5 Top Chef Cocktails to Toast Summer's End

We've got the best recipes to serve up for summer.

Your Best Summer Ever is about to get even better thanks to Top Chef. With the warm season coming to a close this weekend, it's time to pull out all the stops with our five fave libations featured on the show over the years—plus one special cocktail that's long been a fave of judge Emeril Lagasse.

Carla’s Cranberry-Ginger Spritzer
2 tablespoons sugar for rimming, 1 cup cranberry juice, 1 cup water, grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus 4 lime slices for garnish, 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ice cubes, 12 ounces lime soda.
Serves 4.
Pour the sugar onto a small plate. Moisten the rim of 4 tall glasses. Dip each glass into the sugar to rim.
In a small pitcher, combine the cranberry juice, water, lime zest and juice, ginger, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Fill the glasses with ice. Strain the cranberry mixture into the glasses, filling each three-quarters full and topping with lime soda. Garnish with a lime sauce.


 
Sandee’s Mojito
2 key limes or ½ Persian lime, quartered, 8 fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 ounce light rum, such as Bacardi, crushed ice, club soda, edible flower or fresh mint sprigs for garnish.
Serves 1.
Combine the lime, mint, and sugar in an old-fashioned glass and bruise with a muddler or wooden spoon. Stir in the rum. Add crushed ice, then top off with club soda as desired. Stir to combine. Garnish with a flower or mint.


 
Hosea’s Grand Marnier Hurricane with Pomegranate and Blood Orange
Serves 4.
1 cup blood orange juice (from about 5 blood oranges), 1 cup grapefruit juice (from about 2 grapefruits), ¼ cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup light rum, 2 tablespoons grand marnier, ½ cup simple syrup, ice cubes.
Combine juices and liquors. Add the simple syrup to taste. Pour over ice in 4 tall glasses. Serve immediately.


 
Casey’s Strawberry Gin Rickey
6 fresh strawberries, diced, 1 ½ ounces Bombay Sapphire gin, ¾ ounce fresh lime juice, ¼ ounce good-quality aged balsamic vinegar, 1 ounce simple syrup, Drizzle of strawberry liqueur, Crushed ice, Lime twist for garnishing.
Makes 1 drink.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries. Add the gin, lime juice, vinegar, simple syrup, strawberry liquor (if using), and ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Balance the lime twist on the rim for garnish.



Emeril's Top Chef NOLA Cocktail Recipe
1/2 oz Sazerac Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Triple Sec
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
Squeeze of lemon
Ruby Red grapefruit slice
Rosemary sprig
In a rocks glass take a slice of grapefruit hat has been cut into quarters and press with muddler into the bottom of the glass to release the juices. Then take a sprig of rosemary and slap it and place on top of the grapefruit. In shaker combine ice, whiskey, triple sec, both bitters, and squeeze of lemon. Stir ingredients until well chilled and then strain onto grapefruit and rosemary.

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