I love big-batch drinks for the holidays because it frees up my time for other tasks like cooking (and eating). This fizzy pomegranate sangria has entered the permanent rotation and best of all, you can prep most of it ahead of time.
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup water
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
Pinch of salt
3 cups 100% pomegranate juice
3/4 cup brandy
1 small green pear, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small Fuyu persimmon, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small orange, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and quartered (about 1 cup)
1 small lime, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (optional)
1 (750-ml) bottle lambrusco (or other sparkling red wine)
Combine sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium. Boil, stirring occasionally, until cinnamon flavor is infused, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and let mixture steep at room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks.
Whisk together pomegranate juice, brandy, and cinnamon syrup in a large pitcher. Stir in pear, persimmon, orange, lime, and pomegranate arils. Chill until flavors combine, 4 to 12 hours.
Gently stir lambrusco into chilled pomegranate juice mixture. Divide sangria with fruit evenly among ice-filled glasses and serve.
I didn’t know what to call this cocktail, so I made it literal. There’s aperol. There’s rum. There’s pineapple. There’s more to it, but essentially it tastes like a tropical island without the saccharine sweetness that overwhelms so many tiki-style drinks. It comes together in a cinch, making it perfect for a lazy summer day.
1/4 cup sugar
1 ounce Aperol
1 ounce spiced dark rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Combine sugar and 1/4 water in a bowl and mix until sugar is dissolved to make simple syrup.
2. Combine Aperol, rum, pineapple juice, lime juice, and 1/4 ounce syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake vigorously 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled to the brim with crushed ice and garnish with mint, if desired.
Forget the adult slushie association. A true daiquiri is simple and balanced: a bit of rum, a dash of sugar, and a squeeze of lime. It should be bright, not sickly sweet. If you’re trying to figure out what to do with the last of the winter citrus, this daiquiri recipe is a creative riff on the classic, livened with the addition of mandarins. Feel free to substitute kumquats or tangerines.
1/2 lime, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 mandarin, cut into half
2 ounces aged rum
1. Muddle lime and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add mandarin and muddle until lightly crushed and juices are released. Fill cocktail shaker with ice, add rum, and shake vigorously until very cold, about 20 seconds. Pour into a glass and serve. Makes 1.
Since last year, this batch cocktail has become my new go-to every winter holiday. Easy, refreshing, and not too sweet, it’s a hit with everyone. And even though the holidays are over, it’s still cold and bleary outside, so let’s be real: we need something to hold us over until the skies are sunny again.
1 cup dark rum
1 cup sweet vermouth
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup simple syrup
8 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 red apple, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
3 strips orange zest, thinly sliced
1 12-ounce bottle French hard cider
1. Combine rum, vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a pitcher. Add 1 1/2 cups ice and stir until ice has mostly melted and cocktail is cold. Stir in apple slices and orange zest; gently stir in cider.
2. Divide cocktail among ice-filled glasses and garnish with more apple slices.
Move over, tequila. This citrusy Paloma is made into something complex and new with the addition of smoky, earthy mezcal. Easy to make (and uh, easier to drink), this cocktail is made brighter with the addition of effervescent grapefruit soda. Don’t nix the soda: it rounds out the drink perfectly.
1/4 cup sea salt
1 teaspoon ground chile de arbol
Small grapefruit wedge (for glass)
2 ounces mezcal
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
6 ounces grapefruit soda
Grapefruit twist, for garnish
1. Mix salt and chile in a small bowl and spread out on a small plate. Rub the rim of a glass with grapefruit wedge, then dip into salt mixture to evenly coat rim. Fill glass with ice and pour in mezcal, grapefruit juice, then soda. Garnish with grapefruit twist.