Honeymoon Cocktails

You know the phrase: the honeymoon’s over. Technically, it means a couple leaves behind the beach chairs and tanning oil of their first wedded weeks to go home and write thank you notes in sunburned silence. Colloquially, it’s a way of telling people—married or single—that life just got a lot less fun. “The honeymoon’s over, folks. We’re taking the double cheeseburger off the dollar menu.”

Either way, it’s a phrase that means something good ended. But if the 87 (or so?) seasons of The Bachelor have taught us anything, it’s that nothing good—and romantically surreal—should ever end. Reality is tough enough, and honeymoons are ridiculously short (compared to the amount of time we’re expected to, say, wait online at the DMV). But just because you come home to a full Inbox and unpaid bills (not to mention the weird absence of a cabana boy bringing you a fresh Mai Tai), that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the spirt of the honeymoon.

And that’s why we’ve compiled this list—some top honeymoon destinations, beachy, snowy, adventurous, and drinks that might help recall some of the magic of those places. Whether you’re newly married, deep in the marital trenches, or just a single guy or gal looking for some honeymoon glow (‘cuz why should couples have all the special stuff?), a few ways to imbibe that honeymoon spirit.

Aspen, Colorado:

Manhattan Aspen
Sure, a lot of folks go tropical (the operative idea seeing more of one another naked?) but snowy, ski-themed honeymoons are pretty popular, too, good for adventure and upping the adrenaline pre-bedtime, ahem. Warm drinks recalling chilly nights are great for snuggling up by the fire, or apartment radiator, but if you can get your hands on Aspen-based Woody Creek Colorado Straight Rye Whiskey (though any good rye will do), why not whip up a nice, rich, classic Manhattan? Make it a double

Acapulco, Mexico:

Acapulco is back! (According to honeymoon.com, anyway.) We’re not sure where it went, but it seems to be regaining popularity, no doubt thanks to ridiculously clear blue waters and tourist-friendly (if less exotic) experiences. Lucky for honeymooners looking to drink in the memories, Acapulco has its own signature drink—the Acapulco Cocktail. Recipes vary, but basically all you’ll need is some tequila (some versions use rum, but this is Mexico!), Cointreau, lime juice, egg white, and sugar. (Simpler versions opt out of the lime/egg white and go for citrus and pineapple juices for a simpler, fruity drink). Whatever version you choose, chuck a pineapple wedge on top and be transported back to that time you rode horses on the Mexican shoreline. Or watched other people do it and made fun of them.

Hawaii:

mai-tai
Ah, the classic honeymoon destination, the land of many lays… The Polynesian influence kind of makes Tiki a clear choice for your romantic reminiscence tipple. Even if you didn’t drink something out of a conch shell or Easter Island-shaped glass while you were honeymooning (and, for god’s sake, why not?) now’s your chance. Though, if you’re making it at home, best to start with something simple, like the rum and juice-based Mai Tai (buy orgeat online, the rich almond syrup makes the drink just ridiculously luscious.). Make a double recipe, serve it out of one big glass (or coconut), and feel free to lay each other.

Moorea, Tahiti:

If memories of thatched huts hovering above crystal clear water aren’t enough to give you a loving buzz, remember your Moorea honeymoon by drink. “Tahiti Drink,” to be exact—a pre-mixed concoction of rum plus some other juices, produced in Moorea and sold in distinctive cartons. It may sound a little cheesy, but the difference is the juices—smooth, fresh, rich. Clearly unless you’re making a quick grocery trip to the Tahitian Islands, this one’s out of reach, but easy to reproduce at home, just skip the classic OJ and pineapple juices and go for top quality. Mix to your best memory and sip, out of an emptied milk carton if you want the full effect.

Bahamas:

Bahamas
The Bahamas are an easy yes for honeymoons: lots of islands, lots of activity, lots to do and not do: you can go from lazy beachside rum-sipping to swimming with the dolphins (and then inviting them back to the beach for some more rum). Clearly you’ll want to be drinking a rum-based cocktail of some kind, and while rum production actually dried up in the Bahamas a few years back, a small boutique distillery, John Watling’s, has reopened, producing a Pale, Amber, and a rich, 5 year-old Buena Vista Rum. If you can’t get your hands on that, a nice island rum either neat or in a classic Daiquiri should transport mind and body beachside in no time.

Paris, France:

The City of Light. The City of So Much Bread. The City of Extremely Expensive Coca Cola. Honeymooning in Paris has got to be a bit extra magical, given the elegant charm of the old city. No doubt an easy cocktail to bring you back to your Paris amour would be something Champagne-based, like the classic Champagne cocktail (just a sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and Champagne, Cognac optional), but the gin and citrus-spiked French 75 might make the night a bit more…sparkling.

Napa/Sonoma:

napa wine
Wherever you stay—and we’ll discuss the virtues of that elsewhere—the Wine Country honeymoon is pretty easy to recreate in a glass. But why settle for a glass of Napa or Sonoma Valley wine when you can have, say, five? Not advocating a drinking contest, save that for your anniversary, but why not set up a small tasting for you and your partner, recreate some of the discovery and adorable awkwardness of trying to identify things like huckleberry, mushroom, and spice in front of each other? Bonus points, this one calls for a cheese plate. Now if cheese can’t rekindle love, we don’t know what can. (Looking for pairing ideas? We got you covered.)

Venice, Italy:

Good news if you were lucky enough to honeymoon in Venice. Well, first, you were lucky enough to honeymoon in Venice. But the second bit of good news is that your honeymoon nostalgia cocktail is an elegant, simple classic: The Bellini. That’s right, The Bellini originated at the iconic Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1948, and was only later corrupted into the fuel of disastrous “unlimited drinks” brunches. Even more good news—all you need is some nice prosecco and white peach puree, and you’ll have a drink that tastes like summer and looks like the sun glowing gold against Venice’s red rooftops.