This year, I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. I’m dreaming of pink sand, pastel-colored houses, fiery sunsets, a so-blue-it-hurts ocean that I can dip my toes into morning, noon, and night, and spending the day with a flock of flamingos. TL;DR: I a…
This year, I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. I’m dreaming of pink sand, pastel-colored houses, fiery sunsets, a so-blue-it-hurts ocean that I can dip my toes into morning, noon, and night, and spending the day with a flock of flamingos. TL;DR: I am dreaming of the Caribbean, where across many diverse countries and cultures, Christmas festivities look a little bit different. Rather than mulled wine and eggnog, there’s coquito, fresh ginger beer, sorrel, and guavaberry. When it comes to festive holiday cocktails and mocktails, you really can’t beat Caribbean Christmas drinks.
Across Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the ABC islands (a.k.a. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao), to name just a few, you’ll find an array of holiday-inspired cocktails that make use of local ingredients and brighten your spirits. The main booze here is rum (To misquote Jack Sparrow, it’s the Caribbean, love! Of course there’s rum.) Rum is made from molasses and sugarcane juice. Many countries, from Jamaica to Barbados to Fiji to Peru, have their own takes on the traditional method, but these two ingredients are key to making rum.
Today we’re bringing you our new favorite holiday drink! This tart cherry mulled “wine” was inspired by traditional, oh-so-delicious mulled wine that usually brings red wine and spices together in a warm, comforting drink. We swapped the wine for tart …
Today we’re bringing you our new favorite holiday drink! This tart cherry mulled “wine” was inspired by traditional, oh-so-delicious mulled wine that usually brings red wine and spices together in a warm, comforting drink. We swapped the wine for tart cherry juice and were blown away by the result (and the health perks)!
It’s a delicious, non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, but you can also add whiskey or rum if you’re after a boozy twist.
Who doesn’t enjoy a cocktail during the holidays? I know that we like to toast to the holidays with a cocktail when we’re celebrating with friends and family. And I always like to make sure that our cocktails fit the holiday. This Pumpkin Spice Milk Punch is a cocktail that is perfect …
Who doesn’t enjoy a cocktail during the holidays? I know that we like to toast to the holidays with a cocktail when we’re celebrating with friends and family. And I always like to make sure that our cocktails fit the holiday. This Pumpkin Spice Milk Punch is a cocktail that is perfect for fall and winter entertaining. It’s creamy, slightly sweet and has plenty of warm pumpkin spice in each sip.
Milk punch is an old fashioned cocktail that originated sometime in the 17th century. Fans of eggnog will note that it is similar to the classic holiday drink, but it doesn’t include any eggs. It uses brandy (or bourbon or rum), a bit of sugar and milk to make a cocktail that is rich and creamy without being too heavy.
Since it is such a simple drink, it is easy to use it as a blank canvas on which to add a few additional flavors. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with my homemade Pumpkin Spice Extract over the last couple of weeks and added it to a milk punch recipe to create a very seasonal Pumpkin Spice Milk Punch.
The cocktail is a bit like drinking a milkshake – albeit a much boozier milkshake than you’re likely to find at your favorite burger stand. It has a generous dose of pumpkin spice to it, spice which blends very well with the brandy and rum that make this a very adult drink. I used half and half in my recipe with good results. You can substitute whole milk, but I recommend sticking with a higher fat dairy product for the best results. This recipe makes two reasonably-sized servings and can easily be doubled to serve a small crowd.
You will want to use a dark rum to get the best results in this milk punch. Dark rums have a rich molasses flavor that blends very well with the spices in the extract. A light rum will still make a drinkable punch, but you won’t get the same depth of flavor as you will with dark rum. I used both maple syrup and simple syrup (an easy to make sweetener for all drinks that is made by dissolving sugar in an equal amount of water) to sweeten the drink, using less maple syrup because I didn’t want it to overwhelm the pumpkin spices. You can adjust the sweeteners to your taste if you prefer you drinks to be sweeter or have a more brandy-forward finish.
Garnish the punch with freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg, both of which will give the drink a wonderful aroma as you sip!
Pumpkin Spice Milk Punch
2 oz brandy
1 oz dark rum
2 tsp pumpkin spice extract
1/4 oz maple syrup
1/4 oz simple syrup
3 oz half and half
whole cinnamon sticks and nutmeg, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into two ice-filled glasses. Using a microplane, grate some cinnamon and nutmeg over the top of each glass.
