Spirited Cocktail Recipes
The best cocktails to quench your thirst and generate party buzz.
Fast Flourish: Rub rims of chilled glasses with a lime wedge, dip in a saucer of coarse salt and sparkling sugar, and twirl to coat.
- Recipe: Pink Cadillac Margaritas
You can make a "sour" with any combination of your favorite liquor, sugar, and citrus juice shaked with cracked ice. But down South, whiskey seems like the perfect fit.
- Recipe: Whiskey Sour
Said to be The Big Easy's first cocktail, it was originally served at the Sazerac Coffee House.
- Recipe: Sazerac
You can't beat the refreshing combination of muddled fresh basil and sweet pear-flavored vodka and nectar. Great for holiday entertaining or even a summertime libation.
- Recipe: Pear-Basil Sipper
Use an assortment of fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, dill, and cilantro. Make this drink a day ahead to allow the flavors to fully develop.
- Recipe: Green Tomato Bloody Mary
Bourbon and ginger ale combine to make a cool, colorful drink.
- Recipe: Chucktown Sunrise
This makes a great virgin punch too; simply substitute an additional liter of club soda for the vodka.
Recipe: Pineapple-Peach Punch
Muscadine wine stars in this spirited concoction of grenadine, bourbon, and a variety of fruit juices and sodas.
- Recipe: Mississippi Bourbon Punch
Ginger beer is a nonalcoholic fizzy beverage with a pop of spicy ginger. It's the flavor secret in this spicy but refreshing cocktail.
- Recipe: Shoo-Fly Punch
Spiked with bourbon or rum, this sweet tea is just for the adults. Garnish with fresh sugarcane and pineapple slices for a sophisticated presentation.
- Recipe: Spiked Lemonade Sweet Tea
For a light and quick poolside drink, Cava Sangria is the way to go. Refreshing and fruity, this 5-ingredient sangria has the perfect combination of flavors from the strawberries and mint leaves. After the first sip, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
- Recipe: Cava Sangria
You'll want to make a whole batch of this citrusy spritzer. It's perfect for outdoor gatherings and kicking back on the porch.
- Recipe: Grapefruit Tequila Fizz
Instead of stirring all the ingredients together, serve optional shots of vodka on the side, and let your guests add it or not.
- Recipe: Bloody Mary Punch
Introduce the tart fall flavor of cranberries to your favorite minty cocktail.
- Recipe: Cranberry Mojito
The secret to this drink's success are bitters. Cocktail bitters (Angostura, Peychaud's) are the salt and pepper of the beverage world. Digestive bitters (Campari, Fernet Branca) give a botanical quality to drinks.
- Recipe: Autumn Sweater
A little bourbon makes these mudslides perfectly rich and flavorful. For a dramatic and delicious effect, use a small kitchen torch to brown the marshmallows topping.
- Recipe: Mississippi Mudslides
The classic Old-Fashioned cocktail gets a Southern twist with homemade Satsuma-Cello liqueur. The results are a citrusy Satsuma Old-Fashioned.
- Recipe: Satsuma Old-Fashioned
This cocktail is named after a famous incident involving General Patton in Italy during WWII. Like the controversial leader, the drink is crisp, strong, and gets the job done.
- Recipe: The Slapping Incident
Celebrate with this simple and sophisticated cocktail. Fill a Champagne flute or tall glass with equal parts chilled Champagne and black currant nectar. Don't forget to garnish this spritzer with fresh blackberries.
- Recipe: Black Currant Champagne
Flowery hibiscus and cooling mint add a flavorful kick to this margarita.
Recipe: Hibiscus-Mint Margaritas
You'll see smiles all around when these signature cocktails are offered at your festive fete.
- Recipe: Sparkling Rum Punch
Grab a pilsner glass and drop in a fresh cherry to complete this refreshingly fizzy cocktail.
- Recipe: Ginger Beer
Kumquat and whiskey come together to create this sweet-and-sour refresher.
- Recipe: Umatilla Smash
Turn a plain bottle of hooch into a top-shelf indulgence, infused with sweet autumn ﬂavor. At 7 ounces, these cute corked bottles are the perfect size for gifts ($2.09 each; specialtybottle.com). You can also use mini mason jars or any other food-safe glass container with a lid.
Because canning tomatoes requires extra care, try this refrigerator variety for your Bloody Mary. Trust us: You'll want to drink it immediately anyway.
- Recipe: Heirloom Bloody Mary Mix
As the name implies, these unique drinks are mixed with green pepper jelly. Make this Southern-style margarita your signature cocktail at your next get-together.
Recipe: Pepper Jelly Margaritas
For a slightly more potent version of this retro-inspired cocktail, substitute hard cider or champagne for the sparkling apple cider.
- Recipe: The Corduroy Jacket
Choose Black Mission figs or another purple-skinned variety to give the drink a pretty tint.
- Recipe: Fig-and-Bourbon Fizz
We used Mississippi's Cathead Honeysuckle Flavored Vodka to give the cocktail a delicate floral note, but plain vodka works too.
Recipe: Honeysuckle-Watermelon Cocktail
Featuring rye whiskey, bitters, and Herbsaint, this NOLA staple is said to be the first cocktail. And now it's hip to be nostalgic.
- Recipe: Sazerac
If iced tea is the house wine of the South, consider this our summer sangria.
- Recipe: Sweet Tea Spritzer
If you order sangría below the border, you may be surprised to find it's not laden with chunks of fruit and lacks the extra liqueur kick usually expected from Spanish sangría. Mexican Sangría is light and refreshing, like a grown-up wine cooler.
Recipe: Mexican Sangría
Enjoy this sparkling cooler all summer long. Use the back of a wooden spoon to muddle the mint.
