Philly-Inspired Cocktail Drinks to Make at Home

Want to enjoy a cocktail night with some friends? Instead of going to a craft cocktail bar, invite some people over and whip up a few drinks at home. Use spirits made in Philly to give your cocktail party a local flair.

The craft cocktail craze has taken Philadelphia by storm, and bars dedicated to serving throwback cocktails, as well as new creations, have cropped up throughout the city. However, ordering cocktail drinks at the bar can get pricey, especially once you add in a tip and the city’s 10 percent alcohol tax. If you’re looking to have a great night with some friends or just want to try a new drink, here are a few simple cocktail drinks recipes that feature spirits made with pride in the City of Brotherly Love.


Move over, James Bond. The Philadelphia version of the Vesper, a cocktail that first appeared in the novel Casino Royale, features gin and vodka from Philadelphia Distilling, plus Lillet (an aperitif wine). To make your own Philly-style Vesper at home, add three ounces of Bluecoat gin, one ounce of Penn 1681 vodka, and a half ounce of Lillet to a cocktail shaker, with ice. Shake until chilled, pour into a cocktail or wine glass, and cap it off with a slice of lemon peel. Be careful drinking these — with four ounces of gin and vodka combined, the Vesper is pretty strong.

A New Twist on the Old Fashioned

The classic old fashioned cocktail is typically made with whiskey or brandy, but the makers of Root, a liquor inspired by the alcoholic predecessor of root beer, have come up with a new twist on it. To make a Root-flavored old fashioned, mix a few dashes of bitters with an ounce of simple syrup in a glass. Add two ounces of Root, some ice, and stir. Serve with a garnish of lemon peel.

The Philly Bloody Mary

What makes a Philly Bloody Mary different from a typical Bloody Mary? The presence of The Bay Vodka, made by Philadelphia Distilling. It’s a vodka seasoned with Old Bay spices and salt. To make the Blood Mary, combine one and half ounces Bay Vodka, three ounces of your favorite Bloody Mary mix, and one ounce lemon juice in a glass. Add a slice of jalapeno pepper if you want some heat and a few leaves of basil for sweetness. Stir or mix by pouring the ingredients from the first glass into another glass. To serve, pour into a tall glass with ice, then garnish with celery, olives, or even cheese. Enjoy it the next time you have friends over for brunch.


It might seem weird to have a Manhattan cocktail in a list dedicated to Philly-inspired drinks. But, this version of the cocktail is made with Dad’s Hat rye, which is made right outside of Philadelphia, in Bristol. To make the Philadelphia Manhattan, combine two ounces of Dad’s Hat rye, one ounce of sweet vermouth, and two dashes of bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a cocktail glass garnished with a maraschino cherry.

Rhubarb Gimlet

In Philly, rhubarb is one of the first vegetables to be available locally in the spring. Celebrate its arrival, and the arrival of spring, with a twist on the classic gimlet, which is made with sweetened lime juice and gin. To make a rhubarb gimlet, add two ounces of Bluecoat gin, one once of Art in the Age Rhubarb Spirit, and one ounce of lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to combine, then strain into a glass.

All the spirits used in these recipes are easily found at your local wine and spirits shop, so you won’t have to look high and low for them. When serving your Philly-inspired cocktails at home, remember to drink responsibly.

Image Source: Pixabay/Unsplash


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