Happy Hour

A collection of my favorite cocktail recipes for all of life’s celebrations!

Chai Eggnog Latte JDuce Design Happy Hour

Chai Eggnog Latte

Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic

The real secret to truly enjoying this hectic time of year is all about keeping things as simple as possible. This recipe is easy to pull together and requires minimal effort and shopping trips.



1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk

2 cups almond milk

5 egg yolks

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 chai tea bags

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(optional add-ins: bourbon, rum or brandy)

Combine coconut milk, almond milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute until completely combined and slightly frothy.

Heat over medium heat until the mixture just barely reaches a simmer (tiny bubbles popping up), stirring occasionally so that the eggs do not cook on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the tea bags and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the tea bags.  Stir in the vanilla until combined. Taste, and add extra maple syrup to sweeten, if desired.  And if you would like to spike your eggnog, I recommend adding 1.5 ounces of bourbon, rum, or brandy per cup of eggnog.

Transfer to a heat-safe container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Serve chilled.

Recipe courtesy of gimmiesomeoven.com

Goat Cheese with Spicy Maple Pecans


The real secret to truly enjoying this hectic time of year is all about keeping things as simple as possible. This recipe is easy to pull together and requires minimal effort and shopping trips.



1 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped

1/4 cup Spicy Maple Syrup

2 teaspoons chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounce log of goat cheese

1. Add pecans,  syrup, rosemary and salt to a skillet and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until nuts are well coated and syrup is bubbly.

2. Remove mixture from heat and pour onto parchment paper to cool.

3.  Line a ramekin with plastic wrap and fill the bottom of the ramekin with pecan mixture.

4. Top the nuts with the goat cheese and press it down firmly using the plastic wrap to cover and press it down.

5.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight.

When ready to serve:  invert onto a platter and drizzle with more spicy syrup.  Serve with your favorite crackers!

Recipe courtesy of pappyandco.com.

Pear Gin Fizz


Pear Gin Fizz Cocktail makes a wonderful choice for your upcoming fall or winter get-together, or even just a cozy happy hour at home. You’ll find this delightful drink to be bubbly, a bit tangy, yet sweet and oh-so-refreshing! Enjoy!



1 tsp white sugar, for rim – optional

1 tsp cinnamon, for rim – optional

crushed ice

2 ounces gin

1 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Pear Simple Syrup – plus more to taste

2 ounces lemon-flavored sparkling water

star anise, sliced pear, sprig of thyme, for garnish

In a shallow bowl or larger ramekin, combine sugar and cinnamon. Wet the rim of a cocktail glass with water then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, lemon juice, and Pear Simple Syrup (recipe above) to cocktail shaker. Replace lid and shake for 15 seconds or until shaker is cold (will be frosty). Strain into a glass. Top with lemon-flavored sparkling water and garnish with star anise, pears and thyme, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of casadecrews.com.

Thanksgiving Margarita


Imagine sipping this heavenly concoction, rich with allspice dram, amaretto, and pumpkin puree, all blended flawlessly with classic tequila. The enchanting mix of sweet, nutty, and spicy flavors makes it your go-to beverage during the cozy autumn and winter months – definitely a must-try for Thanksgiving celebrations!



1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 lime wedge

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila

1/4 ounce allspice dram

1/4 ounce amaretto

1 ounce pumpkin puree

3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 ounce agave nectar

Garnish: roasted pumpkin slice

On a small plate, combine the ground ginger and sea salt. Rub the lime wedge along half of the rim of a rocks glass and dip the glass in the mixture. (For a finer texture, pound the ginger and sea salt with a mortar and pestle.)

Add the tequila, allspice dram, amaretto, pumpkin puree, lime juice and agave nectar into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.

Garnish with a roasted pumpkin slice.

Recipe courtesy of liquor.com.

JDuce Design Happy Hour Witches Brew

Witches Brew


Searching for a thrillingly eerie cocktail? Give the Witches Brew a go! Don’t let the bright green hue fool you. One taste and you’ll discover a delightful mix of sweet and tangy flavors, combining melon and citrus notes. Add some dry ice to make the concoction bubble and boil, releasing magical wisps of smoke into the air!



