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Tag Archives: cranberry

Day 284, Cocktail 282

Today was back to normal around here…schools open, roads cleared…and mountains of snow everywhere.  It was kind of fun to see just how much there was.  It also gave me the opportunity to play around with yesterday’s Blizzard cocktail after a reader (yes, you Sally) suggested dropping the grenadine and trying bitters.  So that’s just what I did.  I figured that Peychaud’s would be a good choice because it has a slightly spicey quality.  I was also tempted to try the orange bitters, but after sniffing both several times I settled on the Peychaud’s.  It seemed like a better match for the cranberry that’s in this cocktail.

  Blizzard Revisted

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz bar syrup
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Combine the ingredients with 5-6 ice cubes in a shaker.  Shake to combine and chill.  Pour into a rocks glass.

Sally, I have to say, this is pretty good.  Different from the original in subtle ways, and good.  It’s not as sweet, and I did add the 1/4 oz of bar syrup after removing 1/2 oz of grenadine – I knew I’d still need some sweet to offset the lime juice.  Without the grenadine to help reinforce the cranberry against the lime, the lime flavor is more predominant.  However, the spicy flavor of the Peychaud’s compliments it very nicely.  I like them both equally.  For you, it will be a matter of your personal taste. 


Day 283, Cocktail 281

It won’t be news to many of you to learn that we were slammed by the northern edge of the storm that rocked about half the country last night.  I’m sure we got off easy with just a lot of drifted snow and no ice.  So the power stayed on all night as the girls and I watched movies together, Gwen having left a day early for her Mexican fiesta in order to beat the storm.  So she’s in Cancun now while I spent a good chunk of today clearing snow – the piles are now nearly 6 feet tall!

So what cocktail would be appropriate for today?  Why, a blizzard, of course.  I googled Blizzard Cocktail and found two completely different variants with the same name.  One was made with brandy, irish cream, coffee and whipped cream.  The other used bourbon, cranberry and lime juice and grenadine.  Care to guess which one I made?


  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz grenadine

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to mix and then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

Tasty, with the combination of lime and cranberry making this a tart drink, with the slightly oaked, woody finish from the bourbon.  The ingredient list is very similar to that of the Cosmopolitan, but the flavor, because of the bourbon, is nothing like a Cosmo.  A nice way to finish of a day of snow shoveling!


Day 244, Cocktail 241

I hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas!  We certainly did here at the Twilight Lounge.  At left you can see the newest addition to the Lounge staff.  I hope he works out as the in house entertainer.  Next to him is the latest drink (and the last Christmas cocktail) to come out of the Twilight Lounge.

This cocktail is a twist on the mule style of cocktails.  Basically, a mule is a base spirit, ginger ale or beer and lime juice.  For my Christmas mule I switched it up and used lemonade, Old Ballycastle Ginger and seltzer water to mix with my tequila. 

  Christmas Mule

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 3 oz lemonade
  • 1/4 oz Old Ballycastle Ginger
  • selzter water

Place a couple of ice cubes in a collins glass.  Add the tequila, lemonade and Old Ballycastle.  Stir to mix.  Add several more ice cubes to fill the glass about 3/4 full of ice.  Top with seltzer.  Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh cranberries.

You don’t see tequila used in many holiday cocktails, but our friends south of the border certainly do celebrate, so why not?  The Old Ballycastle adds just a hint of ginger and the tequila comes through as well.  Notice that I stirred the drink with only a couple of ice cubes.  I’ve learned that when mixing a drink in the same glass you will be drinking it from that this is a much easier way to get a good stir without slopping all over the place.  I also used fresh cranberries as my garnish – I just love to do this with nearly any holiday cocktail.  There are two reasons for this.  First is that by Christmas the fresh cranberries are usually gone (I buy a bag around Thanksgiving, and they will last a couple of months if kept refrigerated).  The second is that they add a festive touch, and are good to eat as well!

Next up for the Twilight Lounge is our first ever New Year’s Eve party!


Day 217, Cocktail 215

Ugh, these guys are gonna’ be the death of me!  I went to Ivee’s, as usual, for the Browns game on Sunday.  What made it different, and a lot more fun, was that Cookie was with me, there to cheer his Steelers on.  We were both feeling pretty good when our teams jumped out to big leads then nearly had heart attacks as the Browns won when the Panthers missed a field goal as time expired and the Steelers won in OT as a Bills reciever dropped a game winning TD pass.  Whew!

To celebrate the twin victories Cookie ordered up a variant of the classic vodka cranberry that I’d never had.  He had a splash of sour mix added to the drink – and I liked it.  The sour cut the sweetness of the cranberry just a bit and made it a very enjoyable cocktail.  Thanks Cookie!


Day 186, Cocktail 182

There are few things as quintessential at Halloween than a black cat.  Often associated with witches and bad luck, few domesticated animals are as routinely persecuted as the black cat.  However, and interestingly enough, black cats are considered good luck in England.  Women in seek of suitors will use black cats to bring them luck (although any woman who is already a wife will wonder just why a single woman would want suitors).

So, when I found this recipe for a Black Cat cocktail in Colleen Graham’s cocktail blog I just knew that I’d have to try it.

  Black Cat

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz kirschwasser (cherry brandy)
  • cranberry juice
  • cola

Fill a collins glass about 3/4 full with ice.  Add the vodka and kirschwasser and then fill the rest the glass the rest of the way up with equal amounts the cranberry juice and cola.

