Maureen Petrosky

Maureen Petrosky writes what she knows: food, booze and parties. Author of "The Wine Club," "The Cocktail Club" and, she's a regular on The TODAY show, where she shares her vices (and advice) with the world.
This Retro Cocktail Is Always a Hit at Parties
I was greeted in the kitchen by a giant honeydew melon sitting on the counter emitting a deliciously sweet aroma, which immediately made me think, we need to eat or drink this now! I took to the challenge and in my own cocktail quickfire, I reached for the glowing green bottle of Midori on the bar. Typically I use Midori, a melon flavored liqueur, for all sorts of fun Halloween drinks. But, today I was craving a classic cocktail, the Melon Ball. Here’s how to make it.
May 14, 2024
We're Sipping Classic Irish Coffees All Winter
Irish coffee is one of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day treats — though we also enjoy it on Black Friday (staying home, skipping shopping) and on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. So when Sheela Prakash shared her uncle’s rules for making the very best Irish coffee I had to give his method a try. It turns out, just a few key points make for a better Irish coffee that is perfect for celebrating the everyday.
Jan 3, 2024
Hot Chocolate and Whiskey? Yes, Please! Hot Cocoa & Kilbeggan Whiskey
On one of my very first forays into journalism, I was tasked with interviewing some local Atlanta lifestyle celebrities about comfort foods and one interview in particular has stuck with me. Recently it once again popped into my mind giving me the ideal drink idea for our 10-Minute Happy Hour. At the time Lee May was a garden journalist for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Aug 24, 2023
The Classic Rob Roy Is the Perfect Fall Cocktail
Scotch may not be your usual drink, but stir it with some sweet red vermouth and a dash of bitters, and you may just find you like it.
Sep 28, 2022
Smooth & Citrusy Winter Cocktail: Orange Old-Fashioned
This week I thought about pitting two cocktails against each other in honor of the Super Bowl. Then I realized this is the 10-Minute Happy Hour, emphasis on the minute, and two cocktails wouldn’t quite fit our need for speed. Instead I chose one ultimate cocktail that will have you coming out the victor — no matter which team you’re rooting for. Like any drink, if you begin with quality ingredients, you’ll end up with much better results.
Sep 22, 2022
My Kind of Spring Drink Recipe: Strawberry Gin Smash
With more sunshine, my end-of-day goal is to spend a few moments putzing in my garden. This means dinner consists of simple recipes, served with easy but delicious drinks, like smashes. These smashes make up a whole new world of cocktails with endless options for muddling, mixing, and of course sipping. This one is just perfect for today’s 10-Minute Happy Hour.
Sep 20, 2022
My Perfect 3-Ingredient Summer Drink: Limoncello Gin Cocktail
Recently friends of ours got married in a remote, a.k.a. no cell service, Catskill’s resort. This resulted in a long overdue trek through New York’s Hudson Valley. We hadn’t been back in those parts since I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 1999. The long weekend road trip right on the heels of a late spring heatwave and a tiny bottle of homemade Limoncello became the inspiration for this week’s 10-Minute Happy Hour.
Aug 17, 2022
The Classic Negroni Cocktail Is the Perfect Sip
It's sexy, smooth, and perfect for happy hour tonight.
Aug 8, 2022
Recipe: Captain Palmer Cocktail
Spiced rum doesn’t really scream summer to me, but iced tea sure does! Mix them together and you get a refreshing lemony tea with an adult spin. This cocktail has a lovely spicy kick, perfect for sipping outside on a hot summer eve. Not to mention, it can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. You may have guessed a Captain Palmer is a spin on the classic Arnold Palmer, a non-alcoholic drink of half iced tea and half lemonade.
May 17, 2022
5 Mom-Tested, Kid-Approved Snacks: 5 Good Choices that Actually Taste Good
Snacks get a bad rap, but this year I have managed to fill my pantry with an arsenal of good choices. As my kids geared up for back to school over the fall my snack mission was find treats that were easy, health conscious, actually taste good, and make my kids feel like I am spoiling them. This was no easy task. We’ve been back to school for a few months now and packing snacks can get to be a real pain. I’m a packer — a lunch and snack packer.
Sep 30, 2020
Keep This Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade in Your Fridge at All Times
It's the ultimate summer pitcher cocktail.
Aug 9, 2020
This Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Is the Best Way to Cool Down This Summer
A true three-ingredient delight.
Jun 10, 2020
Summery Pitcher Cocktail Recipe: Peruvian Pisco Punch
Pisco Punch made with a traditional Peruvian Pisco is the ideal big batch drink to celebrate a warm-weather happy hour. The key ingredient in the classic recipe is gum syrup (an emulsifier using gum arabic that may be difficult to source). When made from scratch, this ingredient wouldn’t exactly work for our 10-minute happy hour, but I easily fixed the problem.
