I’ve probably mentioned that prior to launching HonestlyYUM, I ran a beverage catering business. Creating custom signature cocktails and cocktail mixers for events was an important part of the job. Sure enough, I’ve been blending, juicing, muddling, and mixing together fresh, seasonal ingredients for nearly ten years. No matter what, I’ll forever have a fondness for a messy mountain of freshly squeezed citrus, or the sweet aroma of a berry syrup bubbling away on the stove. As you might expect, I was thrilled by the opportunity to partner with Hangar 1 Vodka to create a backyard DIY Cocktail Bar. It’s what I’ve been doing for years. It’s what I love!

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

As always with my recipes, I tried to highlight what is in season. I made two blends. The first, a combination of honeydew melon, mint syrup, sparkling water, and lime. The result is a light, refreshing cocktail, bursting with bright fruit. The second blend is a mix of a luscious blackberry syrup, lemon, and black tea. This cocktail starts with a mature sweetness, but is quickly balanced by the dry tannins in the tea. Hangar 1 Straight Vodka is perfect for both of these blends, as it allows the delicate ingredients to shine, but without disappearing in the process.

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Having a self-serve bar for guests should be functional, first and foremost, but it’s also a good chance for you to bring some style to the party. For the bar itself we used a rustic potting bench, repurposed from an old sewing table. Reclaimed wood and glass is pretty much my all-time favorite combination, as you can tell from several of my other recipe posts on the blog. As for the serving containers, rather than using run-of-the-mill beverage dispensers, we used a mix of vintage and vintage-inspired spirit decanters. A few small details rounded out the bar, like an assortment of cocktail spoons/stirrers, a simple flower arrangement, some cocktail pins, garnishes, and of course Hangar 1 Vodka.

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Honeydew | HonestlyYUM

Honeydew Puree | HonestlyyUM

Honeydew Puree | HonestlyYUM

Mint Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Mint Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Mint Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Mint Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Blackberry Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Blackberry Syrup | HonestlyYUM

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

Hangar 1 DIY Cocktail Bar by @HonestlyYUM @Hangar1Vodka #Hangar1Vodka

HONEYDEW & MINT

Ingredients:

  For one batch of cocktails (multiply as needed)

  • 1 bottle of Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
  • 34 oz honeydew puree
  • 8 1/2 oz mint syrup
  • 8 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 17 oz sparkling water
  • mint sprig and lime wedge for garnish

  For a single cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
  • 2 oz honeydew puree
  • 1/2 oz mint syrup
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz sparkling water
  • mint sprig and lime wedge for garnish

  For the honeydew puree

  • 12 cups of honeydew, cut into 1-inch cubes

  For the mint syrup

  • 5 mint sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups simple syrup (1 to 1, water to sugar)

Directions:

  For the mint syrup

  • Boil a pot of water on the stove. Meanwhile, while waiting for the water to boil, prepare an ice water bath.
  • Grabbing the ends of the mint, hold the five sprigs of mint in the boiling water for 15 seconds.
  • Immediately transfer to the ice bath for 1 minute.
  • Pat the mint dry and pick off the leaves.
  • In a blender, blend the leaves together with the simple syrup for ~ 1 minute.
  • Strain through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate.

  For the honeydew puree

  • In a blender, puree the honeydew until smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate.

  For a single cocktail

  • Add the Hangar 1 Straight Vodka to glass over ice. Top with honeydew puree, mint syrup, lime juice, and sparkling water. Stir and garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge.

  For one batch of cocktails

  • If you’d like to premix the vodka with the cocktail blend, simply pour all the ingredients into a large serving container and stir to combine. Guests can serve themselves individually in a glass over ice. Garnish with mint and lime.
  • If you’d like to add the vodka to each cocktail separately (as seen above) simply add all the ingredients to a large serving container, except the vodka, and stir to combine. Guests can add the amount of vodka of their choice into a glass over ice, and top with the amount of mixer of their choice. Recommended amounts are 1 1/2 oz vodka + 4 oz mixer.
  • Note: since it’s made from natural ingredients, the cocktail blend will separate over time. Be sure to stir the blend before serving.

BLACKBERRY & BLACK TEA

Ingredients:

  For one batch of cocktails (multiply as needed)

  • 1 bottle of Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
  • 13 oz blackberry syrup
  • 8 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 34 oz iced black tea

  For a single cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
  • 3/4 oz blackberry syrup
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz iced black tea

  For the blackberry syrup

  • 2 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  For the tea

  • 6 black tea bags
  • 34 oz boiling water

Directions:

  For the iced tea

  • Add tea bags to boiling water and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and place in the refrigerator to chill.

  For the blackberry syrup

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer the blackberries and the water for ~5 minutes, until the berries and the water are uniform in color.
  • Strain out the pulp through a fine mesh strainer, pushing on the berries to extract the last bit of juice.
  • Strain the berry juice through a coffee filter.
  • Mix in the sugar until dissolved. Store in the refrigerator.

  For a single cocktail

  • Add the Hangar 1 Straight Vodka to glass over ice. Top with blackberry syrup, lemon juice, and iced tea. Stir and garnish with a lemon and a few fresh blackberries.

  For one batch of cocktails

  • If you’d like to premix the vodka with the cocktail blend, simply pour all the ingredients into a large serving container and stir to combine. Guests can serve themselves individually in a glass over ice. Garnish with blackberries and lemon.
  • If you’d like to add the vodka to each cocktail separately (as seen above) simply add all the ingredients to a large serving container, except the vodka, and stir to combine. Guests can add the amount of vodka of their choice into a glass over ice, and top with the amount of mixer of their choice. Recommended amounts are 1 1/2 oz vodka + 3 1/2 oz mixer.
  • Note: since it’s made from natural ingredients, the cocktail blend will separate over time. Be sure to stir the blend before serving.

(This post was sponsored by Hangar 1 Vodka. Opinions are our own. Images by HonestlyYUM)