January Cocktail of the Month: The Horse’s Neck

Cocktail ideas / email / seasonal

It’s January — a new year, a time for making resolutions, and unfortunately, a time that many of us get hit with the cough, cold, or flu. Yep, we’re in peak illness season, and according to the CDC, it’s only getting worse.

While your doctor may prescribe a healthy dose of fluids to help get you better, we doubt they mean of the alcoholic kind. However, here at Cocktail Builder, we’re all about turning to our favorite spirits to aid us in our recovery. After all, many of our favorite elixirs started out as medicinal beverages before anyone thought about drinking them for fun. A little bug-killing booze plus a few soothing ingredients may be more effective than couch syrup — and it’s certainly more enjoyable.

So, you’re sniffly — what should you drink? Of course, there’s always the obvious Hot Toddy, a favorite for anyone feeling under the weather. But there may be something even more potent and powerful to sooth your sickly soul. Read More

3 Cocktail Trends to Look Out for in 2017

Cocktail facts & history / Cocktail ideas / email


Like fashion and food, the landscape of cocktails is largely predicted by popular trends. Thanks to the resurgence of tiki drinks like the Jungle Bird, refined disco sips like the Harvey Wallbanger, and concoctions that questioned everything you thought you knew about a particular spirit (hello,
Sherry cocktails!), 2016 was a fun time for liquor lovers. But with a new year comes new trends and new techniques. Here are three things to look out for in 2017. Read More

8 Easy Champagne Cocktails to Make on New Year’s Eve

Cocktail ideas / email / seasonal

What’s New Year’s Eve without a little Champagne? This year, instead of toasting with a plain ol’ glass of bubbly, get fancy with one of these Champagne cocktails that crank the holiday spirit into high gear. With each having four ingredients or less, they’re as fun and festive as they are easy to make, leaving you plenty of time to actually celebrate instead of crafting cocktails until midnight. Read More

Holiday Gift Guide: 5 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Cocktail Lover

email / seasonal

The holiday season is in full-swing, but if you’re anything like us, there’s a chance you haven’t even gotten around to shopping for gifts. Fear not: We’re not about to sit back and watch you have a total mental breakdown come December 24, forcing yourself to brave the mall alongside the other procrastinators. We’ve compiled a list of last-minute gifts that has something for everyone on your list (if they’re booze lovers like us, that is). We’ve got gifts for every style of imbiber, from the beginners looking to build their home bar to the cocktail connoisseurs who have everything.

So, go ahead: Throw on your coziest pair of sweats, pour yourself a drink, and get shopping. You can thank us for all of our brilliant ideas later.  Read More

3 Easy Holiday Party Punches for Your End-of-Year Celebrations

Cocktail ideas / email / seasonal

Red Nose PunchIt’s that time of year — the time when holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s call us to celebrate like no other time of year. It’s when families join hands, friends throw reunions, and companies host holiday parties both in and out of the office.

Unfortunately, it’s also a time that seems to cause far too much stress, especially if you’re planning a menu. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to eliminate some of the chaos, at least when it comes to the booze. Below are three of our favorite easy and delicious punches for serving during the holidays. Unlike others that use sugary sodas and too much juice, each of these are elegant and refined. They’re also perfect for making ahead of a party, letting you actually enjoy the event instead of mixing cocktails all night long. Read More

Best Beer, Wine, and Cocktails to Serve With Thanksgiving Dinner

email / seasonal

Thanksgiving Cocktail

If you plan on cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, you’ve probably had the menu figured out for weeks. But what about the drinks to go along with said menu? While Thanksgiving isn’t complete without the booze, it can be easy to let alcohol take second place to your turkey.

Instead of grabbing whatever wine you can find at the last minute, we’ve taken the stress out of the equation by providing you a list of drinks that’ll pair perfectly with your meal. From a spicy saison to a crisp riesling to a toasty pumpkin shrub, there’s a beer, wine, or cocktail to be found here for everyone. Read More

Essential Election Night Cocktails (Because You’ll Definitely Need to Get Drunk)

email

Donald Trump Cocktail

Let’s face it: The 2016 Presidential Election has been absolute chaos, especially lately. We don’t think we’ve ever consumed so much alcohol in the span of just a few weeks as we have in the the last month and a half.

Thankfully, it’s almost over. But before it can be through, we have to survive Election Night, aka the ultimate test of our livers. You see, it’s our American duty to get drunk on November 8. After all, it’s part our history. Booze and voting have gone hand-in-hand since 1758, when a young candidate for the House of Burgess decided to spend all of his campaign money on liquor to buy votes. Do you know who that candidate was? You may or may not recognize him as the first President of the United States. #TeamAmerica

Needless to say, booze is non-negotiable on Election Night. Of course, playing a Donald Trump drinking game with your favorite beer will suffice, but we think this important night calls for a bit more creativity. So with that, we bring you the essential Election Night cocktails inspired by each of the primary candidates. (Sorry, Gary Johnson. We’re just not sure it’s in the cards for you.)  Read More

5 Pumpkin Cocktails You Need for Fall

Cocktail ideas / email / seasonal

Pumpkin Punch

We’ve reached the peak of October and you know what that means: everyone is going crazy about pumpkins. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin spice lattes, the squash is everywhere this season.

However, there’s a much more exciting way to consume the autumnal fruit. You guessed it: in a cocktail. While we still love other seasonal ingredients such as apples, cranberries, and pears, pumpkin adds a sweet and earthy flavor that’s unique and unexpected.

If you, too, can’t get enough of pumpkins, you won’t want to miss whipping up one of the following five cocktails. They’re equally perfect for unwinding by the fire or pairing with a warm and hearty meal. Read More

History of Harry’s New York Bar: 3 Classic Cocktails You Need to Know

Cocktail facts & history / Cocktail ideas / email / world bars

Harry's New York Bar

For this week’s article, we partnered with Katie Stryjewski of Garnish. Check out her blog for fascinating cocktail history, as well as new recipes featuring your favorite spirits.

When researching the stories behind classic cocktails, certain people and places seem to come up again and again, looming large in the history of mixology. One such place is Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.

In 1911, a famous American jockey named Tod Sloane had a wild idea to open an American-style bar in Paris, France. It was so important to him to get the atmosphere right that he actually had a Manhattan bar dismantled and shipped piecemeal across the Atlantic. The New York Bar opened later that year on Thanksgiving Day.

Sloane hired a Scottish bartender named Harry MacElhone to run the bar, and it proved to be a fortuitous choice. MacElhone was a genial character much beloved by his patrons. He experimented with new recipes, whipping up such classics as the French 75, Sidecar, Old Pal, Scofflaw, Boulevardier, Monkey Gland, and (some claim) the Bloody Mary. He went on to write two books filled with recipes he invented or perfected at the bar, Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails (1919) and Barflies and Cocktails (1927). These have become seminal tomes of Prohibition-era mixology.  Read More

4 Sherry Cocktails You Need to Try Right Now

email

Sherry Cocktail
When you think of Sherry, what comes to mind? For many, it’s likely to be a dusty old bottle sitting in their grandmother’s cupboard that hasn’t been opened in years.

Sherry — a fortified wine from the Spanish city of Jerez — often carries low-brow connotations. Though it was once considered one of the world’s greatest and most versatile wines, an influx of cheap and sickeningly sweet blends caused Sherry to become widely misunderstood.

However, thanks to a wave of interest in artisanal wines, as well as a focus on small bodegas producing tiny batches, Sherry has regained popularity. It’s been popping up on liquor menus all across the world, proving itself to be equally enjoyable when served straight or mixed into a cocktail. Read More