cocktail-recipes.jpgCocktail week – maybe you’ve heard of it? This trend is making its way around the world and spreading a bit of alcohol-fueled fun all the way from London to Toronto.

If sitting around a table in a bar with friends and a frosty concoction is your idea of a good time, Cocktail Week is for you. Toronto just hosted it’s own Cocktail Week and London kicked its 5th Annual Cocktail Week yesterday. To participate all you have to do is buy a wristband and you get access to fancy cocktails at rock bottom prices. There are over 200 spots participating, so I imagine the Brits are having a fun time right about now.

If you live somewhere there isn’t a cocktail week, you can still feel like you’re participating in this trendy event. All you have to do is host your own cocktail evening and create a few batches of your own cocktails. But remember, if you stick to your usual Bloody Mary or Mojito recipe, you’re definitely missing out on the spirit of the event. Cocktail Week is a time to branch out and try something new.

Here are a few great recipes you can try while hosting your own cocktail week:

Cranberry Pomegranate Winter Sangriawinter-sangria.jpg

Sangria is a great drink to serve to a crowd. The cranberries in this drink really set it apart from other Sangria recipes. Serve in a frosty glass pitcher.

Ingredients:

1 (750 ml) bottle of white zinfandel (red in color)

4 cups of cranberry juice

2 cups of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice

1 cup of orange juice

3/4 cup of grenadine

1 apple, unpeeled, cored, quartered & sliced thin

1 orange, halved and sliced thin

1 lemon, halved and sliced thin

1/2 cup of fresh cranberries

1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

San Pellegrino sparkling water

 

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in an extra large storage container, taste and adjust the flavours to how you like them. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Stir before serving and transfer to pitchers or pour by the glass. Use a pair of tongs to extract some of the fruit for each glass, add ice to each glass, and fill glasses, leaving about an inch of free space at the top. Top each glass off with a splash of Pellegrino and lightly stir.

Blueberry Lemon Lavendar Mojitolavender-mojito.jpg

Who doesn’t love a good mojito? This Blueberry Mojito would be great to serve during Cocktail Week or as a spooky drink during a Haloween party. You’ll need a shaker for this recipe.

Ingredients:

26 whole mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

4 slices lemon

3 ounces lavender syrup

6 ounces citrus vodka

3 ounces fresh lemon juice

3 ounces club soda (optional)

 

Directions

In a cocktail shaker, add mint, blueberries, lemon slices, lavender syrup, vodka, and lemon juice. Add ice and shake vigorously.

Add ice to 4 glasses and pour mojito evenly into glasses. If you would like, add a splash of club soda to each glass.

Optional – garnish with additional mint, lemon wedges, and blueberries. You can also add a bit of blue coloring for an extra colourful drink.

Raspberry Champagne Fizzraspberry-champagne-fizz.jpg

For Cocktail Week or to keep around for New Year’s Eve, this cocktail recipe from thedailymeal.com blends fresh raspberries with sparkling wine. Serve in martini glasses.

Ingredients:

For the raspberry coulis:

  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord or cassis liqueur

For the cocktail:

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 18 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine

 

Directions

For the raspberry coulis:

To make the coulis, place the raspberries, lemon juice, sugar, and liqueur in the bowl of a food processor and process at high speed until very smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and pour into a large squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the cocktail:

To serve, squeeze a little raspberry coulis in a martini glass. Top with one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream, depending on the size of your glasses. Garnish with the raspberries. Top each glass with sparkling wine or champagne.

Mad Hatters Potionmad-hatters-potion.jpg

I love dry ice, and I think I’d use it just for fun almost any time of the year if I could get my hands on it. It makes drinks at Halloween extra spooky, and keeps your glass chilly. This Cocktail Week, why not impress your guests with the Mad Hatters Potion? It uses chips of dry ice for extra flair. Serve in martini glasses.

Ingredients:

1 part Pineapple Rum
1/2 part Coconut Rum
1/2 part Vanilla Vodka
1/2 part Strawberry Schnapps
Splash of Pineapple Juice
Slice of pineapple for garnish

 

Directions

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into martini glass. Garnish with slice of pineapple. Float pellets of dry ice for smoking effect.

Cocktail week or your own cocktail evening – it doesn’t matter whether you head out to your local martini bar or or host your own as long as you branch out and experiment with a few great cocktail recipes.

Cocktail Week wouldn’t be the same without some great bar and wine accessories. Here are a few of my favourites:

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The Final Touch Rainbow Layering Cocktail Tool lets you easily create impressive cocktails

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All of the cocktail tools you’ll need to create the perfect beverage are available in the Vacu Vin Cocktail Set

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More Mojitos? No problem – Use the Final Touch Mojito Glasses with Wooden Muddler