Perfecting the Art of the Cocktail: Two Fresh, Easy Recipes

Venturing into the world of cocktails can be an intimidating journey. For many of us, ordering a cocktail at a restaurant—let alone making one on our own—can feel a bit like understanding a foreign language. Scan the cocktail menu at a restaurant, and you may wonder things like:

What’s the difference between liquor and liqueur?
Should I be ordering my drink neat, up or on the rocks?
And what about a martini—shaken or stirred?
What the heck are bitters and botanicals?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. At The Cork, you can pose these questions to skilled bartenders who are more than happy to teach you about their craft. At home may be a different story.

Maybe you’ve recently been gifted a cocktail cookbook or want to try an interesting drink recipe you saw on Pinterest, but you’re worried about purchasing the ingredients and then messing up the recipe. That’s why the best way to start crafting your own cocktails at home is to start with drink recipes you know are good. So take it from us and try two of Chef Jim’s favorite cocktails this season. Many of the ingredients can be found at your local farmer’s market, with the rest consisting of staples in your liquor cabinet.


Anguilla Bush Breeze

With a few simple ingredients, you can easily create a unique and refreshing cocktail!


Fresh basil
3 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
1 ½ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounces Cointreau
Watermelon chunks (any kind of watermelon will work, but red and yellow are Chef Jim’s favorites for this drink!)
Club soda


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine 4 to 5 torn basil leaves with gin
  2. Add ice to the shaker until half-full and shake vigorously
  3. Make watermelon juice by blending watermelon chunks and then straining
  4. Add the lime juice, Cointreau and watermelon juice to the shaker
  5. Shake well and pour over ice
  6. Top off with a splash of club soda and garnish with a basil leaf

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

A fresh twist on your favorite accompaniment to brunch! In four simple steps, you can have your own Bloody Mary—no mix needed—at home.


3 medium yellow tomatoes, quartered
½ teaspoon shallot, finely minced
½ teaspoon Serrano pepper, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
¼ teaspoon celery salt
3 ounces vodka
Cucumber and olives for garnish


  1. Blend yellow tomatoes and then strain (this should yield 1 to 1 ½ cups of juice, but it’s recommended you use 1 cup of juice for this recipe)
  2. Combine the tomato juice with remaining ingredients
  3. Pour this mixture over a hefty serving of ice
  4. Garnish with a slice of fresh cucumber and an olive