Are you going out with the girls or hosting a party of your own? Then this post is for you! Here are my 13 all time favorite cocktails you've simply got to try (if you haven't yet - you've been missing!).
The flavor, the aroma, the colors - you'll love them for life! But before you try these heavenly drinks, make sure you've eaten something too, otherwise, you won't be able to try many of those :))
For a party I'd suggest you stock on Baked! Lay's and Smart Food Popcorn Clusters (as both are delicious, light on calories and have 0 grams trans fat). And if you are heading for drinks straight from work, snack on some Sun Chips on your way. I just love their taste and how easily they fit in my purse. Oh, and did I mention those are only 100 cals per pack?
Well, enjoy yourself, Ladies!
1. The Cosmopolitan
Also known as the Cosmo, is an established leader among top-ranking alcoholic cocktails. It is believed that the Cosmopolitan first gained approval among the posh party-goers of South Beach, Florida, and was further popularized by the stylish women of television's "Sex and the City".
The main ingredient of the Cosmo is vodka, preferably, a high-quality variety (my personal choice is Finlandia). Take 2 measures of vodka, add 2 measures of cranberry juice, 1 measure of Triple Sec liqueur (the best is made of sun-dried skins of oranges and my advice is to use gourmet Cointreau made in France), and a generous squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Mix the ingredients well and serve in a large martini glass "straight up" - without ice. Garnish with wedges of lime or lemon.
The sharp and delicious, Margarita is the best known tequila-based cocktail. To make it, you will need good tequila (I recommend AÃ±ejo, which is an aged variety with a rich and distinctive taste), Triple Sec liqueur (always keep some of it in your cocktail drawer alongside with wines, vodkas, flavoured liquors, chocolate, and other yummy goodies to indulge in during long autumn nights), and fresh limes or lemons (limes go better). A good rule of thumb is to mix 7 parts of tequila with 4 parts of Triple Sec and add at least 3 parts of lime juice. Enjoy your Margarita in a large cocktail glass with a salt rim around the edge, either blended with ice (a "frozen Margarita"), on the rocks, or just with some ice cubes added.
3. The Mojito
The Mojito is a tropical cocktail that is extremely popular at sunny resorts and exotic vacation destinations around the world. On a cold and gloomy fall evening, mix strong Cuban or Philippine rum with sugar cane juice (brown sugar will go, too) and club soda, and finish with freshly squeezed lime juice and some mint sprigs. Pour the mixture into a tall glass with a few ice cubes, and pretend you are on Laguna Beach... If your Mojito is strong enough, it can really work! ;)
4. The Pear Martini
The Pear Martini is a real delight and is one of my own favourite cocktails. Take about 2 oz. of a good quality pear vodka (Swedish Pear Absolut is the best), a splash of fresh grapefruit juice, and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix all the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish your Pear Martini with lime peel and a slice of dried pear. Enjoy!
5. The Madera Eggnog
This hot and deliciously rich cocktail is ideal for chilly autumn or winter nights. Although it takes some time to prepare, the cozy taste of the Madera Eggnog is well worth the effort! In a saucepan, whisk together 1 egg, 2 tbs. of sugar and a cup of milk, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add 2 oz. each of Madeira and brandy; do not boil. When frothy, pour into a mug, sprinkle with grated nutmeg, and serve hot. It's the best! :)
6. Strawberry Daiquiri
The daiquiri is a very popular drink in many restaurants that can be made with many different flavors. Strawberry daiquiris are a hit during the Summer and can be made at home with non-alcohol mixes that can be found in the grocery store. They are so easy to make; just add rum, blend it up and you're ready to party!
7. Sea Breeze
When I turned 21, the Sea Breeze was one of my favorite drinks. I asked the bartender what was fruity and popular and in two shakes I was drinking a sweet, flavorful cocktail. What's great about this drink that most women love, is the calorie count at only 180, compared to drinks like the daiquiri and margarita that can add up to 300 calories! If you have cranberry and grapefruit juice in your fridge then you have half of this drink made already! Just add vodka and you're good to go.
