Happy hour is calling – and on the eve of a long holiday weekend, we definitely think it’s time to answer. We reached out to a few of our friends for some of their favorite cocktail recipes from across the globe.
Vodka Mint Lemonade
Mark Epstein, Mark Epstein Designs, New York
This refreshing summer cocktail can easily be adapted to limeade by swapping out limes for the lemons or turned into a mocktail by omitting the vodka.
- 4 lemons quartered and any seeds removed
- Leaves from 1 medium sized bunch of mint
- 8 cups of cold water
- ½ - ¾ cup honey or sugar (more or less to taste)
- 8 to 16 oz vodka (about 1-2 cups, more or less to taste)
- Ice cubes
- Lemon slices to garnish
- Place the quartered lemons into the blender with 2 cups of water, sugar or honey, some ice and half of the mint leaves.
- Blend until the lemons are crushed, the mixture should be slightly foamy with a whitish color.
- Strain the lemonade and add the remaining 6 cups of water.
- Stir in the vodka or allow guests to add the vodka according to their preference.
- Serve with ice and garnish with the remaining mint leaves and lemon slices.
Bunny Williams’ Milk Punch
Bunny Williams, Bunny Williams Interior Design, New York
A classic New Orleans recipe from the late Julia Reed, Bunny often makes this milk punch for festive occasions.
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 quarts whole milk
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream or heavy cream
- 4 cups brandy
- 2 cups bourbon
- Whole nutmeg
- To make the syrup, combine the sugar and ¾ cup of water in a saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is boiling. Let simmer until the mixture is clear, about eight minutes. Pour into a jar and cool. Refrigerate until cold.
- For the punch, whisk the milk and the ice cream or the heavy cream together in a large pitcher or punch bowl until it is blended. Stir in the spirits and the simple syrup to taste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. To serve, pour into highball glasses and grate the nutmeg on top.
TIP: For individual servings, mix half a jigger of bourbon and a jigger of brandy in a shaker. Fill the rest with milk and cream, and a teaspoon of simple syrup. Shake. Strain into glass and top with grated nutmeg.
Noor Charchafchi, Celine Interior Design, London
This tropical cocktail–a mix of rum, coconut, pineapple, and lime juice–dates back more than a half a century, when the Piña Colada was the drink of the day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- 2 oz light rum
- 1 ½ oz cream of coconut
- 1 ½ oz pineapple juice
- ½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: pineapple wedge
- Garnish: pineapple leaf
- Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously (20-30 seconds).
- Strain into a chilled Hurricane glass over pebble ice.
- Garnish with a pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.
Blood Orange Old Fashioned
Danielle Rollins, Danielle D. Rollins, Atlanta
Richly flavorful, but not overly strong, a Blood Orange Old Fashioned works equally well during cocktail hour or as an after-dinner sipper.
- 16-24 brown sugar cubes (such as Sugar in the Raw)
- Blood orange bitters
- 16 oz Bulleit Bourbon (or other good quality artisanal bourbon)
- 32 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice (available seasonally, or substitute orange juice)
- Thinly sliced blood orange wheels and/or thickly sliced zest of blood orange, for garnish
- Lime-flavored sparkling water
- 8 double old-fashioned glasses and ice cubes
- Put 2 or 3 brown sugar cubes in each double old-fashioned glass; soak with blood orange bitters and let dissolve. (Helpful hint: Doing this a couple of hours ahead of time allows the sugar to dissolve and saves time when making the drinks.)
- Fill a large pitcher with Bourbon and blood orange juice. Stir to combine.
- To serve individual drinks, fill a glass with ice. Pour blood orange-Bourbon mixture over the ice and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a blood orange wheel and/or blood orange zest.
Beth Webb, Beth Webb Interiors, Atlanta
“I used to be a vodka soda girl until I discovered this on a trip to Dallas. So refreshing and light!”
- 3 oz tequila (2 shots)
- Juice of 1 lime (About ½ oz)
- ½ cup of Topo Chico
- Place 2 shots of tequila in a glass.
- Mix in the juice of 1 lime.
- Fill the glass with ice and top it off with Topo Chico.
Martin Brudnizki, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, London & New York
Sbagliato means “messed up” or “mistaken” in Italian. The Negroni Sbagliato is rumored to have originated when a busy bartender mistakenly used sparkling wine instead of gin in a Negroni resulting in one very tasty accident.
- 1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
- 1 ½ oz Campari
- 1 ½ oz Prosecco or other sparkling wine
- Served up: Add vermouth and Campari to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir to combine and chill. Strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and stir again.
- Served on the rocks: Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Add vermouth and Campari and stir. Top with Prosecco and stir again. Garnish with an orange slice.
Not ready for happy hour to come to an end? Follow us on Instagram @mckinnonandharris and keep an eye out for stories featuring more cocktail recipes from our friends!