Tag Archives: cocktail

Five enticing bourbon cocktail recipes for every occasion

bourbon cocktail recipesFor years I flirted with gin and tequila but as I’ve grown up I’ve discovered bourbon and I can’t imagine going back. I’ll still be sipping G&T’s on a spring day and you better believe that Tequila and Vodka will always have a home on the bar cart, but the spirit I consistently want more than any other is bourbon.

I think bourbon has become a firm favourite because there is literally a bourbon cocktail recipe for every occasion. From a hot toddy to soothe a winter cold to a mint julep on a hot summer’s day, there are numerous bourbon cocktail recipes for every occasion. Every occasion. Not sure how many times I need to write that until I convince you, but I’m going to stop with that because if you’ve read this far you’re probably a die-hard bourbon fan who doesn’t need convincing. Hello, friend.

Bourbon cocktail recipes for every occasion

A refreshing bourbon spiked iced tea

bourbon cocktail recipesIt’s summer. It’s hot outside. All you want to do is cool down on the porch. It’s time to make and enjoy a pitcher of iced tea.

Read more: Bourbon iced tea recipe

When you’re craving mamma’s apple pie

bourbon cocktail recipesWhen you need a slice of mamma’s tasty apple pie, drink your sorrows away (responsibly) with a bourbon cocktail that tastes just like it. Best not served with custard, but who am I to judge. (This recipe tastes much better than it looks!)

Read more: Apple pie cocktail recipe

A grown-up ginger ale float

bourbon cocktail recipesLike a coke float, just with ginger ale instead. And bourbon.

Read more: Bourbon ginger ale float recipe

Doctor’s Orders when you’re under the weather

bourbon cocktail recipesA little recipe I created for when you’re feeling really under the weather.

Read more: Doctor’s Orders recipe

A Hot Toddy on a winter’s day

bourbon cocktail recipeThe ultimate bourbon cocktail recipe? 100% guaranteed to warm you up on the coldest of winter days.

Read more: hot toddy recipe

What’s your favourite bourbon cocktail recipe?

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Apple pie cocktail recipe

apple pie cocktail recipe

After 16 great days exploring California, London greeted me after the long flight with its traditional cold and wet welcome. Although I miss the Californian sunshine, I arrived back in London just in time for Christmas preparations to start – and I LOVE Christmas. I haven’t eaten my first mince pie of the year yet, but last night I finally perfected the hot apple pie cocktail recipe that will see me through winter.

I’ve been experimenting with an apple pie cocktail recipe for about a year now. With hints of cinnamon and a warming kick of bourbon I think I’ve created something that tastes as good as it sounds. Bonus: it takes considerably less time and effort to make than a traditional apple pie.

Obviously I’ve used apple juice as a base, with a squeeze of lemon juice to cut through the sweetness. Cinnamon and cloves bring the Christmas spirit and bourbon adds the warmth you expect from a hot toddy. Angostura bitters add depth and the honey liquor will sort out that lingering sore throat.

Just as we all like our apple pie differently (plenty of pastry, hold the sultanas), this cocktail recipe is easy to adapt. You could swap the bourbon for a dark rum, omit the bitters or add a split vanilla pod – whatever takes your fancy. Don’t rush out and buy ingredients just for this drink (I’m looking at you cloves) but do spend a little more than usual on an apple juice that isn’t too sweet.

Apple pie cocktail recipe

  • Apple juice
  • Bourbon
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Three cloves
  • Lemon
  • Angostura bitters
  • Honey liquor

Heat the apple juice, cloves and cinnamon stick on a low light. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and leave to gently simmer for five minutes. At the last minute, add the bourbon, honey liquor and a dash of bitters and stir. Strain into a glass and enjoy.

