ITM’s Signature Drinks Across the USA Series – Part 3

cocktail recipes by state



Down the Deepest Gorge

Underwater volcanoes are responsible for many of the environmental phenomena we have today. At 1 mile deep and 10 miles wide, Idaho’s Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. Rock formation began with a series of underwater volcanoes over 300 million years ago. Since then, Snake River has curved its way through, creating the gorge we have today. Hells Canyon is also home to Heaven’s Gate, a peak on one of the Seven Devils Mountains, where you can look into Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana all at once. An experience of a lifetime!

idaho's signature cocktail - el diablo - Hell's Canyon

El Diablo

1 1/2 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger beer

Combine the first three ingredients in an ice filled shake and shake until cold. Strain over ice into a rocks glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime.



Founding Father

Who knew the son of a soap maker would be one of the most important men in American history? Pennsylvania was home to Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States. During his spare time, when he wasn’t running the Pennsylvania Gazette, inventing bifocals or experimenting with electricity, he was inventing the stove, mapping the Gulf Stream, and developing an odometer. As a global society whose success has relied on our ability to be one step ahead of everyone else, it’s safe to say we will always be in his debt.

pennsylvania signature drink - liberty bell

Liberty Bell

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce peach schnapps
dash apricot brandy
dash Campari
Lemon twist to garnish

Put a martini glass in the freezer for 5 minutes to chill. Place all of the ingredients, except for the garnish, into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir the mixture for 25 seconds and then strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve immediately.



Home of the Blues

On Beale Street, you’ll find the heart and soul of Memphis, Tennessee. Known for its richly diverse music scene, it is no surprise that Memphis is home to some of the most well-known musicians in the world. Known as the “Home of the Blues,” it is here that artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and BB King all made their first footprint into American music history. To this day it continues to be a regular stomping ground for music’s biggest stars and a jumping-off point for those with dreams to be “the next big thing.”

tennessee signature cocktail - berry mule - home of blues - johnny cash

Tennessee Berry Mule

8 fresh Raspberries
1½ shots Tennessee whiskey
1 shot Luxardo Amaretto di Saschira
1½ shots cranberry juice
½ shot Freshly squeezed lime juice
Top up with Ginger beer

MUDDLE raspberries in base of shaker. Add next 4 ingredients, SHAKE with ice and strain into ice-filled glass. TOP with ginger beer, lightly stir.



Fine Wine

California is home to some of the finest wines found throughout the world. The United States is the fourth largest wine-producing country and California accounts for nearly 90 percent of it. You will find hundreds of vineyards up and down the state; its diverse climate and varied terrain create the ideal location for growing grapes. Whether you’re drinking a pinot or merlot, there really is no better place to go.

california signature cocktail - wine tale - california wine country

Cool Tale
By Joey Scorza, InterContinental Hotel Miami

3 oz [ yellow Tail ]® Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1 slice cucumber 1-inch thick
1oz Monin Pomegranate Syrup
1 oz sour mix
1 scoop ice
Splash of Sprite or 7up
Cucumber garnish

Peel the cucumber slice; cut in 4 wedges. Put in shaker can and muddle. Add remaining ingredients except the Sprite. Shake well and pour into a highball glass; splash with Sprite. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.



The Treasure State

“The Treasure State” is a fitting nickname for a place as beautiful as Montana. It has a little bit of everything–diverse terrains, an ever-changing climate and a melting pot of wildlife. Thousands of species call this state home and with 8 national parks in one state, it’s the perfect getaway for communing with nature.

montana signature cocktail

Montana Cocktail

2 ounces Cognac
1 ounce Dry Vermouth
1 ounce Port
Knoted lemon rind to garnish

Place the Cognac, Vermouth and Port into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Slowly stir the mixture for about 30 seconds and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish the drink with the knotted lemon rind and serve immediately.



Humorous Laws

It is very important for American citizens to follow the laws set in place by the government, but sometimes it can go a little far. Maryland residents follow a few rather interesting laws: eating while swimming in the ocean is prohibited in Maryland, it is illegal to mistreat oysters in Baltimore, a woman is not allowed to go through her husband’s pocket while he is sleeping, men are not allowed to buy drinks for female bartenders, and one cannot swear within the city limits of Baltimore. Be aware of these the next time you visit!

maryland signature cocktail - bay breeze

Bay Breeze

2 oz vodka
cranberry juice
pineapple juice
lime wedge for garnish

Pour the vodka into a ice filled highball glass. Top with equal amounts of cranberry and pineapple juice. Garnish to taste.



