Five Classic Cocktail Recipes With a Creative Twist

Need to unwind after a long day of work or taking care of the kids? Want to impress a date or a group of friends for ladies’ night? These five cocktail recipes by Monica Hart will certainly do the trick.

1. Sparkling Raspberry Mojito

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  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Several torn sprigs fresh mint
  • 1/2 shot freshly squeezed
    lime juice
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1/2 shot of Chambord
  • 6 fresh raspberries

To make the simple syrup, simmer sugar, water, and mint until the sugar dissolves. Cool, remove mint stems, and refrigerate. To make the cocktail, combine a shot of the simple syrup with the rest of the ingredients and muddle in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a glass filled with ice and top with a splash or two of champagne. Garnish with a fresh raspberry, an orange peel — formed into hearts — and a sprig of fresh mint.

2. Blood Orange and Caramel Moscow Mules

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  • Caramel sauce
  • 2 ounces good vodka
  • 1 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 3 ounces ginger beer

Drizzle a scant tablespoon of caramel sauce into an ice filled copper mug. Add the vodka and blood orange juice. Stir to combine and top off with the ginger beer. Garnish with a crispy dried orange slice on the rim.

3. Spiced Pear-tini

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  • 1 pear, cubed, seeds removed but skin left on
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • Splash pear brandy
  • 1½ shots vodka
  • 1 shot pear simple syrup
  • 1/2 shot freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a pan, poach pear cubes in water, sugar, star anise, and pear brandy. Let the mixture simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and chill.

Place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice, and shake well. Pour into a glass, and garnish with a fresh pear slice and a fragrant sprig of fresh herbs.

4. Cinnamon Martini with Cranberry Ice Cubes

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  • 1 and 1/2 shots vodka
  • 1/2 shot freshly squeezed
    orange juice
  • 1 shot cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Cranberry cube (recipe below)

Place ingredients in an ice-cold cocktail shaker and shake and pour. Coat the rim of a martini glass in a bit of orange juice and roll in cinnamon sugar. Drop a cranberry cube or two into the cinnamon martini. Cheers!

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:

Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup granulated sugar and one cinnamon stick. Simmer in a pan on the stovetop until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool. Remove cinnamon stick.

Cranberry Cubes:

Place 1/2 teaspoon of canned cranberry puree into ice tray compartments and fill the sections with sparkling water. Freeze.

5. Old Fashioned with Brown Sugar Syrup

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  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar simple syrup (instructions below)
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2 dashes blood orange bitters
  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • Large slice orange peel
  • Amarena Italian black cherries in syrup 
  • 1 very large, clear ice cube

To make the simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup water and 1 cup dark brown sugar in a stovetop pan, simmer until sugar dissolves, and cool in the refrigerator.

To make the cocktail, put the first five ingredients in a bucket glass and stir. Add one large ice cube, top with a cherry, and serve.

is the digital coordinator at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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