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Cocktails for the non-craft cocktail lover


EvergreenDan
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Usually when someone doesn't want an adventurous cocktail, I make a Batida (flavored Caipirinha, such as Pama). But I was challenged with "I like vodka and fruit juice, nothing too strong, I don't like the taste of alcohol, I like girlie drinks, I usually order a Cosmo." Gulp.

If I had cranberry juice on hand, I would have just made a Cosmo with plain vodka. So I improvised:

1 oz Vodka (dug out from the far, far back of the cabinet)

1/2 oz Clear Creek Oregon Cranberry Liqueur

1/2 oz Triple Sec

1/2 oz Lime

1/2 oz grapefruit juice.

Seemed to go over ok.

What are some no-fail "girlie" cocktails that a pretty well-stocked craft-ish home bar could make? For example, no Apple Pucker for an Appletini. No canned cranberry juice on hand. Generally only fresh citrus on hand.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Gin Daisies are very tasty. I have used both liqueurs and Italian flavor syrups to make a variety of Daisy flavors. (IMO, creme de cassis is very, very good)

If all you have is booze, some fruit and sugar/syrup, what about some classic, non-frozen, Daiquiris? The basic lime is nice, if you have bananas or frozen berries you can make the more popular iterations.

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Oh please. Every single "girlie" that has claimed to not like "booze" has easily consumed Manhattans, Algonquins, margaritas, daiquiris, sidecars, Pegu Clubs and on and on, once I've brought them out of my kitchen.

Otherwise, open a bottle of Rose and be done with it.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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How about an Amaretto Sour made with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, a few healthy dashes of Ango and a teaspoon of simple syrup instead of the commercial artificial sour mix?

Having some decent ginger beer (Barritt's in glass bottles is very versatile and it actually is made with sugar cane and not HFS) on hand is an easy way to be able to come up with a number of highballs that appeal to a wide range of people. One 12-oz. bottle of ginger beer can be used to spin up a Dark 'n Stormy, Moscow Mule, El Diablo, and a Mamie Taylor if your home bar is moderately well stocked.

When everything else fails, a Kahlua and Cream or White Russian can usually still satisfy the drinkers who don't want to be overly challenged by their libations.

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I always feel like a Twentieth Century is a great drink to get people to drink gin. People who do not "like" gin, like them and I have given them to the biggest "girlie drink" drinkers and they have always gone over well.

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Lots of good ideas. Maybe I was just wasn't brave enough to ignore the long list of preferences. I usually get much less specific requests. I especially like the idea of an Amaretto Sour, since I have a nice bottle of Luxardo hanging around.

BTW, may I ask what a Bitter French is? Google let me down.

Also, I put 1/4 oz of Canton in that Cosmo-like drink. It was actually pretty good. Might try it with another spirit -- cachaca or pisco, perhaps.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Do like I do - tell 'em you don't "carry" vodka. Offer to make them another drink and if they don't like it, pour it down the drain (or your own gullet).

I can't you how many of my neighbors come over (girlies too) and ASK for Manhattans.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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If you're not trying to convert someone and just want to make them something they want to drink, toss some small cans of pineapple juice in a cabinet and forget them until you need them. That with your fresh citrus and craft cabinet opens up a few drinks from tiki land that don't require an arsenal of juices and syrups. You're probably already aware of that but I thought I'd join the fun anyway. :biggrin:

Pago Pago

1 1/2 oz Barbancourt Rhum

1 oz pineapple juice

1/2 oz lime juice

1/4 oz Green Chartreuse

1/4 oz white Creme de Cacao

Build with ice in a rocks glass, stir.

Jungle Bird

1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum

3/4 oz Campari

3 oz pineapple juice

1/2 oz lime juice

1/4 oz simple syrup

Build on crushed ice, stir.