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Bourbon ginger ale float recipe

Bourbon ginger ale float recipe

It’s Friday, hurrah! I finally went back to work yesterday after four months off working from home. It was great to see everyone back in the office and reclaim my desk – and finally slather my hands in my favourite hand cream! However my ankle has swollen to twice its usual size which made the walk home quite painful – and naturally my mind wandered to distract myself…

It’s taking me twice as long as usual to walk anywhere and all I could think about on my walk home from the station was making myself an icy cold coke float and listening to the Juno soundtrack (The Kinks, Mott the Hoople and Velvet Underground – yes please). But I took one look inside my fridge and realised that we had no coke. Which I should have realised because we never have coke. And then I saw a bottle of ginger ale I bought last week. And then (is the suspense killing you yet?) I thought ‘wouldn’t bourbon go well with ginger ale and vanilla ice cream?’

So I tried it. I created my own superbly simple, quick and easy bourbon ginger ale float recipe. It’s perfect for a hot summer night like tonight. Cold, refreshing and delightfully warming too, all at the same magical time.

Any other suggestions for coke float alternatives? The wackier the better.

 Bourbon ginger ale float recipe


  • Bourbon
  • Ginger ale
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Sprig of mint (optional)


Scoop a generous amount of ice cream into your favourite glass. Pour over a measure or two of bourbon and slowly top with ginger ale, making sure it doesn’t fizz over. Top with a sprig of mint, your prettiest straw and enjoy. Preferably in the garden. As the sun goes down. With the Juno soundtrack playing in the background. It really is the perfect way to start the weekend!

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Bourbon iced tea recipe

Bourbon iced tea recipe

I remember drinking iced tea for the first time on holiday when I was seven. It was cloyingly sweet and I loved it. Since then iced tea has always been a treat – anything with that amount of sugar needs to be enjoyed in moderation.

As I’ve grown up I’ve shied away from sugary iced tea. All you can really taste is the sugar and I’d like to taste some tea please, thank you very much. Every summer I play around with my iced tea recipe and this year is no different.

For tonight’s Friday night cocktail I decided to keep it simple. I removed an cold jug of iced tea from the fridge, picked a sprig of fresh mint and grabbed a bottle of bourbon and some honey from the cupboard (I should really keep my bourbon and honey in the same cupboard. It would make making Bourbon iced tea in the summer and a hot toddy in the winter that little bit quicker…). And there you have it. A delightfully simple bourbon iced tea recipe.

Bourbon iced tea recipe

  • 3 tea bags
  • Half a lemon
  • Fresh mint
  • Bourbon
  • Honey

Boil water and allow to settle. Place tea bags in jug and add the boiled water. After five minutes remove tea bags, add a handful of fresh mint and a generous squeeze of honey. Add the juice of half a lemon and chop the remaining lemon peel into four chunks and add to jug. Allow to cool completely.

Put a handful of ice cubes in each glass and add a single measure of bourbon. Top with iced tea and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh mint.

Rosé Sangria recipe

Rosé Sangria recipe

Let us pretend that the sun is shining and that it’s one of those magical warm summer evenings that we will all spend indulgently with friends and the view from Parliament Hill.

Got it? Because tonight’s Friday night cocktail is called Dance of the Sugar Plum fairy, aka my Rosé Sangria recipe. It’s refreshing, tastes like summer and is packed full of fruit so it’s kinda dinner and drinks in one, if you’re that way inclined.

Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, blackberries, white grapes, red grapes… whatever you have to hand) is steeped in liqueur for a little while before you pour over chilled rosé wine and top with tonic water. The result is a sweet attempt at summer in a glass.

Make it for yourself by the glass or better yet, make a pitcher of the stuff for everyone to enjoy. If you’re going down the pitcher route though don’t add the tonic water to your jug – just top up the glasses with the tonic water on a glass by glass basis.

As usual there are no rules when it comes to the Friday night cocktail so please adapt the recipe as you see fit – just remember to let me know what clever changes you make!

Rosé Sangria recipe

  • Strawberries and blueberries, or fruit of your choice
  • Rosé wine
  • Tonic water
  • Sugar plum liqueur, or liqueur of your choice (Cointreau would work nicely)

Place the fruit in your glass and drizzle with liqueur. Let the fruit steep for a while before adding half a glass of rosé wine and topping with tonic water. Enjoy!