This pomegranate Thanksgiving punch is vibrant and tastes irresistibly light and fruity! Pomegranate juice and citrus make magic.
This post was created in partnership with POM Wonderful. All opinions are our own.
Here’s a punch recipe that caught us by surprise…because it’s even more delicious than it looks. Try this Thanksgiving Pomegranate Punch! This ruby red punch stars POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and fresh citrus with a hint of maple syrup. It’s our favorite pomegranate juice to use in drinks and cocktails. Take one sip and it’s light, fruity, bubbly, and sweet tart: a true burst of refreshing flavors! Spike it or drink it non-alcoholic: either way, you won’t be able to stop sipping it (we couldn’t!).
Ingredients for Thanksgiving punch
This Thanksgiving pomegranate punch is all about flavor and color! For entertaining recipes, you’ll want a stunning look and flavor: and this recipe delivers both. That eye-popping color of the POM Juice is beautiful and adds a big burst of sweet tart flavor. Even better, this recipe has no refined sugar. It’s a great alternative to punch recipes that call for sodas or added sweeteners! Here’s what you’ll need:
POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
Soda water or club soda
Bourbon, brandy or white rum (optional; see more below!)
Using pomegranate juice in cocktails
Pomegranate juice is ideal for cocktails because of its sweet tart flavor and antioxidant goodness. The best on the market, in our opinion, is POM Wonderful! Here’s why we love it:
It’s 100% juice. Each 16-ounce bottle of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice contains the juice of four whole-pressed pomegranates and nothing else – no added sugar, fillers or preservatives.
The flavor is ideal for elevating cocktails. A little sweet and a little tart, it adds a unique burst of flavor to any drink recipe.
It adds antioxidants. Cocktails with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice harness the antioxidant power of pomegranates.
Pick bourbon, brandy, or rum
Another great thing about this Thanksgiving pomegranate punch? You can make it with various types of liquor, and it tastes different with each. Here are our favorites, in order of preference:
Brandy: The fruity flavor of brandy is true perfection with the sweet tart pomegranate juice! This was Alex’s idea and while I doubted it at first, it was the clear winner. It complements the lightness of the fruit flavors perfectly!
Bourbon: Bourbon adds a cozier, warmer vibe and it’s more alcohol-forward. This one is ideal for bourbon lovers.
Rum: We can’t resist a good rum punch! White rum melds into the flavors and highlights the lighter characteristics of the pomegranate punch.
Make it spiked or non alcoholic!
This Thanksgiving pomegranate punch works spiked or non-alcoholic. It’s also customizable for both if you have people spike the drink after they ladle it out of the bowl. This offers the most flexibility, especially when serving kids and adults avoiding alcohol. You can essentially serve both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch at the same time!
Add the liquor right to the punch bowl. If everyone’s drinking, this is the way to go.
Or, spike the drink after ladling it out! The most versatile way to make Thanksgiving punch is to spike the drink after you ladle it out of the punch bowl. The best ratio is 1 ounces liquor to 6 ounces (¾ cup) punch.
Or, make it as a non-alcoholic punch! It’s just as good (really). In fact, we almost prefer it non-alcoholic: it’s so fruity and light.
More pomegranate cocktails
There are so many ways to use POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice in cocktails! Here are a few more pomegranate drinks we love:
16 ounces bourbon, brandy or white rum, optional (2 cups)*
For the garnish: POM Wonderful Pomegranate Arils (seeds), mint, star anise, orange and lemon slices
Place all ingredients together in a serving bowl, adding the soda water last.
Top with garnishes and serve. (As a note, pomegranate arils sink to the bottom of a punch bowl. To keep them on top before serving, gently balance them on top of citrus wedges. They’ll settle to the bottom during serving.)
*You can also add the alcohol by the glass, so it works as non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Measure out 6 ounces (¾ cup) punch, then add 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) liquor of choice. Brandy was our favorite here: it makes the ideal light and fruity flavor. Bourbon is darker and cozier, and rum is on the lighter end.
This hot spiked apple cider recipe hits all the cozy notes! Rum or bourbon perfectly complement the cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
There’s nothing better than a warm drink in hand when the weather is chilly. Here’s a classic that’s required for fall, in our opinion: Hot Spiked Apple Cider! There’s something about the combination of sweet cinnamon and cloves with the subtle spicy finish of rum or bourbon that’s absolutely soul warming. The liquor melds seamlessly into the hot cider, making a smooth sip and a cozy finish. This recipe has just the right balance of spices with alcohol: and a side benefit: it makes your kitchen smell like a fall candle.
