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Photograph: Shutterstock

Six simple yet delicious cocktails that you can create at home with any spirit

Want to feel like you’re sipping on a mixologist-made cocktail in your favorite bar? We teamed up with Fever-Tree to bring you six tasty cocktail recipes where the mixer is your secret ingredient to feeling like a pro

Written by Time Out. Paid for by Fever-Tree
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Ah, cocktail bars. We took them for granted, didn’t we? Luckily, help is at hand. If you’ve been dreaming of a perfect gin and tonic—or maybe a summery mule—then we’re here to help you create your ideal drink at home. We asked three master bartenders to create two cocktails each using ingredients that are easy to come by. The big difference when it comes to taste? Fever-Tree. The folks at Fever-Tree believe that if three quarters of your drink is the mixer, then it makes sense to mix with the best. Its award-winning tonics, sodas, ginger ales and ginger beers are made using naturally sourced ingredients and nothing artificial, which means that you’ll unlock bartender-level quality from your drinks. You can get Fever-Tree delivered straight to your home by ordering online or find it in many local stores. Then, it’s just a matter of following these recipes and you’re on your way to home-drinking perfection. Can't find all the ingredients? Don't worry: the real hero of these cocktails is the Fever-Tree mixer, so you can't really go wrong. 

Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Angel from Montgomery

Selma Slabiak, Selma’s Bar, New York City

"It’s finally spring, and to me, that means bright, refreshing gin drinks with whatever herbs I have on hand. My personal favorite gin is Dorothy Parker from New York Distilling Co.—it has notes of grapefruit and elderflower, and works in martinis and highballs alike. For this cocktail, I made a mild chamomile syrup from some tea I found when I quarantine-cleaned my cabinets. I’ve always loved the combination of celery and cucumber, and the salt brings out all the savory notes of the tonic."

What you need:

2 oz gin. If you don’t have gin, vodka works, too. 

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 chamomile syrup 

Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic 

A pinch of celery salt

Method:

1. Shake gin, lemon juice and chamomile syrup together

2. Pour over ice

3. Top with Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic

4. Rim the glass with celery salt 

Method (chamomile syrup):

1. Add 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, and melt over low heat

2. Steep with chamomile tea, strain and let cool down 

Selma’s pro tip: “Muddle cucumber or herbs in the drink for extra flavor.”

Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic Water is a crisp, low-calorie mixer which combines notes of American cucumber with quinine sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Handsome Johnny

Selma Slabiak, New York City

“I love a good ginger highball; it’s tasty and refreshing, and it’s super easy to make. The late, great John Prine’s go-to drink was a straightforward vodka/ginger ale, and I’ve been drinking a lot of these in his honor for the past few days.” 

What you need:

2 oz vodka. If you don’t have vodka, try bourbon or whisky.  

1 oz lime cordial (1 cup fresh lime juice, 1.5 cup granulated sugar, peels of 3 limes).  

Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

Method:

1. Shake the vodka and cordial well with ice and pour into a tumbler

2. Top with Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

3. Garnish with a lime wedge

4. Got some Angostura Bitters on hand? Add a few dashes for the final touch 

Selma’s pro tip: “You can use the candied lime peels from the cordial as a garnish for extra brightness in your drink.”

Fever-Tree Ginger Ale uses three kinds of gingers, sourced from the Ivory Coast, Cochin, India and Nigeria, plus cane sugar to create a spicy ale with subtle botanical flavors.

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Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Mexican Mule

Danny Sedora, Time Out Market Miami

"I love this cocktail, and I enjoy tequila more than any other spirit. I was able to learn a lot about it when bartending in Washington DC for Jose Andres’ Oyamel Restaurant. It’s an amazing choice to play around with!”

What you need:
1.5 oz reposado tequila (or whatever tequila you have on hand). If you don’t have tequila, use vodka. 

0.75 oz freshly squeezed lime juice 

1 oz chile arbol simple syrup (1 cup white granulated sugar, 8-10 arbol chiles. Recipe below). 

Fever-Tree Ginger Beer 

Method:

1. Pour the syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice and tequila into a glass

2. Load glass with crushed ice

3. Top with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

4. If you have a mint leaf, smack it to awaken its flavor and use it to garnish the cocktail

Method (chile arbol simple syrup):

1. In a medium-sized cooking pot, add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil

2. Add 1 cup of white granulated sugar and 8-10 arbol chiles

3. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved, then bring pot to low-medium heat

4. Cook on low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring continuously

5. Take off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes

6. Strain your syrup into an empty wine bottle or small liter bottle 

Danny’s pro tip: “The more you let your syrup rest, the spicier it will be!” 

Fever-Tree Ginger Beer is a refreshing, non-alcoholic favorite which blends three kinds of ginger with carbonated water and cane sugar.

Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. South Beach Vodka Soda Spritz

Danny Sedora, Time Out Market Miami

“We’re going very simple for this one: anything with bubbles can be used here, and we are going to add some mint and orange quarters. This can be built in a Collins glass or a wine glass.”  

What you need:
8-10 mint leaves

1 orange, sliced into quarters

Sparkling wine (your choice of Champagne, prosecco or cava—whatever you have on hand)

Fever-Tree Club Soda  

Method:

1. Add 8-10 mint leaves to the glass

2. Squeeze 1 orange quarter into the glass and drop it in there

3. Fill glass with ice to the top

4. Add Fever-Tree Club Soda. Leave just enough room to top with sparkling wine 

5. Grab another orange quarter and anchor it on the rim of the glass 

Danny’s pro tip: “Before placing the mint in the glass, place the leaves in the palm of your hand and squeeze them lightly a couple times so as to awaken the mint.” 

Fever-Tree Club Soda has a high level of carbonation, elevating any spirit you choose to mix it with. 

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Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Red Velvet

Manuel Calderon, Time Out Market Chicago

“I am a huge fan of gin and tonics. This spring twist on a G&T reminds me of being in my small hometown in El Salvador on a sunny day, where we would drink ‘Aguas Frescas’ [fruit blended with water and lime juice]. Plus, the hibiscus flower is one of my favorite flavors.”

What you need:
1.5 oz gin. No gin on hand? Try using port instead. 

1 oz hibiscus morita syrup (1 cup hibiscus flower, 1.5 cups granulated sugar, 1 morita chile, 1pc cinnamon. Recipe below.) 

Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic 

1 lime wheel 

Method:

1. Fill a collins glass or highball glass with ice to the top

2. Combine gin and hibiscus morita syrup

3. Top with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic and stir

4. Garnish with lime wheel

Method (hibiscus morita syrup)

1. Cut the morita chile in half

2. Put all ingredients in a small saucepan

3. Let it simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes

4. Strain into a container, rest until cool 

Manuel’s pro tip: “Reserve the scraps of the syrup; you can make two more batches!”

Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic blends essential oils from handpicked English elderflowers with quinine of the highest quality from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and cane sugar. 

Fever-Tree cocktail
Fever-Tree cocktail
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Smoky Ruby

Manuel Calderon, Time Out Market Chicago

“Mezcal is by far my go-to spirit, with a beautiful story behind it. This cocktail is well-balanced and refreshing, with a spicy and smokey kick. Great for warm days!”

What you need:
1.5 oz mezcal. All mezcal is different in flavor—I recommend banhez mezcal for its milder, fruitier notes. If you don’t have mezcal, use tequila. 

0.75 oz grapefruit ancho syrup (2 ancho chiles, 1 grapefruit, 1 lemon, 1.5 cups sugar. Recipe below). 

1 oz grapefruit juice 

0.25 oz lime juice

2 oz kosher salt

2 oz Tajin Classic Seasoning 

Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit 

Method:

1. Mix the Tajin Classic Seasoning and kosher salt, and rim about half a highball glass into the mixture

2. Combine mezcal, grapefruit ancho syrup and fresh lime juice into a tin shaker. Add 5 or 6 ice cubes and shake vigorously

3. Pour into the highball glass and add more ice

4. To garnish, slice grapefruit into quarters and anchor one slice into the glass

Method (grapefruit ancho syrup)

1. Cut ancho chile in half

2. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan

3. Let it simmer on a low flame for ten minutes, stirring constantly

4. Strainer into a container and let it cool

Manuel’s pro tip: “If you want a milder flavor, I recommend using poblano pepper.”

Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit uses hand-picked pink grapefruits from Florida, plus cane sugar. It’s a refreshing mixer made with real juice and only 30 calories per bottle—what more could you want from a soda?

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