Skip to content

Subscribe  |  Login  |  Account

Cocktail recipes you can try at home!

Shake it Up!

Change up your cocktail routine with these inspired recipes from some of our favorite local restaurants & bars

There is nothing better to quench the long-awaited thirst for summer than sipping refreshing beverages with friends. Some cocktails find their history in the long-defunct Prohibition period, but the modern twist curated by today’s mixologists offers everything from slushy sippers to garden-inspired elixirs.

One of the biggest trends sweeping the nation is the rebirth of European classics such as Green Chartreuse, an herbal liquor known for its naturally electric color, as well as Italian concoctions including the gin-based Negroni and aromatic Aperol Spritz. These worldly classics have made their mark on Cape Cod. Although you can get an Aperol Spritz just about anywhere, The Canteen in Ptown has put their own frozen twist on the staple, blending the herbaceous bitter apéritif with the sweet pop of Prosecco into an icy adaptation. 

Some of the most iconic Cape Cod beverages emerge from the familiar sounds of the blender.  The famed “Dirty Banana” hailing from Nancy’s in Oak Bluff’s is one of the most sought after  frosty beverages this side of the bridge, combining the familiarity of a mudslide with a fruity twist. Traditional muddies have certainly not lost their luster, though. Check out the Chart Room at Crosby’s in Osterville for the infamous chocolate swirl, or the fluffy cream-topped version at Chapin’s Beach Bar in Dennis. 

Although bar managers are embracing fun, slushy sippers, the seriousness of craft cocktail culture is still at the forefront of most respectable beverage programs. Tequila and its smoky cousin, mezcal, have emerged onto the scene, kicking the likes of flavored vodka to the curb. The addition of heat and exotic fruits have elevated cocktails to the next level. 

Mixologists have been upping their libation game by experimenting with trends in health and culture, including the use of cannabidiol (also known as CBD) oils and tinctures. CBD is typically associated with feelings of relaxation while offering a host of health benefits without the high from bypsychotrope tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is also found in the marijuana plant. The newly opened Hyannis Oyster Bar has emerged onto the cocktail scene with a perfect elixir to relax with while people-watching.

Realizing that professionals won’t always be on hand to blend creative beverages at the ready, Cape Cod LIFE has provided a number of beautiful cocktails curated by local bar professionals to try at home. So, whether it’s an icy refreshment or an elevated craft cocktail, we have the perfect drink for you to mix, shake and stir!

The Violet Woman

2.5 oz Beefeater Gin
.5 oz Crème de Violette
.5 oz Lemon Juice (yellow)
 .5 oz Lime Juice (green)
.75 oz Egg White
.25 oz Simple Syrup


 Dry shake all ingredients, add ice, shake, strain
 Garnish: Edible Orchid/ Pink Peppercorn

The combination of Gin’s juniper tones and the subtlety of the Creme de Violette pair perfectly with an egg white foam. The pink peppercorn enhances the presentation of the drink and also brings an extra layer of savory and light spice to this aromatic cocktail. The cocktail is then garnished by an edible orchid with violette colors.  Perfect summer apéritif!

Cru Oyster Bar
Straight Wharf, Nantucket
crunantucket.com

Garden & Tonic

1.5 oz Glendalough Rose Gin
.5 oz Hibiscus & Rosehip Syrup*
.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
4 oz Boylan Heritage Tonic water (wandpdesign.com/collections/boylanheritage)


Add ingredients to a gin and tonic goblet or large wine glass and add ice. Garnish with a long lemon twist and an arrangement of edible flowers.


*Hibiscus & Rosehip Syrup:  In a non-reactive container combine 6 cups of sugar with 6 cups of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Then add 8-12 Hibiscus & Rosehip teabags and let soak for 10 minutes.  Stir and remove tea bags.

Cleat & Anchor
243 Lower County Road, Dennis Port
cleatandanchor.com

Spicy Cucumber Cilantro Margarita

2 oz Ghost Tequila
.75 oz Cointreau
1 oz Fresh Agave
1 oz Lime Juice
dash of Sea Salt
5-6 cilantro leaves & 3 slices of cucumber, muddled

There is no shortage of cool and interesting drinks to sip on at The Trap while snacking on uber-fresh seafood, but we love this zesty yet refreshing cocktail.

The Lobster Trap
280 Shore Road, Bourne • lobstertrap.net

Shack Out Back

4 oz Martini & Rossi Rose
1 oz Bacardi Lime Rum
2 oz Lemonade 
.75 oz Peach Syrup (such as Real Brand Peach Syrup)


Add ingredients into a blender with 2 scoops of ice and blend until smooth. 

The nautical oasis tucked behind the Black Cat Tavern is a perfect spot to soak up the sun and sip on this slushy pink concoction while noshing on raw bar treats.

Shack Out Back
159 Ocean Street, Hyannis • blackcattavern.com

CBD Green Tea

2.5 oz CBD House-Infused Whiskey
1.5 oz Cointreau 
Lemonade 
Mint Sprig 

Put all ingredients, except mint, in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with mint. 

Hyannis Oyster Bar
561 Main Street, Hyannis
hyannisoysterbar.com

The Binnacle Bloody Mary Cocktail

2 oz Citron Vodka
Capt. Baxter’s Binnacle Bloody Mix
1 piece of cocktail shrimp
1 piece of cooked bacon


Fill a tall hurricane glass with ice.
Add vodka and top with Capt. Baxter’s Bloody Mary Mix*
Garnish with cocktail shrimp and bacon
*Available at local retailers

Sunday mornings are idyllic on the Hyannis Harbor sipping on a savory Bloody Mary, but the beauty of this cocktail is that it can easily be made at home.

