DIY Bar Cart Recipes

Does your At Home Happy Hour need a little sprucing up?  Or maybe you’re getting a chance to play hostess for a festive meal.  Whatever the occasion, you need a signature cocktail.

We've upgraded the typical holiday sippers with these DIY Bar Cart recipes.  With a few simple ingredients, you’ll be well on your way to earning your Mixologist title!


Grapefruit and Rosemary Infused Vodka

Give your vodka a flavor boost with grapefruit and rosemary.  Once prepared, serve the Grapefruit and Rosemary Infused Vodka with soda water and a few slices of fruit for a refreshing start to your gathering.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes, plus 1-2 weeks of storage
  • Yield: 1 liter infused vodka


  • 1 liter non-flavored vodka
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 sprig rosemary


  1. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest of the fruit.  Take off just the top layer of zest, leaving the bitter pith on the fruit.

  2. Place the zest in a large resealable container.

  3. Next supreme the grapefruit.  Use a knife to cut off the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then remove the pith of the grapefruit completely with a knife to reveal the fruit.  Set the fruit on its side. Cut toward the center, along a membrane. Then slice along the adjacent membrane until the cuts meet, releasing the segment. Transfer the segments to the jar with the rosemary.

  4. Pour the vodka into the container and seal.

  5. Store in a cool dark place for one week and up to two weeks.

  6. Pour the mixture through a sieve and into a storing vessel.  Can be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Pear and Ginger Shrub

Shrubs make a great mixer for non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails with a flavor that is both sweet and sour.  Serve this Pear and Ginger Shrub with soda water for a non-alcoholic drink or mix with your favorite Bourbon and a splash of ginger ale for a Thanksgiving aperitif.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes, plus 13 days of storage
  • Yield: approximately 3 cups


  • 4 medium ripe pears
  • 1 ½ cups Harris Teeter Sugar
  • 1 ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 ½ cups Harris Teeter Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Core each pear, then chop into ½ pieces.  You don’t need to peel them.  Place diced pear in a large pitcher.

  2. Add sugar to the pitcher and toss to coat, mashing down the fruit as you stir.  Add the grated ginger and mix again. 

  3. Cover the pitcher and store in a cool dry place for two days, mixing once each day.

  4. Strain through a fine sieve into a bottle large enough to store an additional 1 ½ cups.  Pour in the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine.

  5. Seal and refrigerate for 10 days, which is when it will be ready to use.  

To make a Pear & Ginger Shrub Cocktail: Combine 1 ounce of Bourbon, 1-2 ounces of Pear & Ginger Shrub, and a heavy splash of ginger ale in a cocktail shaker.  Fill with ice, shake and pour out over a cocktail glass.

Homemade Grenadine Syrup

Grenadine is an essential ingredient to a well-stocked bar, and it’s deceptively easy to make.  Oh, and surprisingly, there are no cherries in the recipe!  Use our Homemade Grenadine Syrup for Shirley Temples or in any holiday cocktail you want to add a splash of red to!

  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 2 ¼ cups


  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2/3 cup Harris Teeter sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Stir until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a low boil over medium heat and simmer for five minutes.  

  2. Let the syrup cool before storing.  The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one month.

How to make a Shirley Temple: Pour one ounce Homemade Grenadine Syrup into a glass.  Top with Harris Teeter Lemon Lime Soda, fill with ice, then top with a cherry.

Cranberry Simple Syrup

Use this Cranberry Simple Syrup in place of regular simple syrup to give your cocktail a festive touch.  Add a splash to sparkling wine and toast to the season or make a Cranberry Gin Cocktail, recipe below.

  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes, plus time to cool
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups


  • 10 ounces of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup Harris Teeter sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Bring ingredients to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the temperature to medium low and cook about 10 minutes, or until some of the cranberries just begin to pop open.

  2. Let cool, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve and store.  Discard cranberries or save for another use.

How to make a Cranberry Gin Cocktail:  Combine 1 1/2 ounces gin, 6 ounces of Harris Teeter Club Soda, 1 Tbsp. of cranberry sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cranberry Simple Syrup in a shaker with ice.  Shake and strain into two glasses.

Katie Harding is the publisher of Forks and Folly . A self-taught cook and die-hard foodie, Katie lives in Charlotte with her husband and three boys. Besides cooking and eating, she loves craft beers, running, and napping.