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How to Assemble the Perfect Cocktail Basket for Mother’s Day

DATE POSTED:May 4, 2021
Stressing over a last-second, creative gift idea for Mother’s Day? You can’t go wrong with cocktails.
Stressing over a last-second, creative gift idea for Mother’s Day? You can’t go wrong with cocktails. (Shutterstock/)

The thing about last-minute Mother’s Day gifts is “last minute” doesn’t need to translate to “terrible.” If you’re the type of son or daughter who panics and buys a vacuum or that last sad bouquet of flowers from the gas station with a bag of M&M’s and a Post-It note with a hastily scribbled, “We love you,” then you need to take a deep breath, relax, and realize that you can come up with a great creative gift, even if it’s already May 8.

If you need some inspiration, we’ve spent the last year trying to learn how to make a variety of fun, tropical cocktails, and now we’ve selected some great spirits and gathered awesome recipes so you can make mom her very own Mother’s Day cocktail basket. Obviously, you’ll first need a nice basket, and you’ll probably want to add a couple glasses—perhaps the Magellan Outdoors Throwback Wine Cooler will do the trick—and then it’s simply a matter of which spirit mom prefers.

What’s Up Doc

They say carrots are great for your eyes, so you’d better make two.
They say carrots are great for your eyes, so you’d better make two. (Breckenridge Distillery/)

The Spirit: Breckenridge Bourbon

If you’re familiar with the Breckenridge Distillery and your local liquor store can keep its offerings on the shelves long enough so you can grab a bottle or three, you probably agree that it’s great stuff. And as this Colorado brand increases in popularity and continues to add new bottles to its growing list of spirits—the rum cask finish whiskey is delightful—it’s only a matter of time before your bar cart if packed with Mile High goodness.

We’re all about wellness vibes right now, and so this cocktail pushes the right buttons. It requires the excellent Breckenridge Bourbon and it is unlike almost any whiskey drink you and mom have ever tasted.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Breckenridge Bourbon
  • 2.25 oz fresh carrot juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz apple/honey simple syrup
  • A pinch of carrot powder

How to Make It

Shake all ingredients with ice. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with candied carrot ribbon and dried Chrysanthemum.

The Milam Mule

You’d have to be a real donkey to not want to try this recipe.
You’d have to be a real donkey to not want to try this recipe. (Milam and Greene/)

The Spirit: Milam and Greene Triple Cask Straight Bourbon

This is a bourbon so smooth and packed with flavor that it’s an excellent choice for a neat pour or with an ice cube or two. But thanks to a recent trip to St. Croix we are on such a ginger kick right now, and it just so happens that this award-winning pick from Texas Hill Country makes a mighty fine mule, among other cocktails.

If you’re lucky enough to find this in your local store, it’s a nice enough bottle and label that you’ll want to feature prominently. Just don’t be surprised when guests ask about it, try it, and then want to finish the bottle. On second thought, better keep it tucked away somewhere safe and be extremely selfish. Except, of course, when it comes to making mom a Milam Mule.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Milam and Green Triple Cask Bourbon
  • 0.25 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • 2.5 oz ginger beer

How to Make It

Combine the whiskey, lime juice, and simple syrup in a shaker, shake with ice for at least 20 seconds, strain into a serving glass or mule mug, add fresh ice, fill with ginger beer, and add a lime for garnish.

La Farmacia

Feel like a champion mixologist by bringing award-winning spirits into your home bar.
Feel like a champion mixologist by bringing award-winning spirits into your home bar. (IZO/)

The Spirit: IZO Mezcal Joven

Admittedly, our first two selections are not exactly “island” cocktails, so let’s shift our gears by picking up a bottle from the makers of this year’s London Spirits Competition’s “Tequila of the Year.” If mom is a big añejo fan, then you won’t go wrong by assembling a margarita basket with IZO’s 100 percent Agave Tequila Extra Añejo Cristalino as the centerpiece. In fact, just toss a few limes in the basket and tell her to enjoy it on the rocks with a wedge garnish, because it’s that good.

But if you really want to make it seem like you put a lot of thought into it, let’s go with a bottle of IZO Mezcal Joven, for which this brand offers a bunch of recipes, each one more delicious than the next. Summertime is upon us, though, so we’ve chosen a sweet and sour cocktail that is very easy to make and will definitely pair well with a nice afternoon by the pool.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz IZO Mezcal
  • 0.5 oz Manzanilla Sherry
  • 1 oz fresh green apple juice
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup

How to Make It

Combine ingredients, shake with ice, and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with apple slices.

Cherry Bomb Cocktail

This pairing will make mom say, “Red, white, and woo!”
This pairing will make mom say, “Red, white, and woo!” (Allister Ann/)

The Spirit: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum

Now, a savvy gift-giver might surprise mom with a weekend “momcation” and a cocktail basket, as if to tell her, “Go have some fun while we hold down the fort.” After all, it’s awfully convenient that Mother’s Day is followed by a long Memorial Day weekend. If that’s the case, then you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Kenny Chesney’s Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum and/or Premium White Rum, depending on how creative you’d like to get.

If you’re looking to get extremely, deliciously creative, then we have two recipes to make for a packed cocktail basket. Consider this a drink and snack pairing.

Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 4 tbsp grenadine
  • Blue sanding sugar, to garnish
  • Cherry bomb, to garnish

How to Make It

Rim glass with blue sugar. Pour in grenadine then layer the coconut rum and ginger ale on top of it. Garnish with a cherry bomb.

Ingredients for the Cherry Bombs

  • 1 cup Blue Chair Bay Premium White Rum
  • One (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup melted vanilla chips or white chocolate
  • 0.5 cup blue sugar sprinkles

How to Make Them

Drain juice from cherries. Pour vodka over cherries in a jar. Let sit 12-48 hours. Gently pat cherries dry. Dip in melted chips. Dip in sprinkles. Place on a wax paper-covered baking sheet to set. Serve within 24 hours. Note: The longer your cherries soak, the stronger the alcohol taste in them will be.

Daufuskie’s Mocha Kona Martini

Mom will appreciate the extra effort in tracking down this beloved South Carolina rum.
Mom will appreciate the extra effort in tracking down this beloved South Carolina rum. (Daufuskie Island Distillery/)

The Spirit: Daufuskie Island Distillery Kona Rum

We consider this one to be a well-kept secret, so we are letting the cat out of the bag with the hopes that this cocktail will inspire families to visit the “Island with No Bridge.” Any trip to South Carolina’s Daufuskie Island should include a trip to the Daufuskie Island Distillery, where master distiller Tony Chase has created his truly unique and delicious Kona Rum, which features a coffee infusion that will blow your mind.

For Mother’s Day, you’ll have to order a bottle (and quickly), but even if it’s late you won’t regret having this special bottle in your collection, especially when mom is enjoying this martini any time she pleases.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Daufuskie Island Distillery Kona Rum
  • 1 oz Mozart Chocolate Cream Liqueur
  • 1 oz French vanilla creamer
  • Shaved dark chocolate

How to Make It

Mix rum, chocolate cream liqueur, and creamer in a shaker with ice. Pour into a martini glass (chilled, if possible) and top with shaved chocolate.