How to Master the Bloody Mary

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Here, at Cocktail Builder, we love experimenting with new ingredients and flavor profiles — both trying something completely unexpected and putting an updated spin on time-tested libations. But in 2018, we’re going back to the basics, focusing our efforts on perfecting the classic cocktails that we all think we know.

Sure, they’ve been around for a long time and it can be easy to believe that you’ve mastered them. But these cocktails are classics for a reason and they take care and finesse to get right. So, once a month we’ll be turning to bartenders, our taste buds, and, yes, even science to determine just what makes the perfectly crafted drink. First up: an International Bartenders Association “Contemporary Classic” and everyone’s favorite Sunday brunch sip, the Bloody Mary.
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5 Hot Toddy Recipes for Cold Winter Nights

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Is there anything better than a hot drink on a cold winter night? And is there any hot drink better than a hot toddy? The classic mixture of liquor, spices, honey, and citrus imparts a cozy sense of warmth while also boasting soothing properties for winter-induced coughs and colds.

While the traditional recipe calls for whiskey, honey, and lemon juice, there are endless ways to tailor a toddy to your needs. Prefer Scotch over bourbon? No problem. Want to add an extra healing kick? Throw some spicy ginger in. Here, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite renditions on the hot toddy, from the time-honored to the super creative. Read More

4 Egg White Cocktails to Shake Up Now

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Few drinks are more luxurious, mouthwatering, and seemingly indulgent than an egg white cocktail. The once-feared ingredient — actually totally safe to drink! — is being used by today’s generation of talented bartenders in both superb renditions of long-standing favorites and inventive new creations. After a little shake, the result is a silky foam that delivers incredible creaminess, perfectly complementing the tang of sours, the herbaceousness of bitters, or highlighting an eye-catching garnish.

The original 1888 recipe of the classic Ramos Gin Fizz demanded a 12-minute marathon of shaking to create that ideal luscious foam — an approach that has led many people to believe that all egg white cocktails require such time (and arm strength) to create. Today, however, bartenders will agree this notion is nothing but outdated, and most cocktails can be whipped in no more than a mere two to three minutes.

You can also easily create these delectable libations on your own at home. While there may be no 12-minute time requirement, the one thing you absolutely do need are fresh eggs. Pasteurized whites from a carton or (gag) powdered egg whites simply won’t cut it. After all, you and liquor only deserve the very best. Here, four of our favorite egg white cocktails that everyone should be shaking up. Read More

3 Cocktail Trends to Look Out for in 2018

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Like fashion and food, the landscape of cocktails is largely predicted by popular trends. Thanks to the resurgence of tiki drinks such as the Jungle Bird, refined disco sips like the Harvey Wallbanger, and anything and everything made with mezcal, 2017 was a fun time for liquor lovers. But with a new year come new trends and new techniques. Here are three things to look out for in 2018. Read More

Holiday Gift Guide 2017: 15 Presents at Every Price Point

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With the holiday season in full swing, you’re probably spending much of the month searching for that perfect present for everyone on your list. The trouble is, shopping for the right gifts can be an exhausting challenge and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, there’s no store called Here’s the Perfect Gift For You, so to make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide for every imbiber on your list. (After all, who doesn’t love getting a nice bottle of their favorite booze or something sleek to put on their bar cart?)

Whether you’re looking for basics to help a pal build out their home bar or something to wow a cocktail connoisseur who has everything, we’re certain that we’ve got a gift for everyone on your list. What’s more, we’ve found presents at every price point, with one even as affordable as $5.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to treat yourself to a little something as well. After all, the end of the year is a time to look back and celebrate your accomplishments, and we think you deserve to raise a glass to everything you did in 2017. Cheers! Read More

5 Hard Apple Cider Cocktails to Drink All Winter Long

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Bright and tangy with that distinct crispness of the seasonal fruit, few alcoholic beverages have become more synonymous with fall and winter than hard apple cider. Not only that, but the balance of sweet and tart make the drink not only enjoyable on its own, but a versatile ingredient to include in cocktails. (Not to mention pair with some of our favorite foods of the cold weather season.) Read More

6 Classic New Orleans Cocktails Every Drinker Should Know

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When it comes to drinking, there’s no city in America — and perhaps the world — that does it better than New Orleans. After all, this is a town where bars can stay open 24 hours a day and it’s totally legal, at least in the French Quarter, to carry a drink as you’re walking down the street.

New Orleans is also rumored to be the birthplace of America’s very first cocktail, the Sazerac. While this has been up for debate, what isn’t debatable is that the city has given rise to many of the world’s most enduring drinks. As cocktail historian and legendary barmen Chris McMillian has said, “As long as people have been drinking cocktails, they’ve been drinking them in New Orleans.” Here, we detail the six classic NOLA creations that any imbiber should know and love. Read More

Mulled Wine, Beer, and Cider Recipes to Keep You Warm This Fall and Winter

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When the weather starts to cool down, as it’s certainly doing in many parts of the world right now, few things can warm you up better than a steaming mug of mulled wine. Much like a classic hot toddy, this concoction uses spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to create that toasty feeling that we want in the fall and winter.

Though mulled wine isn’t nearly as popular in the United States, the drink has been a tradition in Old World countries for ages. In fact, wine was first recorded as spiced and heated as far back as 2nd-century Rome. The recipe has evolved over time to include other ingredients such as citrus, ginger, and brandy. Today, the drink serves as the perfect treat for warming up after a day out in the cold.

But it’s not just wine that can get the mulling treatment. Cider and even ale also pair incredibly well with these traditional spices. Here, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite recipes featuring wine, beer, and cider to keep you warm this season. Each is as delightful as the next and takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. Read More

5 Easy and Wickedly Delicious Halloween Party Punch Recipes

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Halloween comes but once a year, so when it does we do it in style. That’s right: We’re talking about award-worthy costumes, king-size candy bars, and pumpkins carved with the skills of Edward Scissorhands.

But of course, none of that is any fun if you’re sitting on the couch alone in your costume, getting sick on the aforementioned candy. This year, it’s time to step up your game by throwing a Halloween party to end all parties. Bust out the decorations, hit play on the spooky music, and whip up a batch of punch to get the energy going.

In honor of the occasion, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite boozy creations to serve on Halloween. These big-batch recipes are easy to make ahead of time so you’re not shaking drinks all night long. They’re also guaranteed to wow your guests with festive ingredients like black vodka, spiced pumpkin, and, yes, fake eyeballs. Read More

5 Football Cocktails Perfect for the Big Game

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If planning a game day party, there are four things any good host must serve: wings (either of the Buffalo or barbecue variety), chips, dip to eat with said chips, and lots and lots of booze.

To go beyond a typical party, however, try stepping up your game by swapping basic beer with football-ready cocktails. Not only will these thirst-quenching sips go perfectly with all that greasy food, but your effort and creativity are sure to make you the star of the tailgate party. Here, five of our favorite cocktail creations to serve for the big game. Read More