If you care what I think, then listen up. Here are a few drinks for you to try in 2014. As a rule of thumb, make sure you always have lots of ice on hand, booze is way better cold than warm (in most cases). The range of these accommodates pretty much anyone, and can be both very simple or complex.
Gin and Tonic
- Gin (I prefer Tanqueray)
Fill your glass (I use a solo cup or pint glass) to the brim with ice. Drop 2 or 3 slices of cucumber on top. I use cucumber for its smooth and distinct taste. For a more traditional G and T, use slices of lime. Pour the gin in over the cucumber slices and ice so that about 1/3 of the glass is full. Top off the drink with tonic and stir. These are especially delicious in the warmer months.
- Whiskey (Bourbon, I like Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek)
- Sweet vermouth
- Bitters (I like using Blood Orange bitters)
- Ice (optional)
- Cherry (optional)
This one is slightly more complex. The ratio of the ingredients is a combination of the bitters and vermouth which should make up approximately 1/3 of the drink. The other 2/3 is bourbon. Put that ratio into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. If you want to drink it straight up (my preference) pour the liquid out without the ice. I like to use a rocks glass to drink mine, but the more traditional approach is to use a martini glass. If you drink yours on the rocks definitely use the rocks glass. Garnish the drink with a cherry.
- Pimm’s Number One
- Tonic water
- Ginger root
- Fresh mint
- 7 up
This drink is for experts only. Pimm’s is an English drink and is usually served in the afternoons in order to stimulate your appetite for dinner. My grandparents used to vacation in England and brought their love for Pimm’s back to the states. My Dad being the man that he is got us drinking them and I’ve never looked back. This isn’t a drink to get really drunk off of because of its lower alcohol content. Drink manhattans if you want to get blitzed. Like I mentioned above this is a great before dinner drink to get a little buzzed and get your appetite going. Slice the ginger and cucumber and drop them into the bottom of the pint glass. Take a few fresh mint leaves in your hand and slap them (clap your hands with the mint between them.) This breaks up the capillaries and releases the flavor without you having to muddle it. Drop the activated mint in and then fill the glass with ice. Add about a third of the glass full of Pimm’s. Fill the glass almost to the top with 7-up and then just a splash of tonic water on top. Stir vigorously and enjoy. This one is also great to drink in the summer.
- Fireball whiskey
- Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider
This one is simple. Fill the glass with ice and then add the fireball and cider, with a 1/3, 2/3 ratio. Stir and enjoy. This drink can be served warm or hot.
That’s all I’ve got for now. Go out and enjoy responsibly.