Infused Cocktails for the Season

By Ila Edwards, Bar Chef
The Table Creekside, Sarasota, Florida

As the bar chef at a hip waterside restaurant and bar in a resort city, I know  that what people want to drink right now – creative infused cocktails. People have a thirst (and curiosity) for ones that are sour, sweet, taste like food, taste like dessert. The more imaginative the better. A bar chef today has to be part chemist and part adventurous foodie. I love the challenge. Here are two colorful and delicious infused cocktails that you can start serving right now. Your guests will be surprised and will think you’re quite the bar chef. Cheers!


Peppermint Patty Cocktail

Peppermint Patty
Peppermint Patty

For the Candy Cane vodka

1 bottle vodka

6 large candy canes, crushed


Place candy canes ( a great use for those broken ones) and place in a large jar with a right fitting lid.Pour preferred vodka into jar. Place date on lid. Give a good hearty shake. Store in a cool dark room, shaking once a day. After 2 days you are ready to toast the holidays.


To make the cocktail:

2 ounces of candy cane or peppermint infused vodka

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1  1/2 ounces half and half or liquid ice cream

Pour over ice. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with either large or mini Peppermint Patties.


Caprese Cocktail for the New Year

Caprese Cocktail
Caprese Cocktail

For the tomato and basil infused vodka

1 bottle vodka

3 pounds tomatoes cubed.

Pour in a large airtight container and add vodka. Shake well. Store in cool dark room for 7 days. Shake once a day every day. The last two days, tear 20 fresh leaves of basil and add to the container and shake well.Pour through a strainer and add liquid back to bottle. Discard tomato and basil.


For the Caprese Cocktail

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper mixed together. Rub fresh lime on rim of a rocks glass and dip the rim of the glass to coat.Fill the glass with ice and pour tomato-basil infused vodka over ice. Garnish with pearl mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes on a mini skewer and enjoy. This is what I call bringing a classic Italian dish into a glass.



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