I have friends who like vodka drinks. I have one close friend who likes peach schnapps. I try to encourage them to explore beyond that when they visit. I also keep vodka and peach schnapps in my cabinet in case they're not in the mood to explore. They're my friends, the main goal is for everybody to have a good time.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I thought the same thing about the Jungle Bird. Next time I have fresh pineapple, I'm definitely going to try that. Pineapple seems to love amari. That said, anything that is appealing to me is unlikely to be appealing to a vodka/juice girlie drinker, I fear.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you looking for cocktails that will fit with your sense of "craft" while still being accessible enough for someone who usually orders a Cosmo? If so, I think there are a couple of past threads that cover gateway cocktails. For that matter, if you've got fresh lime, triple sec and vodka, you're three-quarters of the way to a Cosmo anyway... why not pick up a bottle of cranberry juice? It's got a good long shelf life.

Or are you looking for recipes for bad drinks - "vodka and fruit juice, nothing too strong, [no] taste of alcohol" - using the ingredients you already have on hand? Those should be pretty straightforward; vodka and fruit juice is not a tall order to fill. Lemon Drops, Kamikazes, Screwdrivers and variations thereupon. The biggest risk you run in doing this is having your guest say, "I thought he was supposed to make great cocktails! This isn't so great. I could get this anywhere." But you can't please everyone.

Of course, if you really want to impress with something accessible that your guest has never had before, you could always make eGullet's own cocktail, the Flaming Orange Gully!

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Matthew -- it was the later. I'm not really looking for recipes for bad drinks, but rather non-craft mainstream drinks that I could safely make for someone requesting such a thing, given that I only have craft ingredients on hand, and generally only citrus and no other juices available. Except for some prune juice ... :shock:

I also barely have vodka. I don't plan to replace the bottle I have since I don't use it enough to justify the space.

Lots of good ideas here, and thanks for reminding me of the gateway thread.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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I also barely have vodka. I don't plan to replace the bottle I have since I don't use it enough to justify the space.

I imagine that's going to be your biggest stumbling block right there. I always have a bottle of vodka on hand, but I can appreciate that not everyone has a basement to store it in!

Do you at least have some white rum? That's probably your next-best bet. Edit: And I don't mean unaged rhum agricole. :wink:

Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Bitter French is a French 75 variation from Death & Co. in NYC. I don't have the recipe with me right now, but this should get it in the ballpark.

Take the French 75 and replace half of the gin with Campari, and then use only half the quantity of simple syrup.

Grapefruit twist garnish.

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IF(!!) you decide you can squeeze a bottle of flavored vodka in there somewhere, this is a cocktail I created last year for a party I bartended when I was in a similar situation as you — what to serve the person who doesn't want any of the craft cocktails you'd rather serve them?

The Perfect Pear

• 1.5 oz. pear vodka

• 1 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur

• 0.5 oz. lemon juice

• 2 tsp. raspberry syrup

Shake well on ice, double strain and serve up in a chilled martini glass.

The pear vodka flavor is a bit artificial, but I'm sure it's not as bad as a lot of the flavored vodka drek out there. The Canton gives it a bit of depth and the citrus and syrup balance each other well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Possibly the best cocktail for universal approval (particularly vodka drinkers not familiar with classic cocktails) we've found is the Part & Parcel, from The Violet Hour in Chicago

2 oz Tanqueray no. 10

.75 St. Germaine

.75 Fresh Grapefruit Juice

.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Simple Syrup

5 drops Grapefruit Bitters

I think they use either Plymouth or more often Tito's (Vodka can be easily substituted, but if you're trying to convert or educate, I like showing people gin doesn't have to be abrasive. The citrus in the T10 blends in with everything else and the juniper then falls into the background as well. Most people can't find the gin unless they're really looking for it.

Sandy Levine

The Oakland Art Novelty Company

Sandy Levine
The Oakland Art Novelty Company

sandy@TheOaklandFerndale.com www.TheOaklandFerndale.com

www.facebook.com/ArtNoveltyCompany twitter: @theoakland

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