Baxter’s Boathouse Club
177 Pleasant Street, Hyannis
baxterscapecod.com

Frozen Aperol Spritz

1 oz Aperol
3 oz Sparkling Wine 
1 oz Club Soda
.5 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice 
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients into a blender with 2 scoops of ice and blend until smooth. 

Baja surfer vibe meets classic Cape Cod style in Provincetown at The Canteen. Sip on the frozen version of the hottest drink in the country while people-watching on Commercial Street.

The Canteen
225 Commercial Street, Provincetown
thecanteenptown.com

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival is an annual celebration of the region’s blue, pink and white iconic flowers on Cape Cod! This 10-day festival is made up of daily tours of charming private gardens. 

Gardens are only one part of the festival. Enjoy workshops, lectures and promotions presented by leading international horticulturalists. Classes are available to learn proper hydrangea pruning techniques as well as demonstrations by renowned Cape Cod artists both in-studio and in the gardens themselves. 

While enjoying the gardens of the 2019 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, one can participate in the hydrangea-themed Cocktail Trail! Cape Cod Beer has collaborated with local restaurants and bars, in addition to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to put together this hydrangea-themed Cocktail Trail. Each location around Cape Cod will feature a hydrangea-inspired cocktail. Participating restaurants include The Wild Goose Tavern in Chatham, The Pheasant in Dennis, Brine Dining in Chatham, The Flats in Brewster, as well as other locations, between July 12-21, 2019. More infomation can be found online at capecodbeer.com or capecodchamber.org

Garden tours are $5 per person per garden. You can pay cash at each garden on the day of the garden tour. Each garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and only on the days specified. All garden tours are rain or shine and nonrefundable.

Mild and flavorful, slightly sweet and refreshing with natural lavender notes. Featured on the cocktail menu as part of the 2019 Hydrangea Fest Cocktail Trail.

Lavender Citrus Martini

3 oz House-Infused Lavender Vodka (see below)
1 oz Citrus Vodka 
1 oz Blue Curaçao 
2 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, blue curaçao, cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass (sugar rim optional) and garnish with a lemon slice and lavender. Enjoy!

Lavender Infused Vodka

1.5 C Sugar
1 C Lavender Buds (fresh or dried)
1.5 C Water
1.75 L Vodka (use your favorite)


Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lavender buds and simmer for an hour. Add to vodka and whisk vigorously, allowing the flavor to infuse. Strain, allow to cool completely, and use to make martinis.

The Flats Restaurant
2671 Main Street, Brewster 
theflatscapecod.com

Mixology at Chatham Bars Inn

We caught up with industry expert and master mixologist at Chatham Bars Inn (CBI), Adam Couto, to hear about his experiences and find out some tricks of the trade! 

CCL: How long have you been a mixologist?

AC: I’ve been in the industry for 15 years.  

CCL: What is one of your favorite ingredients? 

AC: I’m very excited about the Orgeat we’re using in our Mai Tai at CBI. The one we use is from “Small Hands Foods,” and it’s the best I’ve ever tasted. 

CCL: What trends should we be on the lookout for?

AC: I think we’ll see more demand for low-alcohol and non-alcoholic cocktails that allow guests who are not drinking alcohol to still experience a creative beverage. I also think we’ll see more Gin & Tonic options. With ever-increasing gin varieties, bars and restaurants will have fun building on different flavors.

CCL: Where do you find inspiration?

AC: Under my home bar is a bookcase full of all things spirits. I try to include at least one of those books in my mixology classes. I also listen to podcasts and highly recommend “Bartender at Large.” Mixology is about building and balancing flavors, so I get a lot of inspiration from cooking at home, speaking with our team and incorporating anything I can from the CBI Farm.

CCL: How long have you been teaching mixology? 

AC: We started our mixology class at CBI this past January, and I’ve been incorporating mixology into staff training and development since I started managing bars. I think the team’s knowledge is such a key to success. It can really build trust with our guests.

CCL: At the end of your shift you pour yourself…?

AC: Our “Coastal Encounter” Pale Ale—a collaboration we just released between CBI and Mayflower Brewing in Plymouth. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

CCL: Do you have a signature drink?

AC: I developed a “mocktail” with orange-ginger shrub mixed with carrot juice and club soda. I liked it so much that I added some white rum and orange bitters and put it on our menu. We call it the “Sunshine Riptide” and also have the non-alcoholic version on our spa menu.

CCL: In your free time, where do you go for a cocktail?

AC: Blue Fins in Chatham or Rock Harbor Grill in Orleans—fantastic bartenders and creative cocktails.

CCL: What cocktail book is on your coffee table?

AC: The Aviary Cocktail Book. The photos alone are great, but it’s also a fun read and has some amazing recipes.

CCL: What is your advice for at-home mixologists?

AC: Don’t be afraid to try new things. People tell me they don’t like a particular spirit. Don’t rule them out! When building a cocktail at home, think first about the flavor profile you want and work backwards. If you get one book, make it The Flavor Bible. It’s an index for flavors that work well together. Most importantly, have fun with it. null

Chatham Bars Inn has recently partnered with Maker’s Mark to collaborate on a private select bourbon. Stay tuned for one of their signature cocktail recipes at capecodlife.com!



You might also like: