joe's ginger brew.  perfectly easy holiday cocktail.

this drink is the jolliest cocktail this side of the nuthouse! (name that movie and you will cement your cool status with me forever.) it’s spicy from the trader joe’s ginger beer, it’s tart and fruity from the cranberry simple syrup, and it’s freaking delicious from being a moscow mule. as with all my cocktail recipes, i highly suggest you make this as soon as you possibly can. i myself may or may not have made this during naptime, so you really don’t have much of an excuse to not make it tonight. or at the very least this weekend. most of us probably have holiday parties up the wazoo, and even if you don’t, i’m sure we can all find a reason to make ourselves a festive cranberry moscow mule. right? right!

the traditional moscow mule is usually served in copper mugs, so that’s how i chose to serve this twist, but i think it would be really fun to serve them in some festive christmas mugs, especially if you serve this as your cocktail at a christmas party. throw in an ugly christmas sweater, and then send me an invite, because you clearly know how to do christmas right!

cranberry moscow mule recipe. an easy twist on the classic moscow mule for the holidays!


cranberry moscow mule recipe. it's s festive twist on the traditional moscow mule for the holidays!

the cranberry simple syrup is the most involved part of this recipe; it only takes 10 minutes to make, so it’s really very easy (plus it makes extra, so you can enjoy all the cranberry moscow mules you want). a little boiling, a little lime squeezing and opening a couple bottles is all the labor this drink requires.


cranberry simple syrup recipe, perfect for all sorts of holiday cocktails this season!

cranberry simple syrup recipe

cranberry simple syrup recipe

here is the recipe for your enjoyment:

cranberry moscow mule recipe (makes 1, easily multiplied)

  • 1 oz. cranberry simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • ginger beer (to taste)
  • handful of cranberries for garnish
  • ice

in a copper mug filled with ice, add cranberry simple syrup, vodka, and juice from the two lime wedges. throw the lime wedges in the mug as well. top with ginger beer to taste (depending how strong you like your cocktails) and add a few cranberries as a garnish, either free-floating or on a toothpick skewer. add a festive straw and enjoy! be careful…these pack a punch but don’t taste very strong.

cranberry simple syrup recipe (makes 1 cup, can be kept in fridge for 1-2 weeks)

  • 2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries (i used fresh)
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. water

in a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cranberries are tender but haven’t quite split open, about 10 minutes. mine did split, but i didn’t notice any difference in the consistency of the syrup once it was strained. let cool, then strain. discard cranberries. the syrup will be a pretty red color. bonus: syrup can be kept in fridge for 1-2 weeks, and can be used in other cocktails (like a dressed up vodka soda).

cranberry moscow mule recipe. an easy twist on the classic moscow mule, perfect for a festive holiday drink!

if you need ideas for other holiday cocktails, check out these posts too:

apple cider sangria || spiked hot cocoa

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apple cider sangria recipe.

how to make an easy apple cider sangria. perfect for holiday parties.

we are now smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, and you know what that means. lots of parties, lots of hosting, lots of friends and family, and lots of need for fun drink recipes. this apple cider sangria recipe is a great addition to any party, because you can make a lot at once, and it’s incredibly easy to throw together ahead of time. in fact, i suggest you make it ahead of time.

[in related news, i did my first periscope the other day! it was simultaneously amazing/fun/terrifying/weird/wonderful. thank you to everyone who was able to join in or watch the replay. this is the recipe that i showed how to make, and there were some requests to put it on the blog for easy access. i aim to please, so here it is!]

apple cider sangria is a great variation on traditional sangria. it’s a fun twist on the classic drink, with just enough seasonal flavor to make it fun, but not enough to make it a pain to make. sangria should be made at least an hour ahead of time, the more time the flavors have to mix and marinate, the better. i’m including a full list of ingredients for you, but i do note the optional ingredients, as sangria should really be made according to your personal tastes. don’t like sugar? don’t add any. like a lot of fruity flavor? add more cider. half the fun is tweaking the recipe to suit your audience. (which hopefully is a large group of friends and family, but if it’s just you, that’s cool too. i won’t tell.)




apple cider sangria (makes one pitcher, can be easily adjusted to make more)

