While we all love a productive work week, there’s something so magical about that light at the end of the tunnel, that blissful time when “one-buck beers” is music to your ears, that hour when you can totally decompress with friends. You guessed it, worker bees! We’re talking about happy hour.

Keep in mind that the camaraderie that comes from meeting up for casual drinks and appetizers in Indianapolis isn’t exclusive to the selection of swanky downtown bars or pubs of Broadripple! For a new twist on the happiest hour of the week, invite the gang to your place for some homemade cocktails with a personal twist— no bartender experience necessary! A few tasty recipes, old and new:

Classic Dry Martini          

•    Crushed ice
•    6 tablespoons chilled vodka
•    1/2 teaspoon dry white vermouth
•    1 (2-inch) strip lemon rind

Place crushed ice in a martini shaker. Add vodka and vermouth; stir. Rub all martini glass rims with the inside of a lemon rind; twist the rind and drop into the glass when complete for an added garnish. Strain the vodka mixtures into the glasses—and voila! A simple yet completely glamorous cocktail to channel Manhattan’s Upper East Side right here in Indianapolis.

St. Germaine Cocktail

•    2 parts Brut Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine
•    1 ½ parts St-Germaine
•    2 parts Club Soda

Stir ingredients in a tall ice-filled Collins glass, mixing completely. Complete with a lemon twist garnish. Completely delicious, we promise you—Snappening served this classic cocktail at its May 11 launch party in Indianapolis and received rave response!

Sangria Flora

•    ¾ cups vodka
•    3 cups Sauvignon Blanc or Dry White Wine
•    Diced peaches, halved strawberries, raspberries, halved white grapes

Stir ingredients in a large carafe. Let the mixture soak for 15 minutes (or longer if desired), then pour into ice-filled glasses. Serve with spoon-straws to enjoy the fruit while drinking. Be creative when combining local, seasonal fruit!

Marvelous Mojito

•    2 parts white rum
•    1 part vodka
•    1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
•    10 fresh mint leaves
•    Club soda, added to taste

Lightly muddle mint leaves in a Collins glass. Add the other ingredients, fill glasses with crushed ice halfway, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge. This popular summer drink’s combination of sweetness, refreshing citrus and mint flavors complement the potent kick of the rum—sip, enjoy, repeat.

Panda Bear Frozen Cocktail

•    1/2 cup of ice
•    1 oz of Amaretto
•    1/2 oz of White Creme de Cacao
•    1/2 oz of White Creme de Menthe
•    2-3 dashes of Vanilla Extract
•    Vanilla Ice Cream

Blend all ingredients until smooth – add a bit more ice cream to adjust. Swirl chocolate syrup on the inside of the glass, add the frothy cocktail, and prepare for the conversation to flow about this unique cocktail. Although it’s frozen, the comforting notes of vanilla and amaretto add wintery flair.

Still a traditional happy hour loyalist? Indianapolis bars and restaurants offer great drink deals and food specials with plenty of Hoosier pride. Whether you and the girls want to channel your inner Sex and the City or prefer to grab a beer with the guys in a more casual pub setting, the Circle City has a happy hour option for every taste, area of town and budget.

The Brockway Public House, BARcelonas Tapas Restaurant and Binkley’s Kitchen and Bar are just a few places perfect for casual (yet tasty!) happy hours.

Dying to share your own mouthwatering cocktail recipe? Spill with the Snappening community on Facebook or Twitter now. Drink safely, and cheers!