PS Sorry for the rubbish photo. I did my best pointing and shooting and filtering but you’re going to have to make your very own sugar plum fairy cocktail to appreciate its true beauty.

PPS Admittedly Rosé Sangria looks suspiciously similar to last week’s blueberry and gin concoction, but I promise you they are rather different!

Blueberry and gin cocktail recipe

blueberry and gin cocktail recipe

Let’s get this straight – no gin based cocktail can ever compete with a gin and tonic.

Nine times out of ten spirits are better on their own. Sugary syrups, fizzy drinks and bits of fruit have no place muddled with good alcohol. But let’s be honest – how often do you have a cupboard or bar cart stocked exclusively with good alcohol? Supermarkets tempt us with their bargain liquor offers and my cocktail cabinet is rarely home to anything fancier than a bottle of Jim Beam. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Jim Beam. In fact it’s become a mild obsession and when it comes to alcohol, I’ve barely drunk anything other than bourbon since last year.)

These bottles earn their place because Friday night cocktails aren’t there to get you drunk. They’re enjoyed before dinner and can be themed to the occasion, whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just the start of summer. Best of all, you rarely need to make a separate stop for ingredients as you can create some pretty fancy delights just from the contents of your fridge.

This week’s Friday night delight is a blueberry and gin cocktail. The blueberries in the fridge were acidic so I added a dash of grenadine to sweeten them up. This blueberry and gin cocktail recipe is a little on the sweet side, so feel free to avoid the grenadine or swap lemonade for soda water.

Blueberry and gin cocktail recipe


  • 8 blueberries
  • 25ml gin
  • Lemonade
  • Grenadine
  • Lemon

Add six blueberries to your glass and muddle with a little lemonade. Add the gin, a squeeze of lemon, a dash of grenadine (if using) and top with lemonade.

Garnish with the two remaining blueberries and a slice of lemon.

Not ready for a summer cocktail quite yet? Try this hot toddy recipe instead.

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Friday night cocktail recipes: hot toddy recipe

Hot toddy recipe

It has become a tradition on a Friday night to try out a new cocktail recipe. After a long week at work it’s nice to take a break with a cocktail before it’s time to cook dinner, and I love nothing more than to take inspiration from cult classic (yes, really) the Gilmore Girls. If Friday night cocktails at home are good enough for Lorelai and Rory, then they’re good enough for me.

This week I wanted to try something warm and comforting so I knew this was the week to find the best hot toddy recipe. According to Felicity Cloake, the expert on making the ‘perfect’ everything, a hot toddy is practically medicinal: 

“The heat, spice and sweet and sour flavours apparently all encourage – and I’m sorry, there’s no nice way to say this – mucus production, discouraging the advance of those pesky bacteria and viruses, while the booze helps you sleep. (In moderation, of course. All things in moderation.”

I scoured the Internet for the best hot toddy recipes and they all contained a long list of ingredients. There is no doubt that using all these ingredients will create a better hot toddy, but the Friday night cocktail isn’t about making the best something possible. Friday night cocktails are about creating something delicious using the ingredients you have in the house already and as quickly as possible.

With that in mind my Friday night hot toddy recipe includes the ingredients I had to hand last night. If you have cloves and fresh ginger to hand and them in at the brewing stage. No bourbon? Try rum instead. Lemon and ginger teabags not in the cupboard? A normal teabag will do. Let me know how you make yours and how it goes!

Hot toddy recipe

Ingredients (for one):

  • Single (or a double, I’m not judging) shot of bourbon
  • Half a lemon
  • Lemon and ginger teabag
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Generous squeeze of honey
  • Boiled water


  1. Brew the lemon and ginger teabag in a jug of boiling water (just enough to fill your glass to a drinkable level).
  2. Cut a slice of lemon 1cm thick and put to the side. Squeeze the rest of the lemon into the jug.
  3. Add a cinnamon stick to the jug and gently stir. Leave for 5-8 minutes.
  4. Squeeze honey into the bottom of your hot toddy glass. Strain your boiling water mixture into the glass and stir until the honey dissolves.
  5. Pour in your shot or two of bourbon and stir.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.