What’s in this spiked apple cider recipe?
Apple cider is a drink that’s been around for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans in 55 BC! This spiked apple cider recipe is simmered with mulling spices, then combined with bourbon or rum for a tasty finish. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
High-quality apple cider, preferably from your farmers market or local orchard. Look for unfiltered cider, which maintains the best flavor and color. If you’re in a time crunch and want to make your life super easy, you can always buy a pre-spiced apple cider and add rum to that.
Whole spices: cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Make sure to use the whole versions of these spices, not ground, which is key to getting the best flavor. Star anise is the most unique of these spices to the American kitchen: it should be available at most grocery stores or you can buy star anise online.
How to make spiced apple cider: basic method
Making this hot spiked apple cider recipe is incredibly easy: all you need is time! Here are the basic steps:
Toast the spices: Toast the spices for a few minutes on the stovetop. This releases their fragrance (and makes your kitchen smell amazing).
Simmer: Add the apple cider and heat until warmed through, about 30 minutes. You can also use a slow cooker or Instant Pot: see below.
Filter: You’ll notice that particulate rises to the top of the cider while it’s cooking. Use a fine mesh strainer or sieve to strain it off (or you can pour it through a strainer into another pot).
Spike it: Add the rum or bourbon all at once, or add about 2 ounces to each 1 cup serving. Spiking each drink separately lets you serve both non-alcoholic hot cider and spiked cider at the same time!
Serving spiked apple cider for a party
Here are a few tips if you plan on serving this warming drink at a party!
Double or triple it: You’ll need to use a larger pot to accommodate.
Consider Crockpot or Instant Pot: Using a slow cooker to keep the spiked cider warm is great for parties. Head to our Slow Cooker Apple Cider.
Spike the drinks individually: When you’re serving a crowd, it’s nice to have the flexibility to spike the cider for each person individually. Then the drink works for both kids and adults.
Use bourbon or rum
What’s the best alcohol to use for a spiked apple cider recipe? Rum or bourbon are the best choices. Any type of rum works: white rum, aged rum, or dark rum (aged or dark will add more flavor complexity with vanilla and oak notes). Any type of bourbon works as well! The rum melds more seamlessly into the flavor of cider, making it our top choice. Bourbon is a close second, and has a slightly more prominent flavor on the finish.
No one can resist this Rum Punch recipe! Here are the classic ingredients that make a perfectly balanced tropical flavor.
Here’s a cocktail recipe that’s so pristine, it’s no wonder it’s got a long history. Try this Rum Punch recipe! The concept of rum punch goes back to the 1600’s, though this one is closer to a Planter’s Punch from the early 1900’s. The balance of the ingredients is ideal: instead of overly saccharine is perfectly sweet tart, fruity, and tropical. In fact, it’s so good you won’t be able to resist another sip. Try this easier spin on the Mai Tai: and prepare to be amazed.
What is rum punch?
What’s rum punch? A punch is any drink that includes fruit juices, either non-alcoholic or alcoholic, often served in a large bowl with glasses. The first printed record of a punch dates back to 1632 in English documents, a concept borrowed from India. Modern punch evolved in the 1650’s with Jamaican rum. The single serving punch, called a sling, came about after that (the most famous of which is the Singapore Sling).
Some of the oldest punches are rum-based, and were made using the following recipe in a rhyme: “One of Sour, Two of Sweet, Three of Strong, Four of Weak.” This rum punch recipe is similar to Planter’s Punch, which originated in Jamaica and was first published in an 1878 London magazine. Our recipe adds pineapple, orange and grenadine, which is traditional in many rum punch recipes you’ll find today. The rum punch ingredients you’ll need are:
Types of rum
Many rum punch recipes use more than one type of rum. Why is it necessary? Different types of rum add a lot of nuance in flavor. Taste the different varieties, and you’ll find that they almost taste like different liquor. You can use only one type if it’s all you have, but it’s worth seeking out two types for the flavor difference. Here’s an outline on types of rum:
Dark rum has a deep, caramel flavor and notes of cinnamon and spices (see Dark Rum Drinks)
White rum has a straightforward flavor rum with the signature fruity finish
Aged rum, aka golden or añejo rum, has notes of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel
Coconut rum is a sweet coconut-flavored liqueur made with rum (Malibu is the most popular)
Because Malibu rum is so sweet, make sure to use it in combination with another rum. But if all you have is white rum or dark rum, you can use just one type of rum in a pinch.
