Fresh Fruit

New fruit-flavored spirits give a fresh twist to these original drinks.

Pear Thyme Sparkle

Festive and sophisticated, pear adds a dry, crisp flavor to cocktails such as this one, which has a hint of earthiness from fresh thyme.

1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 ounces Grey Goose La Poire vodka
3/4 ounce simple syrup (see below)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Splash chilled dry sparkling wine or Champagne
Garnish: fresh pear slice and small sprig of fresh thyme

Bend large thyme sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Fill shaker with ice, cap, and shake vigorously. Strain into a large cocktail glass and top with a splash of sparkling wine. Float pear slice and thyme in drink.

To make simple syrup,  combine equal parts sugar and water in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Store at room temperature or refrigerated until needed.

Concord Martini

Completely dry yet so subtly fragrant with just a hint of grape. Even a die-hard classic Martini drinker might find this mysteriously alluring.

2 ounces unflavored vodka
1 ounce Three Olives Grape vodka
Garnish: 1 frozen black or purple grape

Combine vodkas in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cap, and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a grape.

Berry Blue Tonic

A sunny-weather favorite gets a twist from blueberry, the season’s hottest new flavor. It’s a perfect counterpart to the bitter flavor of tonic water.

1 1/2 ounces Stoli Blueberi vodka
1/4 ounce blue Curaçao
2 ounces tonic water
Garnish: fresh lime wedge and 3 fresh blueberries

Fill an Old-Fashioned glass with ice. Add vodka, Curaçao, and tonic water. Stir, and garnish with lime and blueberries.

Melon Cucumber Smash

Four ingredients known for their refreshing, thirst-quenching character—mint, cucumber, lime, and watermelon—come together to produce a smashing success.

2 sprigs fresh mint
4 slices cucumber
3/4 ounce simple syrup (see first recipe)
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces Bacardi Grand Melón rum
Splash chilled soda water
Garnish: fresh cucumber slice

Tear mint sprigs and drop into a cocktail shaker; add cucumber slices. Press with a muddler to bruise the mint and cucumber well. Add simple syrup, lime juice, and rum. Fill shaker with ice, cap, and shake vigorously. Strain into a large cocktail glass and top with a splash of soda. Float cucumber slice in the drink.

Spicy Grapefruit Drop

Spice in cocktails is hot this season!
Zesty grapefruit vodka, citrus notes, and cayenne make for a tasty and unique
flavor combo with just enough heat to keep things interesting sip after sip.

Spiced Sugar (recipe follows)
2 ounces Absolut Ruby Red vodka
2 ounces Spiced Lemon Sour
(recipe follows)
Garnish: long lemon peel twist

Place the Spiced Sugar in a small bowl. Slide a lemon wedge over the rim of a cocktail glass and, pressing the fruit lightly against the rim, slowly turn the glass a half turn to lightly film half of the rim with juice. Holding the glass at an angle, lightly dip the moistened rim about 1 1/2 inches into the Spiced Sugar, evenly coating a crescent-shaped section of the rim. Set aside.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka and Spiced Lemon Sour. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into the sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with a long lemon peel twist.

Spiced Lemon Sour

Makes about 1 cup, enough for 4 drinks

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

Spiced Sugar

Makes 1/2 cup
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients and store in a tightly
covered container at room temperature
for up to 1 month.

Cosmoquila Breeze

Everyone likes Cosmos and Margaritas. This drink combines the two, using
tropical-flavored tequila and cranberry for a refreshing new pairing.

2 lime wedges
1 1/2 ounces Jose Cuervo
Tropiña tequila
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce cranberry juice
3/4 ounce pineapple juice
Garnish: pineapple leaf

Squeeze and drop lime wedges into a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, Cointreau, and juices. Fill shaker with ice, cap, and shake vigorously. Pour contents of shaker into a tall glass. Garnish with pineapple leaf.

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