- Recipe: Peach Mojitos
This recipe is adapted from a Champagne punch found in the first-ever cocktail book published in the United States in 1862, The Bartender's Guide by Jerry Thomas.
- Recipe: Berry Bubbly Punch
Treat guests to a beverage that oozes charm. This sweet sipper features two regional favorites—bourbon and peaches.
- Recipe: Bourbon-Peach Cocktail
Orange juice and cranberries lend a bit of festive flair to the classic gin and tonic.
- Recipe: Orange-Cranberry Gin and Tonic
Offer this classic 1930s cocktail after dinner. Vieux Carré (voo cah-RAY) means "old square," referring to the French Quarter.
- Recipe: Vieux Carré
For the Kentucky Bourbon afficionados in your bunch, make Julian's Old Fashioned the go-to cocktail for your next gathering.
- Recipe: Julian’s Old Fashioned
This refreshing drink is composed of black cherry liqueur, brandy, crushed ice, and then topped off with sparkling white wine. Of course, no cocktail is complete without a maraschino cherry on top!
- Recipe: Cherry Frost
Club soda, fresh whole strawberries, and frozen daiquiri mix set these margarita spritzers apart. Serve on sultry summer days and enjoy the fizzy sweetness of these colorful cocktails.
Recipe: Strawberry Margarita Spritzers
Add a Cajun kick to your lemonade with some hot sauce and rum. Rinse gallon milk jugs and use as a spill-proof way to transport your drinks.
- Recipe: Cajun Lemonade
This iced cocktail features the best of two classic Southern drinks: the mint julep and sweet tea. For best results, sip in a rocking chair on a front porch somewhere.
- Recipe: Mint Julep Sweet Tea
Mixing beer with a classic margarita recipe makes this drink less tart than the regular margaritas. We can promise that these will be a hit, so make them by the pitcher to keep the party going!
- Recipe: Beer 'Garitas
You can substitute bottled juice for Garden Tomato Juice to save time. But if you make it fresh, don't use an aluminum saucepan—it will react with the tomato acid. Store in the fridge up to 1 week.
- Recipe: Garden Cocktail
Our latest drink obsession: This low-proof, retro-inspired sipper that combines fortified wine (port, Madeira, sherry) with sugar and fruit over ice.
- Recipe: Sherry Cobbler
Welcome to the Southerner’s perfect cocktail: bacon-flavored bourbon. All you need is a bottle of your favorite bourbon and some warm bacon grease.
- Recipe: Bacon-Infused Bourbon
Whirl up any summer melon in this refreshing sipper. For a nonalcoholic option, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling white grape juice, sparkling cider, or club soda.
Recipe: Watermelon Bellini
The Southern citrus burst of homemade Satsuma-Cello liqueur delivers a festive twist to the classic julelp cocktail.
- Recipe: Rosemary-Satsuma Julep
A blanc de noirs, with its fruity, hint of vanilla flavor, is a great sparkling wine choice for this recipe. We also suggest using Lady or Gala apples.
- Recipe: Sparkling Autumn Chianti
This sparkly Coke-tail is balanced with sorghum and delivers on its name
- Recipe: Pause that Refreshes
This riff on lemonade is most refreshing. It makes for a pretty presentation too.
- Recipe: Strawberry Basil Pineapple Ade
While this sipper makes for the perfect tailgate cocktail, we have a feeling you'll be mixing up this delicious combination when the season is over too.
- Recipe: Tailgate Sipper
This delicious cocktail is full of fall flavor.
- Recipe: Pineapple Cranberry Wassail
This citrusy beverage is mixed with grapefruit juice, vodka, and elderflower liqueur. You'll want to garnish with fragrant lemon and fresh rosemary.
- Recipe: The Dogwood
Pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality, so welcome party guests with this springy punch.
- Recipe: Pineapple-Rum-Tea Punch
Patrick Bolster, head bartender at 5 1/2 Bar in Pensacola, gave us the recipe for this delicious cucumber and basil refresher.
- Recipe: Palafox Fizz
Up-and-coming bartender Patrick Bolster of Pensacola's 5 1/2 Bar created this version of a West Indies Paintbrush—a refreshing drink with exotic floral notes.
- Recipe: West Indies Paintbrush
This backyard cocktail gets its smoky flavor from cedar-infused tequila.
Recipe: Woodshed Margarita
- Recipe: Basil-Lemon Moonshine
Fresh mint leaves, lemon slices, and maraschino cherries garnish this tasty summer sipper.
Recipe: Moonshine-Cherry Blush
- Recipe: Pimm Bob
Fresh cucumber and a lime wedge give this refreshing sipper a pretty presentation.
Recipe: Cucumber Gin & Tonic
Shrub cocktails get their tart pucker from vinegar.
Recipe: Mint-Champagne Shrub
It's not just for looks; garnishing adds fragrance and flavor to any cocktail. Here, grape tomato halves with a spring of mint bring color and a note of freshness.
Recipe: Tomato-Tequila Fizz
This frothy cocktail was adapted from the new book Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey by chef John Currence.
- Recipe: Last-Word Fizz
This refreshing beer cocktail balances a malty bock-style beer with fruit-tinged apricot brandy.
- Recipe: Lost in Texas
Pisco is a South American grape brandy popular in Peru and Chile. If you can't find it in your area, feel free to substitute white tequila, grappa, or vodka. Don't be alarmed by the strength of this new classic; it's a cocktail that's meant to be sipped and savored.
Recipe: Blackberry Pisco Sours
For a kid-friendly version, substitute sparkling apple juice for the Prosecco.
Recipe: Apple Butter Sparklers
Limit Bloody Mary garnishes to celery or pickled okra. Who wants a salad to come between them and a drink?
Recipe: Judy's Bloody Mary Mix