Buy grenadine or make homemade
Got grenadine on hand? Grenadine is a red non-alcoholic syrup with a sweet tart flavor, commonly used in cocktails and mocktails. Many people think it’s cherry flavored, but it’s actually made from pomegranate juice! It’s been used in grenadine cocktails for hundreds of years, from the Singapore Sling to the Shirley Temple.
Much of the grenadine on the market today has artificial sweeteners and colors. Look for an all natural grenadine, or you can make homemade grenadine! It’s easy to make with pomegranate seeds.
How to make rum punch
This rum punch recipe is for a single serving drink, in the tradition of the classic Singapore Sling or Hurricane. But you can serve it in a punch bowl, too! Here’s how to make rum punch (or jump to the recipe below):
Stir: In a hurricane glass, add 1 ounce each white rum and dark rum, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 1 ounce orange juice and ½ ounce lime juice.
Top with grenadine: Top with ½ ounce grenadine, which will settle to the bottom and make a gradient effect. Serve garnished with an orange slice and cocktail cherry!
Or, serve it in a punch bowl
If you’re making rum punch for a crowd, the best way to serve it is in a punch bowl! It’s easy to multiply the quantities for 8 drinks. Simply replace each ounce with 1 cup of the ingredient! Here’s what to do:
Add all ingredients, including the grenadine, to a punch bowl.
Add a few handfuls ice to cool.
Garnish with orange slices!
And that’s it! This rum punch has risen to the top of our favorite drinks to make: we hope you’ll love it too! It’s great as a tropical drink or beach drink, and works in any season.
For the single serving: In a highball glass, stir together all ingredients (in ounces), except for the grenadine. Fill the glass with ice and top with the grenadine. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.
For party size (8 servings): Place all ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher, and add a few handfuls of ice. Add orange slices or wheels as a garnish.
*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
We’ve teamed up with Fever-Tree to share season-ready drink recipes starring their top-notch cocktail mixers—like the brand-new Distillers Cola. Here, Shelley Worrell, the founder and chief curator of caribBEING, shares her riffs on two classic cola co…
We’ve teamed up with Fever-Tree to share season-ready drink recipes starring their top-notch cocktail mixers—like the brand-new Distillers Cola. Here, Shelley Worrell, the founder and chief curator of caribBEING, shares her riffs on two classic cola cocktails, perfect for entertaining.
Summer isn’t over just yet, and with a few more weeks left to soak up the season, it’s time to break out the fancy cocktails, according to Shelley Worrell—the founder and CEO of caribBEING, a multidisciplinary venture that celebrates and amplifies Caribbean culture, community, and businesses in New York City and beyond.
Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events…
Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events, damaged marine ecosystems, and negative impact on crops. Suffice it to say that after reading that, you might want a drink. Luckily, you have the option to pour a drink that plays a small part in helping the planet. In an effort to challenge the industry’s reliance on energy-intensive processes and the production waste, many liquor producers are becoming more sustainability-minded, whether that means using less glass to make bottles or turning scraps from other industries into a liquor’s main ingredient. Get ready to mix your favorite cocktail, comforted by the knowledge that you’re giving the environment a helping hand. Here are six beverage producers who are doing their bit for the planet right now.
Going back to the very beginning, it seems as though Avallen Calvados could have been any liquor, but sustainability brought the company to one specific fruit: “We started with a blank sheet of paper and firstly looked at the raw materials used to make alcohol,” Tim Etherington-Judge, founder of Avallen, explained in an email. “After detailed analysis, we settled on apples as the best from a sustainability point of view.”
The peach mojito is fresh and sweet: the ideal summer drink! Grab a few ripe peaches and a handful of mint for this impressive cocktail.
Here’s a cocktail recipe that’s summer in a tall, ice-cube-clinking glass…the Peach Mojito! Imagine: the juicy flavor of that ripe summer fruit, paired with hints of fresh mint, zingy lime, and white rum. It’s light, refreshing and altogether irresistible. We’ve tried over 300 homemade cocktails, but the Mojito is remains one of our favorite drinks of all time. It’s ideal for fruity riffs like this one!
What’s in a peach mojito?
