Cranberry Mimosa Cocktails for the Holidays

The fall and winter holiday season is a great time to take your cocktails to the next level. Mimosas are a particular brunch favorite, be it the holidays or other special occasion. Technically a mimosa has to be have some kind of a citrus-based juice with the sparkling wine or champagne. We’re going to fudge the definition a bit with cranberry mimosa recipes. Bars, restaurants, and even your kitchen often already have cranberry juice on hand anyway. Each mimosa cocktail here uses cranberry in some fashion. Which one piques your interest?

How to Make Mimosas – Cranberry Style

Continue reading “Cranberry Mimosa Cocktails for the Holidays”

Feeling Festive with a Cranberry Margarita

If you know anything about me, you know that I love my margaritas. I’m a sucker for the traditional one (made with lime juice, not necessarily sweet and sour mix). However, I am always game to try some new flavors. Now that it is the Christmas season, I have to go for a cranberry margarita.

This recipe is designed for one serving, but you can easily adapt it to make extras to share, or even an entire pitcher of cranberry margaritas for holiday fun. It only takes a few minutes to prepare! And honestly, the garnish is going to take up the most time. Continue reading “Feeling Festive with a Cranberry Margarita”

12 Valentine’s Day Cocktails

So many of us like to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday with our loved ones and a special cocktail or two. The holiday is a great time to try out something new. Here are a few fun new ones to try out.

Martini Inspired Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Whether it’s actually a martini or a drink that is served in a  martini glass, all of these vodka-based cocktails are fruity and flavorful and of course properly colored for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Love Potion Number 9 Martini – Love berries? The Cookie Rookie has a Triple Berry Martini made from Chambord (black raspberry liqueur), strawberry vodka, and pomegranate juice. Garnish with heart-shaped strawberries. She even tells you how to safely use dry ice, to give it that truly smoky potion appearance.

White Chocolate Cranberry Pink Martinis – The name of the game is pink on Valentine’s Day, and I do love white chocolate. I have never tried it with cranberries, but am sure the two would balance each other nicely. 3 Yummy Tummies makes it with whipped cream vodka, Godiva white chocolate liqueur, and cranberry juice with a touch of grenadine.

Tickled Pink Valentine’s Day Cocktail – Use sugar-free raspberry preserves mixed with vodka and poured over Prosecco for this cocktail by Style Estate.

French Kiss Martini – The name is perfect for Valentine’s Day. This is simply vodka, raspberry liqueur, and pineapple juice. I would likely make it stronger than Confessions of a Cooking Diva makes it, but I like stronger drinks. She also said that she has tried it with gin, which I think would also be interesting.

Champagne Based Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Raspberry Pink Champagne Floats – I love champagne. I love all of the different flavors and creations you can make with it. Serve some up as a dessert this Valentine’s Day. The Cookie Rookie pours pink champagne over raspberry sorbet.

Sparkling Strawberry Float – A similar idea comes from Five Heart Home, with prosecco poured over strawberry sorbet. You can also make it as a mocktail.

Strawberry-Peach Moscato Mimosa– Try mixing up flavored sparkling wines with your orange juice and garnish with a heart-shaped strawberry, like my mimosa recipe. I also have collections of grapefruit mimosasvariations on orange juice mimosas, or even a pomegranate mimosa, which can be used to kick off any romantic day.

Bailey’s Valentine’s Day Cocktails

If you know me at all, you know that I have a serious thing for Bailey’s and all cocktails made with it. Here are a couple of gems for Valentine’s Day.

Bailey’s Cool Raspberry – Take your simple Bailey’s over ice, but pour it over middle raspberries, instead, for a lovely flavor, as shared on the Bailey’s website.

Chocolate Pomegranate Martini– Make your Bailey’s into a martini by pouring it over pomegranate juice in a glass dipped in chocolate. I am drooling.

Strawberry Blow Job Shot – I’m not even going to explain to you how this particular tasty shot could be a lot of fun to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. I will tell you that it is layers of grenadine, Kahlua, and then Bailey’s, topped with whipped cream. You can read the list on the Facebook page for Tipsy Bartender or watch the video on YouTube.

Valentine’s Mudslide – Oh how I love the mudslide, though I must admit in my “old age,” I can’t handle always including the ice cream. (According to my bartenders, you can still call it a mudslide even without the ice cream in it.) Amanda’s Cookin’ gives it a holiday twist by blending fresh strawberries with the Bailey’s before topping with the Kahlua and vodka.

Creamy Kiss – This one from Drinks Mixer layers amaretto, Bailey’s, peach schnapps, and cream before gently stirring.

Want even more Valentine’s Day Cocktails to try? I have a collection of 10 recipes from last year. You can also check out this dozen over on the parent site at My Crafty Life.