This is a very interesting cocktail.  The blend of the kirschwasser, cola and cranberry gives a distinct, berry like flavor that has a tart quality.  I have to admit that the first sip didn’t exactly sit too well with me, but the more I’ve drunk, the better it has gotten.  Give this kitty a try and let me know what you think!


Day 179, Cocktail 175

What do the Electric Light Orchestra and The Wizard of Oz have in common?  About as much as the name of tonight’s cocktail and the actual drink, that’s what.

I got home late and tired.  After a quick dinner I was ready for a fast and easy cocktail to enjoy while I watched last week’s episode of The Office on the DVR.  I grabbed the Ultimate Bar Book and started thumbing through the vodka section.  I stumbled upon the Ruby Martini, which I will not refer to again by that name (you regulars know why).  It looked good so I gave it a whirl.

  Ruby Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 oz cranberry juice

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled coupe.  Rim the glass with a lemon peel and then twist the peel over the glass and drop it in.

The first thing that strikes me is the blue color of the cocktail.  It’s blue.  Really, really blue.  Why it’s called the Ruby Cocktail is beyond me.  After that it is a pleasant enough cocktail, with notes of orange and cranberry flavors.  However, it’s not going to make the pantheon of cocktails I’m chomping at the bit to have again.


Day 176, Cocktail 170

Confused yet?  Don’t worry, yesterday’s cocktail will do that.  Your math is not incorrect, today is actually day 177 for me.  This is yesterday’s cocktail and, yes, I’m still getting caught up.

Right then, so what does confusion and kissing a cop have to do with cocktails?  Well, when the cop is standing at 34th and Vine and you’ve had a couple of Love Potions then there is lots in common!

  Love Potion

  • 1-1/2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz Chambord
  • 3/4 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/8 oz lemon juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

A very nice cocktail, similar to the Sleigh Wreck (which my longtime fans – that means you Andrea – are familar with and you’ll get to know soon enough).  The original recipe I found called for lemon flavored vodka, which, of course, I do not have.  That’s why lemons were invented and why I added the 1/8 oz of lemon juice to the recipe.  This might be too sweet for drinking all night, at least for me, but I’ll bet the gal in your life will knock these back with abandon.  And who knows, you might end up kissing a cop!


Day 23, Cocktail 22

Last spring we went to Florida and spent a week with my mom and stepfather.  My stepfather is a wonderful man who goes by the name of Cookie.  While we were there he introduced me to a great variation of the usual vodka and cranberry.

  The Cookie Anne

  • 2 oz Luksuswa vodka
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz cranberry juice

Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice.  Stir to mix.  Garnish with a lemon twist.

This is a light, refreshing cocktail, perfect after a day at the beach…it won’t be long, will it?


A pair of Sagebrushes with their proud parents

Day 14, Cocktail 14   

Yesterday I posted the Sagebrush, a newly created recipe.  All day long today I just had this nagging feeling that I had rushed my post for it.  So when I got home after my Saturday Otto’s run for a few odds and ends for the Twilight Lounge I got to tinkering.  The result is the new and improved Sagebrush!  I replaced the ginger ale with a favorite of mine, Domain de Canton.  I also  added a pinch of kosher salt and a dash of Agnosturo bitters.  The addition of these two ingredients really helped to tie this cocktail together.  I do have to give a nod to Chad Doll for the inspiration to try the salt – see his post at   



  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • 1 dash Agnosturo bitters
  • 2 sage leaves (for muddling)
  • sprig of sage (for garnish)


Fill a mixing glass with 1 oz crushed ice, 2 sage leaves and 1/8 oz of bar syrup.  Muddle thoroughly.  Add the Cazadores, Domaine de Canton and cranberry.  Stir vigourously to mix.  Strain into a rocks glass over 4-5 ice cubes.  Garnish with the sage sprig.   

This version comes together as a more complete cocktail with a smoother taste and more body than the original.  Give it a try!   


Day 13, Cocktail 13

This seems to be the Cinco de Mayo that won’t end.  Yesterday we went to a Sies de Mayo party at Dennis and Andrea’s house.  It was a bit cool, but the chiminea had a nice fire in it and the margaritas and Patron shots kept us warm!

Since Cinco ended up being a week long affair, I thought I’d take one more stab at a tequila drink tonight.  I started off with a Tequila Diablo.  This is a nice drink that I picked up from my friend and neighbor Mark Colclasure last summer.  It consists of tequila, cranberry juice and ginger ale.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember the exact ratios so I was messing around with it down in the Twilight Lounge while watching an episode of “Great Cocktails” on the DVR.  In a quick cameo, one of the expert bartenders mentioned using herbs in her cocktails and specifically said that sage and tequila was a good pairing.  Hmmm, I’ve got some fresh sage already growing outside in the herb garden…why not give it a whirl?

The result is what I call the Sagebrush.  It is a blend of tequila, muddled sage, bar syrup, cranberry and ginger ale.  It gives a very subtle mix of flavors with the tequila, sage and ginger all blending to provide a refreshing and different flavor.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!


  • 2 oz Cazadores tequila
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • 1 sage leaf for muddling
  • 1/8 oz bar syrup
  • ginger ale
  • sage spring for garnish


In a mixing glass muddle the sage leaf with the bar syrup and about 1 oz of crushed ice.  Add the tequila and cranberry juice and mix thoroughly.  Strain into a rocks glass filled with 4-5 ice cubes.  Top with ginger ale and garnish with the sprig of sage.