Add some color to your cocktails

Colorful cocktails

We are heading into the holiday party season, and you can bet that many of the parties will feature cocktails. While many classic cocktails are delicious, some of them are very drab: various shades of brown or nearly clear. Some of the most brightly colored cocktails are pretty yet far too sweet. Lucky for us the EYB Library contains many lip-smacking cocktails pop with color and aren’t saccharine. 

The Aviation may be the only purple cocktail that stands the test of time. Creme de violette adds a blue to purple tint, perhaps to symbolize the sky and hearkening back to the golden days of flying, when people dressed up to board an airplane. Moving along the color wheel, we find a few golden cocktails. The Sparkling Suze cocktail is a vivid yellow. Pineapple juice livens the color of these Pineapple mint daiquiris from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Cranberries can add both flavor and color to drinks, as shown in the Cranberry especial from Serious Eats. Homemade grenadine syrup isn’t overly sweet nor full of artificial colors, and it adds a garnet hue to cocktails like the Jack Rose. December is the start of blood orange season, and it also provides a lovely color. You can make your own blood orange liqueur to use in the drink of your choice, perhaps this Basil infused blood orange cocktail  from What’s Gaby Cooking.

Green isn’t as common, but there are few that don’t involve creme de menthe or Midori. One is this mint margarita slushy from Cooking Light Magazine. Another is Food & Wine’s Cucumber cocktail with chamomile tonic. Finally we have the intriguing El niño from Australian Gourmet Traveller, which features a spicy combo of cilantro, cucumbers, and Tabasco Green Jalapeño Pepper sauce.

Pictured clocwise from top left: Aviation from Food52, Cranberry especial from Serious Eats, El niño from Recipes for a Good Time, and Pineapple mint daiquiris from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

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  • hillsboroks  on  November 29, 2014

    Several years ago I made up a pitcher of cranberry daiquiris for Thanksgiving. The recipe came from the November 2009 Bon Appetit magazine. The bright ruby color was spectacular and the flavor was wonderful. But while I was in the kitchen slowly sipping mine while fussing with the turkey the rest of the family was playing a game in the living room and a few folks apparently had a bit too much daiquiri. My quiet sister-in-law was exuberant at the table and my son's quiet new girlfriend suddenly lost all her reserve. My strait laced family was suddenly wild and crazy. I didn't know what happened until I realized that my daughter had made a second pitcher of daiquiris because they were so darn good and popular. Even my too serious brother managed to have enough that he fell asleep on the couch after dinner amidst all the fun. That was the Thanksgiving to remember!

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