Nutty Irishman: Hot and Cold

Ah, the Nutty Irishman. It was a Wednesday night many years ago when my neighbors and I walked the block down the street to the neighborhood Irish pub to enjoy some midweek music and fun. I was in the mood to try something new, because we had been enjoying chocolate martinis for a few weeks. My bartender looked at me and said, “I have something I know you will love,” and handed me a small rocks glass with creamy goodness inside. A new favorite was born.

It’s pretty simple to make, with just two ingredients:


Bailey’s, of course, is Irish cream. Frangelico is a hazelnut-flavored liqueur. And together they are magical.

I have seen varying “recipes” for how much of each to use. Some people like it half and half. I usually do about 3/4 Bailey’s and 1/4 Frangelico floating on top. Some people like to mix it, but I just pour them and let them mix as it goes down. Some people like to cut it with milk and/or cream, but to me that ruins the fun. Plus, with lactose intolerance, I don’t need any added milk in my life! Most people also like to serve it over ice, but I don’t mind it as a room temperature shot. Or, I will make it a bigger drink to sip on over a longer period of time. That is the advantage of making it at home. Give me a big glass and a straw any time. 🙂

I have also found that this tastes really good in coffee or in hot cocoa. For coffee it just gives it that extra adult flavor. For hot cocoa, you end up with an even richer and creamier flavor. Anything nutty with chocolate is usually a good combination for me! In fact, you could probably even put in some chocolate syrup to your coffee before adding this, making it a sort of Nutty Irishman Mocha. All kinds of possibilities exist! And I am willing to try them all.

Now, buying Bailey’s and Frangelico can quickly add up. A good bottle of Bailey’s can run you anywhere from $35-45 dollars or more. And Frangelico costs around $20. Not to sound like an alcoholic or anything, but I can go through these pretty quickly, especially in the winter when having a hot cocktail is a great way to unwind when freezing. A few years ago, with the guidance of some very kind souls at local liquor stores, I found a cheaper and easier way to make my favorite beverage.

Francesca is a generic Frangelico that usually goes for about $10. Brady’s is a generic Bailey’s that actually tastes really close to the real thing. I can get a 1.75 liter jug of this around here anywhere from $15-20. Those savings can really add up! So don’t be afraid to reach for those lower shelves.

You can also try to mix in other tastes with your Nutty Irishman, even if that means it is likely to be a different name. Sometimes I make a version with Amaretto instead of Frangelico. (I have looked and this doesn’t have a special name that I can find.) Sometimes I may add vodka or Kahlua. As always, you can experiment and discover all kinds of new flavor combinations that you never tried before. And I always like to also try them in my coffee and/or hot cocoa when I’m looking for something warmer to drink.

How do you like your Nutty Irishman? What other combinations have you tried?

Coffee Nip Coffee Cocktail with Black Button Bourbon Cream

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When I was a kid, my mom would occasionally let us have one of her candies as a special treat. She was really fond of those hard candies, like the butterscotch discs, hot cinnamon, and Coffee Nips. I was always a chocoholic, but it was special when Mom slipped me one of those wrapped treasures. I was torn between the sweetness of the butterscotch and the coffee-flavored ones as my favorite.

Nips Hard Candy Coffee 4 OZ

Every once in a while in life, you accidentally come across something that reminds you of those good ol’ days. Last year, a friend took me with her to a fundraiser for her daughter’s school. A lot of local vendors were providing samples of their wares. Our favorite stop was the Black Button Distilling Company. I loved their bourbon whiskey and actually enjoyed the gin, which is not one of my usual beverages. Moonshine was spectacular But the ultimate winner of that sampling was their new Bespoke Bourbon Cream.

I am always giving it the side eye when I pop into the local liquor stores for an adult beverage. The other day, I popped into one that is known for having all kinds of smaller bottles and samples on hand, because I was looking to try out different kinds of cocktails made with coffee. They had the little shot bottles of bourbon cream for a mere 99 cents, so I had to pick up a couple.

I poured it over ice to sample the flavor, because it has been a year since I last had it. It’s nice and creamy, just like Bailey’s, which is one of my weaknesses. I could also distinguish lots of spices, almost a clove or a cinnamon kind of flavor? The description says vanilla and caramel undertones, but there was definitely more than that going on. It was a little reminiscent of Captain Morgan rum, but even spicier. I really liked it over ice.

So then I put it into my coffee. Even though I knew better, I was still expecting it to taste more like a simple Bailey’s in my coffee. But this was so much more. With that very first sip, I was immediately transported back in time to being a kid and Mom slipping me one of her Coffee Nip candies. Only this was better in many ways, because it was hot and coffee and gave me that other buzz of happiness.

That being said, what would make it even better would be sipping on one of these Coffee Nip Coffees while enjoying the candies with my mother in person, but I will take the memories for now.

I have never had any other kind of bourbon cream, so I am not sure what other brands to recommend to make this coffee. The nice thing is, Black Button is expanding their distribution and you can find it in other states. Visit their website to look for your state. Plus, how much fun will it be to keep on sampling to find other excellent combinations?

Let me know what you find!