We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.
When it comes to steamy seasonal sippers, piping-hot cups of cocoa and glasses of rich buttered rum may be go-to picks, but when warmed, wine, sangria and cider can shake the December chill too. The secret to serving mulled beverages is pairing the drink with the warm flavors of complementary ingredients, like fragrant spices and fresh fruit. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five mulled drink recipes to find seasonal inspiration for wine, cider and sangria from Rachael Ray, Ina Garten, Alton Brown and more of your favorite chefs.
5. Mulled Cran-Cider — Crimson-colored cranberries add sweetness to Rachael’s fuss-free cider, while ginger promises subtle spice and a welcome bite to the drink.
4. Hot Mulled Cider — Ready to enjoy in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch drink laced with cloves and star anise is a last-minute party favorite that’s made with only a handful of ingredients.
Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.
Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
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.
There’s no reason kids should have all the fun when it comes to slushies. They’re simple to make and they do a nice job of cooling you off during the hottest months of the year, so what’s not to love? While these options include alcohol, they can easily be made family-friendly with a bit of simple syrup or fruit juice. Either way, FN Dish is convinced that after a few sips of one of these guys, you’ll be bidding farewell to punch and beer this summer.
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.
It wouldn’t be the Winter Olympics without an inordinate amount of snow. Stay warm and cheer on your team with one of these winning hot drinks from around the world.
Glühwein — German mulled wine (often with a shot of aquavit or brandy added) — is a classic during the holidays and after skiing. Ina’s recipe is a hybrid between mulled wine and mulled cider.
Chai masala is an aromatic Indian drink that usually features cinnamon, ginger and other spices. Try Aarti’s classic recipe.
There’s nothing more snuggly than sitting around with warm mugs of goodness this time of year. And if you’re not into a massive sugar crash after they’ve gulped down hot chocolate, look no further than your favorite summer smoothie for inspiration.
We recently discovered the joys of warm flavored milk at our house, and here’s the great thing: Anything works. Frozen strawberries plus milk and a zap in the microwave? Sweet and yummy. Peanut butter and banana? Thick, creamy and wonderful. We’re doing frozen peaches with milk next time, plus a pinch of cinnamon. Sounds a lot like pie, without all that pesky crust.
No matter how chilly and snowy it may get this winter, there will be no better way to warm up than with a comforting cup of creamy hot cocoa. This seasonal favorite is a timeless childhood treat, but that doesn’t mean grownups can’t indulge as well. Whether you stick with a classic recipe for rich hot chocolate, opt for a generous topping of marshmallows or prefer to add extra flavors, like spices, peppermint or liqueurs, making this sweet treat is simple and, perhaps best of all, fast. Check out Food Network’s top-five recipes for hot cocoa below from some of your favorite chefs, like Alton, Giada and Sandra, to find their traditional and classic versions of this tried-and-true drink.
5. Raspberry Hot Chocolate — For a taste of adults-only decadence, add a splash of raspberry liqueur to the piping-hot chocolate cream just before serving, and finish with candied ginger for a sweet, spicy contrast.
4. White Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Stirrers — Instead of simply topping her warm white chocolate-almond milk mixture with a few mini marshmallows, Giada dunks large marshmallows in chocolate, attaches them to the ends of lollipop sticks and gently stirs them into her drink.
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.