  • half an apple, chopped
  • half an orange, sliced
  • 1/2 C. pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (you can also use 1/2 tsp. cinnamon spice if you don’t have any cinnamon sticks.)
  • 1 bottle of cheap red wine
  • 2-3 C. apple cider
  • 1/4 C. brandy (optional. you can also use apple liqueur, apple brandy, bourbon, whiskey or nothing. this just adds more layers to the flavor in the sangria.)
  • 1/4 C. sugar (optional. you can also use a sweet pomegranate juice or something similar to add more sweetness.)

add the fruit and cinnamon sticks to a large pitcher. pour the wine, cider and brandy into the pitcher. if you’re adding sugar, stir in at the end. taste the mix (but not too much!) and adjust flavors accordingly. let sit in the fridge until serving.  you can make this in advance, as early as the night before, but the morning before serving is ideal. salud!


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watermelon bourbon cocktail

hah, two recipe posts in a week. at least one has booze in it? i promise saturday’s post does not have anything to do with recipes (but it is a good one). 

as if you haven’t heard me say this enough, one of my favorite things to do on a friday night in is to make up new cocktail combinations. i love looking in the fridge to see what i have to work with and seeing what fun recipes i can think up. there’s a fun challenge in earning my drink, you know what i mean? there are quite a few tries that end with a drink down the drain, but i love sharing the ones that work out!

this is one of those cocktails that, the second i finished making it, knew it would be a hit. it’s also one of those cocktails that was so good that i only took one photo of it, because if i waited too long, it’d be watery and not as fruity and warm and smooth.

something about the wintery bourbon and the summery watermelon makes this a perfect transition cocktail as the fall gets into full swing. i hope beyond hope that you can still find some fresh watermelon, but frozen will do just as nicely, as will any other watery fruit (pear? peach?).

watermelon bourbon cocktail

watermelon bourbon cocktail recipe (makes 2)

  • ice
  • 1 cup fresh watermelon cubes (thawed frozen will work too)
  • 1 large lime wedge
  • 1-2 tsp. honey
  • 2 oz. of your favorite bourbon
  • club soda (optional)

in a shaker, add the watermelon cubes, the juice from the lime wedge, and the honey. muddle together until they make a juice. add the bourbon and ice to the shaker. shake vigorously to mix together and chill. strain mixture out into a glass filled with ice. if you’d like some bubbles in your cocktail, leave some room and add a little club soda. finish off with a pretty straw and you’re set.

note: a standard american shot glass is 1.5 oz., so use a little over one shot for every 2 oz. the recipe calls for.

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strawberry-lemon vodka soda.

raise your hand if you are super excited for all things fall but still just a little bit sad to say goodbye to the good parts of summer. *raises hand* yea, i hear you. it makes me a little misty to think that i have to go through another long winter before we can take warm walks after dinner, and then sit on the deck under the twinkle lights with my husband and a cocktail after the baby goes to bed. winter is

it’s been a while since i’ve shared a cocktail recipe with you all, but that doesn’t mean that i haven’t been drinking them. no, on the contrary, with all the weddings we’ve had and the fun houseguests and dinners (not to mention those evenings on the deck with Mister Man), i’ve had more than my fair share. i’m excited to start sharing more of the fun concoctions i’ve been throwing together, and even the ones that MM makes…he’s quite the mixologist, that one.

so as a farewell to summer, here is a sparkly fresh cocktail for you to send it off with.strawberry lemon cocktail

strawberry lemon cocktail

strawberry-lemon vodka soda recipe (makes 2)

  • ice
  • 3/4 C. fresh strawberries (thawed frozen will work too) + more for garnish
  • 2 large lemon wedges
  • 4 oz. vodka (substitute lemonade for a delicious mocktail!)
  • splash of grenadine
  • club soda

gently muddle quartered strawberries in two low ball glasses. squeeze one lemon wedge into each glass on top of the strawberries. fill the glasses with ice, then add the vodka and the grenadine (not too much or it will be too sweet, unless you like that sort of thing, then go for it) and stir. make sure to leave a little room in the glass. top it off with club soda, garnish with a strawberry and the squeezed out lemon wedge and enjoy, preferably on a sunny deck while waving goodbye to the last of the summer heat.

note: a standard american shot glass is 1.5 oz., so use a little over one shot for every 2 oz. the recipe calls for.

strawberry lemon cocktail

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