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lindag

Simple cocktails

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My drink of choice during cocktail hour is nearly always a Gin & Tonic.  This has been going on for years!  I need to branch out but I don't know what to make.  I seem to have many bottles of Rum and Vodka and Whiskey and Bourbon and everything else I can think of.  But I don't want to make drinks that take lots of different or exotic ingredients   I live in a pretty small town and don't have access to the fancy liquors, just the average stuff.

I tried a Manhattan last night using Jack Daniels and that didn't ring my chimes. 

I'm really not picky; got any suggestions for me?


Edited by lindag (log)

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Sours all the way - at the base, all you need is your base spirit, which you've got, lemon or lime (or grapefruit...), and a sweetener of some sort.  The variations are endless, but ultimately quite simple, and my favorite class of cocktails.

 

Also, try your Manhattan with rye if you have any - it'll cut through the vermouth better than Jack.

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I dilute frozen limeade concentrate by making a gallon instead of 64oz. Makes a nifty sour mix.

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Also, try your Manhattan with rye if you have any - it'll cut through the vermouth better than Jack.

 

Thanks for that, I do have a couple of different ryes on hand and I'll definitely try it that way.

And one thing I really like is the Salty Dog, but dagnabbit, my pharmacist tells me I can't have grapefruit in any form ever due to the BP meds that I take.  That was really disappointing to hear.

 

I'll check around for sours and see what I can come up with.


Edited by lindag (log)

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Old fashioneds can be made out of almost any liquor.

 

Bloody Marias. Red Snappers.

 

Rickeys. (which hit Hassouni's suggestions for sours - almost).

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I usually mix rye/rum/vodka etc with coke/ginger ale/soda - the mix generally gives it the flavour. Manhattans are good with rye. Gin and tonic is a drink that I find goes down more slowly due to its relative bitterness as opposed to coke/ginger ale mixes. That being the case there's a lot to be said for rye/rum/vodka straight up or on the rocks, if you can manage to limit yourself to less than 4-5 oz. Again, I find it goes down too easily.

 

p

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I love a dirty martini but find that I can only drink one lest I get silly.

And I make a wonderful Bloody Mary but sometimes that's just too heavy a drink.

Haven't had an Old Fashioned in years and I'll have to look up the recipe now, but that could be a candidate.

Gin Rickey sounds good, I do love gin.

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Haven't had an Old Fashioned in years and I'll have to look up the recipe now, but that could be a candidate.

 

Here you go: 

 

in the glass you'll be drinking it in:

 

few dashes of syrup to taste

as many dashes of bitters as you like (start with 2)

spirit (2 oz but more or less depending on how you want it)

 

Add ice, stir, voila, the old fashioned.

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Since you said you loved gin, try the Southside. 2 oz gin, 1 oz lime juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup, mint, Angostura bitters if you have them. Shake with ice and fine strain into a coupe. If you like it, try its cousin, the Eastside, by skipping the bitters and adding a few slices of cucumber in your shaker that you muddle before shaking.

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And of course the Negroni (and all its friends and relations).  Three ingredients, same volume of each, garnish with orange peel.  I can't speak for the US, but Campari has been around long enough that it can't really be thought of as exotic or fancy; the sweet vermouth should be easy and you've already got the gin.

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I just made my DB something different for G&T drinkers:

 

~ 1 1/2 oz Hendricks Gin

~ 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

2 dashes Angostrua Orange Bitters

Build over ice top with soda water.

 

You could easily play with the type of gin and bitters, the proportion and even try tonic instead of soda - especially if you can get a tonic that isn't too sweet.

 

ETA: if Chartreuse isn't too exotic for you.


Edited by haresfur (log)
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Also Dark and Stormy:

 

Rum and Ginger beer with a wedge of lime.

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I quit using tonic a long time ago  and now when I get that craving Bitter Lemon is what I reach for first. Don't really recall why now except that it is likely because that is what my father likes. Usually Fever Tree as that is what I tend to keep at home.

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Bitter lemon is woefully underappreciated, thanks for reminding us all!

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Ti' punch variations are a good way to explore different spirits if you like a little, but not overwhelming citrus and don't mind something boozier than a G&T. Dead easy. Here's my list.

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Beer is almost everywhere available. So try a Dr Pepper... put some beer into a glass and throw a shotglass of amaretto in it. Works also very well with Jägermeister or another hard liqueur. Enjoy!

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Paloma -- tequila and Squirt (or other grapefruit flavored soda).  Add a few dashes of lime juice as well.

 

Gin also works well with Squirt, too!

 

Daiquiris are always easy to mix up, and don't require anything unusual.

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My favourite lazy person's drink - Gimlet!  

Gin + lime cordial + squeeze of lime. 

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I think my simplest "cocktail" has become the Hochstadter "Slow & Low" Rock and Rye.

 

Hochstadter Rock and Rye.JPG

 

Open bottle and pour. Add a large cube as desired. Enjoy!

 

If you need to gussie it up to feel like you have a real cocktail (it can be a touch sweet) you can always throw a dash or two of your favorite bitters in there.

 

The current version is now 84 proof. I tend to get a bit stingy with my last bottle of the original 98 proof bottle with age stated 6yo rye.

 

Not to pricey either. I have seen it for under $20 on occasion.

 

Rock and Rye.JPG

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So bottled rock 'n rye is rye + sugar? What is the advantage of having someone else decide how much sugar you get? Not being flip, just confused/curious.

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So bottled rock 'n rye is rye + sugar? What is the advantage of having someone else decide how much sugar you get? Not being flip, just confused/curious.

 

Can't speak for other R&R brands but the Hochstadter is more than rye and sugar. It includes navel orange, lemon and grapefruit peel, rock candy, honey and the traditional horehound herb built on a more or less 6yo straight rye base (the original bottling was age stated 6yo rye).  

 

I find it works for me as a bottled cocktail for convenience, especially when traveling or bringing something simple to a party that a lot of people might enjoy that isn't vodka and juice of some sort. YMMV!

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Mint julep is pretty easy and you don't need the silver cup (though it adds to the overall experience). Put a bunch of mint leaves (6-10) in a six-or-so ounce glass with one tablespoon simple syrup. Lightly muddle against the glass with the back of a spoon. Add 2-2.5 ounces bourbon, mix with the spoon. Pack the glass with crushed ice, garnish with mint if you want and drink with a straw.

 

Easy enough. Can add a couple shakes of angostura or orange bitters, or squeeze the oil out of some orange zest if you like. Or try it with rum.

 

I like a mojito as well for a hot weather long drink but find they get exponentially better with higher quality rum and tinkering, so a good mojito may not deliver the same time-value you're looking for. I'd ditch the Jack Daniels if you can though... probably not advice you're looking for, but it tastes kind of medicinal to me to mix with other ingredients.


Edited by Fernet-Bronco (log)

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Indulging in my occasional Sunday Morning Bloody Mary.  I love the addition of spicy pickled

asparagus spears.


Edited by lindag (log)

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