1 ½ ounces Midori

1 ½ ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec

Garnish with 1 small dry ice cube and halloween-colored candy sprinkles

Add the Midori, Cointreau and lemon juice to a cocktail mixing glass (or cocktail shaker). Add 2 handfuls regular ice cubes and stir until cold. Strain the drink into a lowball glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Lay the bamboo stick on the drink and light the marshmallow for effect before drinking. stir together the drink and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of acouplecooks.com.

Toasted S'mores Martini


Get ready to indulge in this scrumptious Toasted S’mores Martini, starring marshmallow vodka, rich chocolate liqueur, and crowned with a delightful toasted marshmallow!



1 oz. dark chocolate or milk chocolate godiva liqueur

1/2 oz. fluffed marshmallow vodka

1/2 oz. heavy cream

hershey’s chocolate syrup and crushed graham cracker for the rim

marshmallows as garnish

small bamboo sticks

Dip the rim of your glass in the Hersheys syrup and then in the crushed graham cracker. Pour the chocolate liqueur as slowly as possible over an upside down spoon into the glass., Next, mix together the heavy cream and marshmallow vodka in a separate container. Then, pour the vodka mixture as slowly as possible over an upside down spoon to make the layered look. Place the marshmallow on the bamboo stick as a skewer. Brown the marshmallow slightly over an open flame (or under a broiler). Do not allow to catch on fire.
Lay the bamboo stick on the drink and light the marshmallow for effect before drinking. stir together the drink and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of thecookierookie.com.

cruel summer Happy Hour

Cruel Summer


Simple and delicious, this, summer thirst-quencher uses only 4 ingredients — including coconut-flavored LaCroix sparkling water. I like to garnish mine with a sprig of mint and some strawberry ice cubes. They’re easy to make — just freeze halved or quartered strawberries in ice cube trays!



1 oz. white rum

1/2 oz. strawberry simple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

5 oz. LaCroix Coconut Sparkling Water

Rest a bar spoon into a rock glass and fill with ice. Add in your white rum, strawberry simple syrup, lemon juice, and LaCroix coconut sparkling water. Give it a stir with your bar spoon to combine the ingredients. Remove spoon, garnish with mint sprig and strawberry ice cubes, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Elle Talk.

Bastille Day Happy Hour

The Bastille Cup


This delightful cocktail was named after the French holiday Bastille Day, and was whipped up by Chris Hannah from Jewel of the South in New Orleans. This refreshing blend brings together the wonderful essence of watermelon and other fruity flavors.

For the base spirit, you can either go with a rich Italian amontillado sherry, or Pineau des Charentes, a slightly elusive French concoction made from fortified wine and brandy. Either choice will add a touch of earthiness that wonderfully balances the fruity tones of this drink.



3 cups amontillado sherry or Pineau des Charentes

2¼ cups fresh watermelon juice

3 oz. fresh lime juice

3 oz. maraschino liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and stir until well mixed. Chill with a large block of ice.

Recipe courtesy of Garden & Gun.

Website Happy Hour Brazilian Smuggler

The Brazilian Smuggler


Think of cachaça as the spirited Brazilian sibling of rum – bolder, more vibrant, and a bit harder to handle. It takes center stage in the Southern spin on the South American favorite, caipirinha, a cousin of the daiquiri.



2 oz. cachaça (preferably Velho Barreiro or Leblon)

½ oz. Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao

½ oz. fresh lime juice

½ oz. simple syrup

2 oz. fresh watermelon juice

6 mint leaves

Mint sprig, for garnish

Place ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double-strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Garnish with mint sprig.

Get the full recipe at Garden & Gun.

JDuce Design Happy Hour Brunch at Becky's

Brunch at Becky's


This front-porch sipper comes to us from Micah LeMon, the bar manager at the Alley Light in Charlottesville, Virginia. While the cocktail’s name riffs on slang for someone with basic tastes, this cocktail is anything but basic.



