Cold beers are great and all, but you’ll really raise your summer party game this weekend with these boozy ideas. Take the watermelon keg to the next level by turning it into tequila shot skewers, make summery sangria right in your cooler, and stock the ultimate DIY margarita bar with an array of citrus juices and mango puree. See how it’s done below, and check out more cool ways to win summer. Read more
Alton Brown may be spending most of his time on the set of Food Network Star or Cutthroat Kitchen, but there’s always time for a cocktail. He gave us the low-down on his favorite drink for summer, told us which trends he is totally over and answered how you can best stock your at-home bar.
What cocktail trends are you over?
Alton Brown: I’m over anything that involves a cheese-stuffed olive because I don’t like cheese in my booze.
Whether you’re planning a cocktail party or just desire a good, strong drink, it’s nice to have a solid cocktail book to turn to. Here are three Food Network Kitchen favorites that’ll serve you in good stead in times of need.
The Craft of the Cocktail, Dale DeGroff (2002)
From the man widely credited with reviving interest in classic (pre-Prohibition) American cocktails. Dale educates, instructs and amuses in equal turn here. All bases are covered: Techniques are lavishly illustrated; spirits are usefully broken down and brands recommended; and cocktails are typologically organized, their histories winningly recounted. Since its publication, The Craft of the Cocktail has become a bible for bartenders professional and amateur alike. It remains essential.
While it may be a Monday, it’s also Cinco de Mayo, which means that as you’re indulging in a platter of tacos or a bowl of creamy, cool guacamole, it’s only fitting to mix up a refreshing cocktail to pair with it. Margaritas often steal the show come Cinco de Mayo — and for good reason, given that they’re endlessly versatile — but there are surely other sippers to celebrate the day. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite adults-only cocktails worthy of Cinco de Mayo below; each is easy to prepare and guaranteed to impress your friends at tonight’s fiesta.
Whether you like it on the rocks or chilled and frosty, the margarita with a base of tequila is a Mexican must-have. Most traditional recipes, including that for the Classic Margaritas featured above from Food Network Magazine, showcase a base of tequila and plenty of fresh lime juice, but the cocktail can be dressed up with other fruit juices or blended to become a frozen concoction. Browse photos of 10 Cinco de Mayo Margaritas to find more inspiration and get the how-tos for making them at home.
While you could indeed drink your margarita, there’s also the option of eating it — in the form of a gelatin shot. Made with just a handful of ingredients, Lime-Shaped Margarita Gelatin Shots are bright-green party bites that use hollowed-out limes as a mold for an extra-special presentation.
In case you’re hopping a plane to Sochi, Russia, right now or hoping to re-create Russia at home, here’s a quick primer on how to toast like the Russians do.
Obviously, vodka is a must. It should be served ice-cold, straight from the freezer (or the windowsill, if you’re in a particularly frigid region). Homemade infusions (lemon or horseradish work nicely) are fine, or just go with plain. Read more
Big-batch drink recipes are great for serving your game-day crowd. Inspired by classic cocktails that are normally mixed in a shaker a few at a time, these punches are a great make-ahead solution for your party.
1. Hurricane Passion Punch (pictured above)
This New Orleans classic is a crowd-pleaser no matter what city you’re cheering from or which team you’re rooting for. The key to the fruit juice-filled cocktail’s nutty undertones? Almond extract. Garnish individual glasses with an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry.
The beauty of making cocktails is that beyond a stocked liquor cabinet, it takes few extra ingredients to mix up a drink that’s every bit as party-ready as it is deliciously satisfying. With just some pantry spices, a splash of milk or fresh fruit, you can transform the everyday shaken sipper into a dressed-up drink worthy of a celebration. When it comes to seasonal cocktails for the holidays, try warming up some of the liquor for a comforting cup, and opt for fragrant spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to add flavors that will naturally complement what you’re eating. Check out Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails below from Giada, Sunny, Alton and more chefs to find the ultimate collection of drinks that are ideal for Turkey Day entertaining.
5. Dolan’s Delicious Hot Buttered Rum — Swapping in hot water for the hot milk will offer a thinner consistency to this classically rich cocktail, finished with a floating pat of butter and a dusting of nutmeg before serving.
4. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — To make sure you get the most flavor possible out of her sweet and spicy cocktail, Giada recommends shaking the bourbon, beer and syrup with ice cubes and chilling the martini glasses. She serves each drink with a chile for subtle heat and a striking presentation.
Summer is the perfect opportunity to break out the home bar, especially when you’re entertaining friends and family for backyard barbecues and get-togethers. Grab a pitcher, the blender, some ice and these fantastic recipes, and you’re all set for making some of the best cocktails you’ll want to enjoy all season long.
Whether it’s cooling melon, tangy berries, sweet peaches or aromatic herbs, like mint or basil, all of these cocktails feature the refreshing flavors of summer. You can’t go wrong using seasonal ingredients when you’re putting together a drink. FN Dish has 10 summer cocktail recipes that are all easy to make — most require only pouring and assembly, others might use the blender to whip up silky smooth drinks. You’ll be chilling with cocktails in hand in no time.
Tomorrow marks the first day of summer, which means it’s officially time to kick off the season of warm-weather eats and drinks. This weekend, add a little extra chill to your grilling and chilling menu with adults-only mojitos. Cool and refreshing, these easy-to-mix cocktails are go-to summer sippers, classically made with lime, rum and mint, although easily dressed up with fruits, plus a mix of citruses and liquors. Check out Food Network’s top-five mojito recipes below for crave-worthy concoctions from Guy, Giada, Tyler and more Food Network chefs.
5. Double-Apple Mojitos — Guy swaps in vodka for rum in his easy mojito, laced with apple juice and garnished with slices of red and green apples.
4. Orange Mojitos — Pair the fresh taste of lime juice with orange juice to create a sunset-colored sipper, ready to enjoy after just a few seconds in the cocktail shaker.
With the Oscars just hours away, it’s time to get serious — serious about planning a little soiree with your movie-loving friends who also love to get dressed to the nines.
The Oscars are a fun event in my house. We’re big movie people, so I’m always excited to see who takes home the gold. I like to invite over a handful of friends for an Oscars viewing party, mix up a few fun cocktails that are classy, swanky and delicious, and add a few little nibbles too. I mean, let’s be honest here — it’s really all about the cocktails in this case. No one actually eats at those awards shows; it’s more about the drinks, socializing and looking fabulous.
So in honor of that, here’s my Oscar party cocktail menu that you can whip up in no time:
Bobby has a great recipe for a Kir Royale. This drink only has a few ingredients, but they’re fun and decadent, so when you mix them all together you’ve got a gorgeous bubbly concoction that’s going to be a crowd-pleaser! Bonus: you can ask your friends coming over to pick up a bottle of bubbly or two to use for these drinks.
Get the recipe: Kir Royale