If you're hosting a big party this cocktail is a great one to mix up that everyone will enjoy. You can serve Sangria right away, but if you really want to boost the flavor, have it sit overnight so the fruit wedges get a good soaking. For this recipe you'll need a bottle of red wine, a shot of brandy, 1 lemon cut into wedges, 1 orange cut into wedges, 2 tbsp of sugar, and 2 cups of ginger ale or club soda. You'll pour the wine in a pitcher, add the wedges after squeezing the juices from them, add in the brandy and sugar, and let it chill overnight. If serving right away you'll add in the ginger ale or club soda, though if you do let it chill, don't forget to add in this last ingredient before serving.
9. Malibu Bay Breeze
The Malibu Bay Breeze is another favorite drink of mine, it's fruity and easy to make just like the Sea Breeze cocktail. If you're in the mood for a good Summer drink then you'll love this cocktail too. Pick up some pineapple (2 ounces) and cranberry juice (2 ounces) plus some coconut rum (1 1/2 ounces), add to a glass of ice and enjoy!
Are you looking for a thick and smooth cocktail that will compliment a slice of chocolate cake, then you need a mudslide! Take a 1/2 ounce of Kahlua, 1/2 ounce of Baileys Irish Cream, 1/2 ounce of vodka, and 1 ounce of milk, pour over ice, stir, and well you know rest! If you're vegan, use coconut milk and Jameson Irish Whiskey instead.
11. Pina Colada
Well this popular cocktail couldn't be any more perfect for a great Summer taste! If you love coconuts and pineapple juice then you'll really enjoy this fresh drink. For this recipe you'll need 2 oz of rum, 2 oz of pineapple juice, 1 1/2 oz of coconut cream, plus a pineapple wedge and cherry for garnish.
12. Mint Julep
Mint is not just a popular color that is trending on the runway, it's also part of a popular Southern drink! To really make this cocktail pop use fresh mint leaves in the drink and extra leaves for garnish. Take the mint leaves from 4 sprigs, 2 sugar cubes, 2 1/2 oz of bourbon, and muddle the mint and sugar together, then add the bourbon and ice for a refreshing drink.
13. Irish Coffee
I made the mistake of ordering an Irish Coffee before I really knew what it was! If you really need a strong cocktail that will put some buzz into your day, then try this, "Wow this isn't just coffee" drink! Mix together 2 oz of Bailey's Irish Cream, 6 oz of hot coffee, and Irish Whiskey for a mid-day wake me up.
14. The Mimosa
Sure this is seen as a brunch drink, but I love them any time! They're so delicious and easy to make that it's a no brainer that you'll want to drink them when you want them, not just in the morning. It's best to use equal parts champagne and orange juice, but make sure that you pour the champagne first and then the juice. Of course you can alter it depending on how much alcohol you plan on consuming.
15. The Dirty Shirley
How much did you love Shirley Temples when you were a little girl? They were absolutely delicious and now you don't have to give them up! If you're craving something delicious, nostalgic, and that will give you a buzz this is the drink for you. All you need is 1 oz of vodka, 5-6 oz of Sprite, and just a dash of grenadine syrup. It'll be delicious and has a nice kick to it.
16. Apple Martini
I remember the first time I had one of these, I was shocked by how delicious and strong this drink was. What you'll need is 1.5 Oz Apple flavored vodka, 1 Oz Sour apple liqueur or apple flavored schnapps, Dash Midori, 1 Oz Pineapple juice, 1 Oz Apple juice, 8-10 Ice cubes, and a shaker. Pour all of the ingredients into your shaker and shake them together well. Once you've done that strain your drink into a glass and enjoy! Trust me, you'll enjoy it.
17. Nutty Apple Cocktail
This is the perfect Fall drink, but can be enjoyed at any time of the year! You'll need 1 ounce Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, 1 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps, 1 ounce Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, 1/2 ounce 99 Apples Liqueur, 2 1/2 ounces International Delight French Vanilla Creamer, and ice. Mix your ingredients together in a glass and enjoy the delicious Fall flavor in your mouth any time of the year.
What are some of your favorite cocktails, did they make our list?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan and Only in a Woman's World.