Keep Cool With Kool-Aid

Think back to when you were a kid. What did you drink? Let me give you a hint: it stained your mouth and was filled with sugar! Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, Nebraska by Edwin Perkins. He spent his time in his mother’s kitchen experimenting with different products and looking for a way to mass distribute Fruit Smack, the flavored syrup he invented, without the mess and cost of shipping liquid. As a result, he created Kool-Aid, a powdered drink substance that was easy to make and even easier to transport. Though Perkins died in the mid-1970s, his legacy lived on to become a multibillion dollar empire.

nebraska signature cocktail - kool-aid caddy

Kool-Aid Caddy

2 oz. Vodka
Orange Juice

Pour the vodka in a glass. Add orange juice and Kool Aid Mix until glass is full, stir with a spoon and serve chilled.



Dear Santa

You know that warm feeling you get when you do something kind for another person, or when you hear about a good deed someone did? Well, the residents of Santa Claus, Indiana get that feeling every Christmas. Because of the city’s name, the Santa Claus Post Office receives thousands of letters each holiday from hopeful girls and boys. “Santa’s Elves,” a group of local volunteers, spend the holiday replying to every letter sent to “Santa,” giving those young and old something to believe in and keeping the Christmas tradition alive.

indiana signature cocktail - peppermint stick - santa claus

Pepermint Stick

1 1/2 ounce creme de cacao
1 ounce cream
1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Shake well with ice. Strain ingredients into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a small peppermint candy cane and serve.



Winding Down the Rio

While most people think of the Rio Grande River as the border between the United States and Mexico, it also serves other uses. Winding its way down from Colorado, it provides water and food for local wildlife such as deer, elk, eagles and falcons, as well as activity areas for rafters and canoeists. Floating the river is known to be a serene and relaxing experience–just be on the lookout for the rapids!

new mexico signature cocktail - rio grande

Rio Grande Cocktail

1 oz bourbon (something over 90 proof)
1 oz Reposado tequila
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz rich simple syrup (two parts sugar, one part water, ideally evaporated cane sugar)

For rim: Kosher salt, organic evaporated cane sugar, chipotle powder, ancho chile powder, regular Spanish paprika. Sugar/salt ratio is one-to-one. Spice to taste.

Shake all liquid ingredients and strain into martini glass rimmed with spice mixture.



Division of State

The Civil War marked a time of disagreement between states, but what happens when a disagreement occurs within one state? Virginia citizens west of the Allegheny Mountains were dissatisfied with the current governing, so they declared themselves as the rightful government of Virginia, which ultimately resulted in the division of the state. Political views, taxes, secession, views on slavery and Virginia law imposed on them all, contributed to the creation of West Virginia.

west virginia signature cocktail - rebel yell

Rebel Yell

2 oz bourbon whiskey
1/2 oz triple sec
1 oz lemon juice
1 egg white

Combine bourbon, cointreau, lemon juice, and egg white in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.



The American Spa

Arkansas is home to Hot Springs National Park, nicknamed “The American Spa.” Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show the total amount of water discharged by the hot springs, as a group, ranges from 750,000 gallons to about 950,000 gallons per day. Scientists conclude that the water now flowing from the hot springs is not water given off by cooling magmas at depth, but is, in fact, rainwater. Furthermore, analyses of carbon-14, an isotope present in the water, indicate that this rainwater originally fell in the Hot Springs area some 4,000 years ago!

arkansas signature cocktail - hot toddy

Hot Toddy

1.5 oz. Whiskey
1oz Honey
3oz Hot Water
1 Wedge lemon wedge plucked with cloves

Place lemon wedge in toddy glass. Pour whiskey and honey over lemon. Fill with hot water.



Wildlife Refuge

Home to thousands of species, it is no wonder North Dakota has 63 wildlife refuge facilities. These facilities offer animal rehabilitation, bird watching and sightings of rare wildlife. The waterfowl production area regulations provide a safe and secure environment so the wildlife can prosper and repopulate in over 254,000 acres.

north dakota signature cocktail - howling wolf

Howling Wolf

1/2 oz. Creme de Menthe, white
1 oz. Curacao, blue
1/2 oz. Vodka
Fill with Sprite

Mix 1/2 oz. white creme de menthe, 1/2 oz. Absolut vodka, and 1 oz. blue curacao in a shaker over ice. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off the glass with Sprite or 7-up.


ITM’s Signature Drinks Across the USA Series Part 1

ITM’s Signature Drinks Across the USA Series Part 2