Feb 3, 2020
4th of July Party Drink Recipe: Chilean Pisco Star-Spangled Punch
Pisco is mostly known for its role in the famed Pisco Sour cocktail. But this spirit has a personality all its own. We love Pisco in big batches of punch for all sorts of summertime soirees. So we’re kicking off the 4th of July with a Star- Spangled Chilean Pisco Punch perfect for toasting the occasion.Made from grapes Pisco’s characteristics vary depending on where they were grown and how they were aged, for example in stainless steel or oak barrels.
Feb 3, 2020
Recipe: Jalapeño Bloody Mary with Quick Pickled Vegetables
There are lots of ways to heat up your drinks, from fresh cracked peppercorns to wasabi and my personal fave — freshly grated horseradish. Add the endless array of fresh peppers (habañeros, serranos, thai bird chilies, etc.) and the even wider variety of hot sauces out there, and you’re choices are endless. Flavored and infused spirits are in the spice game, too, from vodka to tequila.
Jan 29, 2020
Non-Alcoholic Recipe: Kiwi-Banana Smoothie “Cocktail”
The idea of a “dry January” may sound blasphemous to some of us who relish our Friday happy hour. But if you’re like me and want to take a break from booze after the holidays, here’s a non-alcoholic sip that’s still fun to drink! If your evening ritual includes the clink of ice cubes for a cocktail or pouring a glass of wine, taking alcohol out of the equation may seem challenging.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Spiked Iced Soy Chai Tea
Our Mother’s Day tradition is breakfast in bed for Mom, made a la’ my little chefs and husband. Usually a glass of champagne or mimosa dons the breakfast tray along with a piping hot latte. This year I was thinking back to when my babies (yes, I have twins) were born and all the little things that got me through those first tough years. Things like a hot cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine were indulgences, and I have very fond memories of chai tea.
Jan 29, 2020
My Trip on The Whiskey Trail, Plus Recipe: Sparkling Sweet Tea Pitcher Cocktail
Let’s start with the oldest distillery and one of our forefathers — George Washington. Did you know he made whiskey? And even better, you can visit the same spot where he toiled in colonial times at the gorgeous Mount Vernon in Washington D.C. This unique facility is the only one of its kind — it’s still operating exactly as it did in the 1800’s.
Jan 29, 2020
Pitcher Cocktail Recipe: Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
Sangria isn’t just for summer. Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to stir up a big seasonally-inspired pitcher — perfect for kicking off the holiday season. Since we’re celebrating, I decided to add a little class to the pitcher this week with a bit of VS Cognac and some bubbly wine. The cognac that I chose perfectly compliments the apples with its notes of caramel and vanilla, and it makes your cider into a cocktail suited for the adults at your gathering.
Jan 29, 2020
Pitcher Drink Recipe: 4-Ingredient Sparkling White Peach Sangria
Great sangria can be refreshing, and it's perfect for a summer party.
Jan 29, 2020
Perfect Pitcher Drink Recipe for Summer: Sparkling Watermelon Sangria
Throughout the summer, our CSA membership has pushed my culinary prowess to extremes. Finding ways to continually interpret items such as spinach, Swiss chard and summer squash into new and exciting versions has been trying to say the least. Canning and preserving have eased the plethora of said veggies, and incorporating herbs and berries into Happy Hour has been advantageous — not to mention delicious. Here’s the latest: sparkling watermelon sangria. Here’s the story.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Peach Lambic & Rye Sangria
Beer, wine, and cocktail lovers alike unite in their affection for this big batch drink. At first the idea of beer sangria may not appeal to the traditional sangria sippers, but fruity lambics are a game changer. Lambics are the most wine-like beers out there. They are fruity, Belgian wheat beers, often higher in alcohol than other ales. With flavors like raspberry (framboise), cherry (kriek), and peach (pêche) you have plenty to pick from when whipping up your next batch of sangria.
Jan 29, 2020
Cocktail Recipe: Sparkling White Cranberry Sangria
When I entertain, I make drinks that can do double duty as delicious offerings and gorgeous centerpieces. Whether placed on my bar or in the center of the dinner table, this seasonal cranberry sangria is perfect for your next holiday gathering. Cranberry sangria is typically made with red wine, but I’ve been on a white cranberry juice kick lately.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Strawberry & Limoncello Rosé Sangria
Sparkling rosé wine is my choice over and over in the spring and summer, for both casual sipping and for sangrias. This week I chose a demi-sec rosé champagne. Demi-sec translates to “half dry,” which is another way of saying “semi-sweet,” so expect a little inherent sweetness here. That touch of sweetness also makes rosé perfect for an icy pitcher drink. When making sangria, you need four things: wine, a spirit, usually sugar, and fruit.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Summer Berry Sangria
It’s the time of year when farmers market stands are bursting with gorgeous berries and their sweet smells fill the air. Don’t resist. Go ahead grab a pint of each! If you can keep yourself from eating them all before you get home, make yourself a pitcher of this sangria — the first in a series this month of sangrias inspired by the farmers market. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries have this sangria screaming summer!