1½ oz. London dry gin (preferably Tanqueray)

½ oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth

2 oz. fresh watermelon juice

½ oz. simple syrup

½ oz. fresh lime juice

1 barspoon (or about 1 tsp.) Green Chartreuse

6 to 8 mint leaves

Watermelon spear and mint sprig, for garnish

Basil leaf and whole or sliced strawberries for garnish

Get the full recipe at Garden & Gun.

Website Happy Hour Strawberry Basil Gin Smash

Strawberry Basil Gin Smash

Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic

This gin-based cocktail is the perfect way to use the season’s bounty of basil and strawberries. Most of the smash recipes I run across are whiskey-based, but I find that gin’s piney-citrus notes add an extra note of brightness.

You can also make it a mocktail by swapping the gin for lemonade. I have a feeling this one will become a favorite; it tastes just like summer in a glass!



6 medium-size strawberries, quartered

4 basil leaves

5 oz gin

2 oz lime juice

1 oz simple syrup

Basil leaf and whole or sliced strawberries for garnish

Get the full recipe at Be Brave and Bloom.

Website Happy Hour Pineapple Mojito

Pineapple Mojito


If you’re a fan of the classic Mojito, you will love this twist on one of the most beloved cocktails of all time. It is bubbly, minty, and super simple! Sweet and tart pineapple plays well with tangy lime, while sweet, cooling mint refreshes the palate. A must for your next summer party!



6 mint leaves, plus additional for garnish

2 ounces white rum

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce simple syrup or maple syrup

2 to 4 ounces soda water

Ice and pineapple wedges for serving

Get the full recipe at A Couple Cooks.

Mailchimp Newsletter Happy Hour Red White and Booze Pops

Red, White & Booze Pops


This boozy version of everyone’s favorite summer treat is perfect for your July Fourth celebration. Yes, they are more time-consuming to make than most liquor-spiked pops, but the end result is delicious and you’ll be the hit of the party!



Cherry Bomb Layer

1/2 ounce cherry-flavored vodka

2 ounces black cherry juice

2 ounces lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 ounces simple syrup

Piña Colada Layer

1/4 ounce coconut rum

1/4 ounce pineapple rum

4 ounces coconut water

2 ounces simple syrup

Blue Hawaii Layer

1/4 ounce blue curaçao

1/4 ounce vodka

4 ounces orange-pineapple juice

2 ounces simple syrup

1-3 drops blue food coloring (optional)

Get the full recipe at Liquor.com

JDuce Design Happy Hour Strawberry Basil Frozen Margaritas

Frozen Strawberry-Basil Margarita

Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic

Nothing says summer like strawberries! This cocktail recipe includes fresh basil and a sugar rim in place of salt for a sweet, tart, and refreshing summer treat! It is perfect for sipping, and you can leave out the alcohol, too! It will still taste just as good.



1 lime wedge

Coarse sugar, optional

1-1/2 ounces blanco tequila

1 ounce Triple Sec

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup frozen unsweetened sliced strawberries

4 fresh basil leaves

Fresh strawberries, optional

Get the full recipe at Taste of Home.

Website Happy Hour Bloody Mary

My Father's Bloody Mary


While it’s not my father’s Bloody Mary, this classic recipe is a much-loved family recipe and comes to us from Brooks Reitz of Little Jack’s Tavern, Leon’s Oyster Shop, and Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. in Charleston, South Carolina.



2 oz. vodka

Slight shake of celery salt

Heavy 1-oz. pour of Worcestershire sauce

5 oz. tomato juice

2 tsp. Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (“This is the magic ingredient,” says Scott Reitz.)

1 lime wedge

Get the full recipe at Garden and Gun.

Happy Hour Tabernacle Crush JDuce Design

Tabernacle Crush


This absolutely delicious cocktail is made using Lillet Blanc. If you don’t already have Lillet in your bar lineup, add it now! Because I like my drinks free of floating basil (that will ultimately get in my teeth) I muddle Tabernacle Crushes in a shaker rather than a glass. Just follow the recipe’s directions and then strain into a glass. Finally, garnish with more basil and slip in a few extra peach slices for decoration. The peaches absorb the alcohol and club soda and make for a nice little dessert!



1/2 large peach, sliced

6 small basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 ounces gin

1 ounce Lillet Blanc

1/2 ounce simple syrup


Club soda

Basil leaves, for garnish

Get the full recipe at foodandwine.com

Website Happy Hour Mai Tai JDuce Design

Classic Mai Tai


Equal parts refreshing and sweet, a true classic Mai Tai keeps it simple with a shaken blend of light rum, lime juice, dry Curaçao, and orgeat syrup over ice. Orgeat (pronounced “or-zsa,” like Zsa Zsa Gabor) is an almond syrup enhanced with a touch of flower water. It’s worth the trouble to find it because you can use it outside of the bar! Add it to your coffee or a glass of iced tea, or to crepes, pancakes or baked goods. You can order it online or make your own. If you’re in a pinch, amaretto liqueur is a good substitute.



1 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. light rum

3/4 oz. dry orange Curaçao, Cointreau, or triple sec

3/4 oz. orgeat syrup

1/2 oz. dark rum

Fresh mint leaves, lime wheel or wedge, and a Maraschino cherry, for serving

Get the full recipe at delish.com

Happy Hour Frozen Blue Moscato Margaritas

Frozen Blue Moscato Margaritas


These margarita slushies will be your new favorite summer drink thanks to the tasty addition of sweet Moscato. Just combine all the ingredients and blend ’em up! Garnish with blueberries or lime wedges.



1 c. Moscato Wine

3/4 c. Blue Curaçao

1/2 c. Tequila

1/4 c. Triple Sec

2 tbsp. Lime Juice

1 tbsp. Granulated Sugar

1 tbsp. Kosher Salt

5 c. Ice (or more)

Blueberries or Lime Wedges for Garnish

Get the full recipe at delish.com.

The Hang 10


This cocktail is going to be a hit at your Memorial Day hang. This fresh, refreshing drink comes with a kick thanks to the jalapeño simple syrup. The watermelon and cucumber juice mellows the heat with tart lime and grapefruit providing a tart finish.



1 ½ ounces Tanqueray No. TEN Gin

1 ounce watermelon juice

¾ ounce jalapeño simple syrup

½ ounce lime juice

¼ ounce grapefruit juice

¼ ounce cucumber juice

Club soda, to fill

Lime wheel, for garnish

Get the full recipe at vinepair.com.

Guava Rose JDuce Design Happy Hour

Guava Rose


Guava Rose is a Cachaça-based cocktail loaded with depth and complexity. Cachaça is made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice and is the national spirit of Brazil. Mixed in a blender with sweet, floral rose syrup, tropical guava puree, and tart lime juice, this cocktail is perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day.



2 ounces Leblon achaça

3/4 ounce guava puree

3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

1 1/2 ounces rose syrup

Garnish: rose petal

Get the full recipe at liquor.com.

Peach melba Mimosa jduce design happy hour cocktail recipes

Peach Melba Mimosa


This light, fresh cocktail is filled with sweet berries, peaches, and just enough bubbly to feel festive.



1 1/2 c. thawed frozen raspberries

1/4 c. sugar

1 c. thawed frozen peaches

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 bottles chilled champagne, cava, or other sparkling white wine

1/2 pt. fresh raspberries, for garnish

Get the full recipe at Country Living.

JDuce Design Happy Hour Summer Shandy

Lemon Summer Shandy


Shandys are refreshing and they’re easy, too, which makes them a great summer cocktail! A shandy is a mix of wheat beer and lemonade and is a popular way to dress up the average glass of beer. Just gather your ingredients, pour and enjoy!



6 oz. wheat beer

6 oz. lemonade

Lemon slice, for garnish

Get the full recipe at The Spruce.

Cherry Bounce Cocktail Recipe Happy Hour JDuce Design Garden & Gun

Cherry Bounce

Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic

Since we’re in North Carolina this week, I’m sharing a drink that just so happens to be the official state cocktail! There are two versions, but I’m sharing the one that is associated with the Appalachians and originally contained moonshine! To make it non-alcoholic, just skip the vodka and add cherry juice instead.



