I love cocktails. I love mixed drinks. I appreciate the talent of making a classic beverage and I love the artistry involved in creating an entirely new one. I love bartending tricks and skills and I love hipster mixology and prohibition era drinks. Booze: I’m a fan!
Normally, when looking at a cocktail menu I don’t go for a specific type of alcohol- I gravitate towards the drinks that have ingredients I wouldn’t normally have on hand at home, or have never heard of. But I do have a soft spot in my heart for traditional stuff too…margaritas, manhattans…
Here are 7 memorable cocktails I’ve had in my travels, some with copycat recipes!
Avocado Margarita La Cava del Tequila, Epcot- You know I had to start with a Disney drink. Don’t let the margs outside confuse you! What you wanna do is head inside the Mayan pyramid and hang right to the bar. Holler at Disney Food Blog for the recipe, they're the real heroes.
- 1/2 ripe Haas avocado
- 2 oz. white 100% agave Tequila
- 1 oz. Midori melon liquor
- juice of one lime (about 1 oz.)
- 1 oz. Agave Syrup
- Blend all ingredients with a scoop of ice
Raspberry Beret Butcher & Bee, Charleston SC Obviously I ordered this because of the name, kiiiiind of obsessed with Prince. Since I was dining alone, I requested to sit at the bar- turns out they don’t have one! They have a chef’s table, which involves a lot less small talk but a lot more entertainment- sort of like Master Chef live and in person.
Hippopoto Mai-Tai Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto, Polynesian Resort, Walt Disney World–Trader Sam’s, the adults-only tiki bar inside the Polynesian resort at Walt Disney World, is one of my favorite places of all time. My favorite drink (okay, they’re all my favorite but…) is a classic mai tai that comes in a souvenir glass modeled after the demigod Maui, who is the logo for the resort. (And also, Dwayne Johnson. Can someone please tell The Rock I would like to meet him for Tiki Drinks at the Poly? Please and thank you!)
- 1 oz. each Light and Dark Rums
- 1/2 oz. Orange Curacao,
- 1 tsp. Orgeat (Almond) Syrup
- 1 tsp. Organic Agave Nectar
- 1/2 freshly squeezed lime
- Shake it all up with ice, garnish with an outlandish amount of fruit and tiki decor
Honeysuckle Fizz Chicken & The Egg, Marietta GA I rarely order the same drink twice (especially in a place that has a seasonally rotating menu) but this one’s just too good. Plus they were local to me, so I was a frequent diner/drinker here!
- 1/2 oz. Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka
- Prosecco (top off the flute)
- Squeeze of lime (a wedge'll do ya)
Manhattan Andaz Hotel, Savannah GA “Does Savannah have the best Manhattan in America?” (Yes. It also has a lot of other awesome stuff: Check out my guide to Savannah here.) The bartender who created this won a nationwide contest by Woodford Reserve; though he has since moved on to another location. But you can copy his drink with this recipe!
- 2 ounces Woodford Reserve
- 1/2 oz of Carpano Antica
- 1/2 oz Punt e Mes
- a couple dashes of bitters
- Stirred, not shaken. Garnish with:
- Italian cherry, smoked
- Orange zest, flamed
Personalized Rosemary Lemon Cocktail Top of the Monk, Asheville NC This whole experience was memorable: first of all, it’s cold AF in Asheville in January. Second, when we finally shivered our way inside- we seemed to be at the bottom of the Monk- the staircase outside, that looks private, is where to find the bar. Then when you get to the Top, you have to pay for a membership. I think it was a buck or two, and it has to do with the liquor laws and serving to the public. At which point we are finally in this very cozy, vintage feeling speakeasy with a menu that is overwhelming in a good way- my husband asks the bartender to make some decisions for me, and he comes back with a creation involving gin, lemon, and rosemary. Plus each drink came with a key for free snacks- a literal key. It opens your choice of letter slot in a vintage mailbox with munchies inside. As if this weren’t all precious enough, then we had a celebrity siting because Danny McBride walked in. What even was this night?!
Vegan Royal Gin Fizz at my house, on New Years Two things I don’t like: crowded holiday events and spending too much money. Staying home and making these cocktails solved both of these problems. If you don’t want to waste an entire egg white on a beverage (or if you’re vegan, which is awesome) you can use CHICKPEAS to make faux foam for your cocktails! Say that out loud. Faux foam. Fuh foaaaam. Almost as funny as the real name for this liquid: Aquafaba.
- 1 egg white from 1 small egg (or 1/2 oz Aquafaba)
- 1/4 cup gin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
- Shake above ingredients over ice, then
- Champagne or sparkling wine, to top off
Cheers! If you make any of my most memorable drinks, please be sure to stop by my instagram and tell me which one- and how you liked it!