Jan 29, 2020
Cocktail Recipe: Sparkling Cherry Rosé Sangria
In my book, summer calls for a spritz, and while this sangria is hot pink and bubbly, don’t be fooled — it’s anything but delicate. It’s loaded with fresh cherries straight from the farmers market, spiked with cherry liqueur, and finished with cherry bitters. This sangria is as pretty on the palate as it is in the pitcher. A dry rosé wine, not a blush or white Zinfandel, is the base here.
Jan 29, 2020
Kid-Friendly Cocktail Recipe: Basic Lemon Raspberry Rum Punch
I was inspired by this request from readrer Kristi Kinkade, who said, “My family has numerous parties during the summer. I’d like to be able to make one beverage that’s great for kids, and just by adding alcohol would be great for adults.” Well here you go: A sweet and sour lemony base that makes the perfect grown-up cocktail… and also happens to be just as great for the kids.This is what is known as a shrub or sherbet.
Jan 29, 2020
Cocktail Recipe: Cucumber, Ginger & Prosecco Sangria
Farmers markets offer so much more than just fresh fruits and veggies. These days you can find everything from local cheeses to honey, and this sangria recipe was inspired by all of the above. On a recent trip to my local market, I stopped for chats with a cheesemaker, a farmer, and an apiarist (beekeeper), and left with a bag full of cucumbers, a log of fresh goat cheese, and a jar of local honey.
Jan 29, 2020
Perfect Summer Drink Recipe: Gin Rickey
Wildwood, New Jersey is famous or infamous for lots of things — their amazing boardwalk that includes amusement parks and a chapel, the song “Wildwood Days” by Bobby Rydell, mile-long beaches, an unflattering appearance on the TV show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a damn good drink called the Lime Rickey.
Jan 29, 2020
Cocktail Recipe: Peach Plum Sangria
Every summer since I can remember, we drive the back roads to the beach. While the highways are much faster, we’d miss out on one of the best parts of the trip if we took them: pit stops at farm stands. Sampling from the trays to pick the best plums and juiciest peaches is as much a part of our family tradition as our yearly week at the beach together. And now, so is this stone fruit sangria.
Jan 29, 2020
The Best Drink Recipe to Close the Summer in Style: Bajan Rum Punch
With all the fabulous Latin American food this week on The Kitchn I’ve been craving an equally suited cocktail. With a little digging and, I’ll be honest, some taste-testing too, I found a great drink that stays with our Latin American theme and it’s perfect for toasting the end of summer this Labor Day weekend. If you’re into rum, rum drinks, or the history of booze in general you’ll love this sip.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Mixed Melon & Limoncello Sangria
If you’ve ever tasted an ice-cold glass of limoncello on a hot summer day, you know how amazing this Italian liqueur can be. Mixed into a sangria with fresh fruit, it’s quite possibly even better. This sangria is all of summer captured in one delicious pitcher.
Jan 29, 2020
Pitcher Cocktail for Your Labor Day Party: Sparkling Cojito
I refuse to believe this summer is coming to an end. So for this week’s taste of happiness in less than 10 minutes, join me in mixing up the perfect coconut-infused, island-inspired pitcher drink for any Labor Day soiree. A Cojito is a simple spin on the classic Mojito. You probably can guess by it’s name that we’re going coconut for this week’s cocktail.
Jan 29, 2020
4-Ingredient Cocktail Recipe: Cranberry & St. Germain Pitcher Sparkler
Hosting an Oscar party means adding a little luxe to your usual gathering. Portable appetizers and easy snacks along with big batch drinks allow even the host to stay tuned to the show. Here are my Oscar party tips: Skip any food that requires a knife and fork and stick to one or two bite appetizers. The red carpet kicks off early in the day so no need for a full meal.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe: Blood Orange Mimosa Pitcher Cocktail
A traditional mimosa is an ounce or two (depending who is pouring!) of fresh-squeezed orange juice topped with chilly Brut Champagne. Today, we’re replacing those navel oranges with the brilliantly-hued juice from blood oranges. This makes a striking and delicious pitcher drink to serve at brunch. And, as we know, nothing makes brunch better than a fabulous cocktail.
Jan 29, 2020
Winter Party Recipe: Fish House Punch
Fish House Punch is a famous tipple dating back to 1732. I first came upon it in Dave Wondrich’s book Punch, and was recently offered a cup at a New Year’s Day celebration. When I asked the bartender what was in it, he replied, “What isn’t in it?” With thoughts of Long Island iced tea whirling through my mind, I hesitantly raised the glass to my lips.
Jan 29, 2020