1½ oz. cherry vodka

2 oz. cranberry juice

½ oz. fresh lime juice

Club soda

1 cherry, for garnish

Get the full recipe at Garden and Gun.

color-changing-margarita-PARK FEIERBACH-Delish.com

Color-Changing Margaritas

Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic

Color-changing margaritas? Yes, please! Get ready to wow your guests at your next gathering with this magical spring cocktail that puts a spin on an old favorite.

The secret ingredient is cabbage, but don’t worry — it’s flavorless and is only used to get that bright fuchsia color. It’s the same basic process that is used to make natural Easter egg dye except we’re using it to make color changing ice cubes instead.

It’s a fun recipe that can be used with any drink, and kids really enjoy this little trick, too. Just pour over some lemonade and voila! Instant magic!



2 c. sliced purple cabbage

4 c. boiling water

8 oz. tequila

4 oz. triple sec

3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 c. lemonade

4 lime wedges, for garnish

1/4 c. kosher salt or coarse sea salt, for rim

Get the full recipe at Delish.

Happy Hour Cocktail Recipe Lavender and Lemon Sparkler

Lavender & Lemon Sparkler


A refreshing cocktail just perfect for spring.



1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons


Garnish with edible lavender sprigs and lemon peel.

Get the full recipe at Rose & Ivy.

Marshmallow Peeptini


Your favorite Easter candy in a glass! This cocktail proves that candy is for adults, too.



1/2 oz. vanilla syrup, plus more for glass

1 tbsp. colored sanding sugar

1 tbsp. shredded coconut

1 1/2 oz. marshmallow vodka

1 oz. heavy cream

1/2 oz. Red Grenadine or Blue Curacao

1 Peeps chick

Get the full recipe at Delish.

Website Happy Hour Green Tea and Honey Sangria

Green Tea & Honey Sangria


A new twist on an old favorite, sweetened with honey and flavored with lemon and mint.



1 bottle white wine

4 cups water

6 bags green tea

1/3 cup honey

3 lemons, sliced

20-25 mint leaves



In a large pot or kettle bring 4 cups of water to a boil. After boiling take off heat, and add in 6 green tea bags. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, and stir in 1/3 cup of honey. Let cool for 30 min-1 hour before mixing sangria. When the tea is slightly cooled add it to your pitcher along with 1 bottle of white wine, lemon slices, and fresh mint leaves. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving
Recipe courtesy of Brewing Happiness.

Classic Aperol Spritz


These bubbly Italian cocktails are refreshing and so easy to make. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary for a seasonal garnish.



3 ounces (1 part) Aperol

3 ounces (1 part) dry Prosecco

1 ounce (a splash) club soda or unflavored sparkling water

Orange slice, for garnish

*Shake and strain. Garnish with lemon rind.

Get the full recipe at Cookie and Kate.

Team Pants Aperol Twist


This magical concoction was served to me by a client after making some fabulous design decisions together.



2 oz. Aperol

1 oz. Gin

75 oz. Lemon Juice

25 oz. Simple Syrup

*Shake and strain. Garnish with lemon rind.

Website Happy Hour Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte


Try this recipe to create a creamy and delicious fall treat.




1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3/4 cup coconut palm sugar

3/4 cup water

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg freshly grated if you can


2 oz espresso coffee

1-2 oz pumpkin spice syrup (depending on how sweet you like your coffee)

1 1/2 oz bourbon



First, make the syrup. Place all the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer away for 5 minutes then take it off the heat and let it cool down a little. Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth, and pour into a small storage container with a lid. Store in the fridge.


Make espresso or very strong coffee. Pour into a coffee mug. Add the pumpkin syrup and vodka and stir.

Heat up and froth the milk. Pour into the coffee mug and stir.

Finish with a little sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon.

apple cider mimosa jduce design happy hour cocktail recipes

Apple Cider Mimosa


This fall-themed cocktail is like a caramel apple, but for adults!



Apple Cider

Prosecco, Sparkling Wine, or Champagne

Caramel Sauce

2 TBSP of Sugar

¼ TSP Cinnamon

Add apple slices for flare!

Get the full recipe at Lake Life State of Mind.

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