This peach mojito is a fruity spin on the Mojito, a classic cocktail invented in Havana, Cuba. Some say the origins of this drink go all the way back to the 1500’s with an early combination of lime, sugar, and rum. The modern version of got popular in the 1930’s, when writer Ernest Hemingway fell in love with the drink.
It’s now on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which means it has an official definition. For the peach variation, you’ll simply add fresh ripe peaches. Here’s what you’ll need:
Give those peaches a squeeze. Does the fruit feel soft and have quite a bit of give? Then you’ve got the peaches you need for a peach mojito! Don’t even attempt this drink if you don’t have the ripest of summer fruit.
Here’s how to add that lovely peach flavor to this drink: by muddling the fruit right into it! Muddling is gently mashing herbs or fruits to release their juices, which helps their flavors to incorporate into the drink. Here’s what to know about muddling:
Use a cocktail muddler. It’s the right tool for the job! Here’s a cocktail muddler, or you can use an unfinished wooden spoon (it’s a little more clunky, but works!).
Gently mash the mint! The key to muddling herbs is to be gentle and use a light touch. Don’t mash it with a lot of force.
Add the peaches and muddle again. You’ll want to get the fruit mashed down into a juice here.
Make a peach mojito pitcher (for 8!)
Mixing up this peach mojito for a crowd? Instead of making one drink at a time, try our Mojito Pitcher! All you have to do is muddle up the peaches in advance. You’ll also make a mint syrup to infuse the entire drink with freshness. Here’s what to do:
Slice up 8 small peaches or 4 large. Then muddle them into a juice, just like for the single drink.
Cut the peach into slices. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves. Add the peach slices and muddle again until all the juices are released. Add the rum, lime juice and simple syrup and fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold.
Strain the drink into an ice-filled glass. Top off the glass with soda water. Garnish with additional mint leaves and sliced peaches.
Pitcher variation: Muddle the slices from 8 small peaches or 4 large peaches. Then add to this Mojito Pitcher recipe, and garnish with additional sliced peaches.
The watermelon smash is a refreshing summer drink that pairs melon with lime, rum and vodka. Serve over crushed ice!
Here’s a watermelon drink idea that’s the definition of refreshing: the Watermelon Smash! This fruity spin on the classic Whiskey Smash is delicately sweet, the best combination of pure melon with fresh mint. Pairing vodka and rum adds intrigue in flavor (though you can opt for just vodka for simplicity). Serve with crushed ice, and it’s a stunning signature drink for sipping poolside or next to the grill.
What’s a watermelon smash?
The watermelon smash is a spin on the Whiskey Smash using watermelon, fresh mint, and vodka. The Whiskey Smash originated in the Victorian era as a cooling summer cocktail, and was first published in a bartender guide in 1887. That first smash had lemon, mint, whiskey, and sweetener, and served with crushed ice. Many variations have popped up over time, like the Berry Vodka Smash and the Gin Basil Smash.
The watermelon smash is another fruity spin: for this recipe we used both vodka and rum to bring extra nuance in flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
The most characteristic part of a smash cocktail? The crushed ice! What’s the best way to crush ice? Luckily, we’ve tried a bunch of methods and found the best way. And no: you don’t have to whack at ice with a rolling pin! Here’s the best way to crush ice:
Place the ice in a blender.
Fill the blender about halfway with cold water. This is the important part! The water helps everything blend to a uniform size.
Pulse until it’s uniformly crushed! Then strain. Pick out any large chunks with your fingers, but this method should result in a great texture.
How to make a watermelon smash: 3 tips
Once you’ve got your crushed ice, let’s get started! Here are a few tips for making this drink (or skip right to the recipe below):
Use watermelon cubes or make the juice. If you’re planning to make more than one drink, make Watermelon Juice in a blender first.
Muddle the mint gently to release the oils. Here are all our tips on How to Muddle Mint, including equipment.
Use vodka and white rum for best flavor, or go just vodka. We love the flavor combination of both! But if you don’t have rum on hand, just vodka is good too.
Add the mint to a cocktail shaker and muddle it gently. Add the watermelon cubes and use the muddler to release all of the juice. (If you’re using watermelon juice, simply muddle the mint first then add the juice in Step 2.)
Add the vodka, rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake until cold.
Fill a lowball glass with the crushed ice, then strain in the drink. Garnish with additional watermelon slices and mint.
*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons