This maneuver allows you to spend more time with your drinking buddies, without punking out by round two.
We’re coming to the end of January, which, for some, may have been quite dry. Abstaining from alcohol has many benefits, and one major drawback: If and when you decided to start drinking again, you’ll find your tolerance is much lower than it was before you took your break.
This is (obviously) not all bad news—you get more bang for your buck—though it can affect your social life in awkward ways. I used to be able to put back four cocktails on a school night without being too hungover the next morning, but now all it takes is a couple of martinis to get me sloshed. Rather than cut out martinis entirely, I give myself a little wiggle room with upside-down cocktails.
We’ve talked about the upside-down Manhattan before. It’s a simple drink to make; all you have to do is invert the ratios of whiskey and vermouth:
Instead of drinking two ounces of gin or whiskey and one ounce of vermouth, you are now drinking twice as much vermouth and half of the spirit. But—and this is important—it still feels, looks, and sips like a whole-ass cocktail.
Beyond Manhattans, you can do the same with any classic cocktail that’s primarily comprised of a spirit and vermouth. This maneuver extends your drinking time by a little, allowing you to spend more time with your drinking buddies without punking out by round two. Could you “switch to soda water” or “have a beer”? I guess, but drinking cocktails is fun, and I hate missing out on fun (also, beer makes me sneeze).
If a completely upside-down cocktail is a little too vermouth-heavy for your taste, you can always try a 50/50. I’m a big fan of the 50/50 martini, particularly in the summer months, which cannot come soon enough.
There’s something undeniably cool about classic cocktails. From the old-fashioned to the Manhattan, these drinks have stood the test of time and continue to be enjoyed by millions of people around the world. But while the classics are great, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up and try something new. That’s where the upside-down cocktail comes in.
So, what exactly is an upside-down cocktail? Simply put, it’s a classic cocktail that’s been flipped on its head. Instead of the usual ratios of spirits, mixers, and bitters, an upside-down cocktail features a reversed ratio of ingredients, with the main spirit taking a backseat to the mixer.
For example, a traditional gin and tonic is made with a ratio of one part gin to three or four parts tonic water. In an upside-down gin and tonic, the ratio is reversed, with the tonic water taking center stage and the gin playing a supporting role. The result is a refreshing, low-alcohol drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day.
So why should your next classic cocktail be an upside-down one? Here are a few reasons to consider.
It’s a fun twist on a classic
Let’s face it, as great as classic cocktails are, they can get a bit repetitive. If you’ve been drinking old-fashioneds and Manhattans for years, an upside-down version of your favorite drink can be a fun way to mix things up. The reversed ratio of ingredients means that you’ll be experiencing the familiar flavors of the classic cocktail in a new and exciting way.
It’s a great way to experiment with new flavors
One of the great things about upside-down cocktails is that they encourage experimentation. By playing around with the ratios of spirits and mixers, you can come up with all sorts of interesting flavor combinations. For example, an upside-down margarita could feature more lime juice than tequila, resulting in a tart and refreshing drink that’s perfect for summer. Or, an upside-down Manhattan could feature more sweet vermouth than whiskey, resulting in a rich and complex drink that’s perfect for sipping on a chilly winter evening.
It’s a low-alcohol alternative
While classic cocktails are great, they can be pretty strong. A traditional martini, for example, is made with a 2:1 ratio of gin to vermouth, resulting in a drink that’s over 20% alcohol by volume. An upside-down martini, on the other hand, could feature more vermouth than gin, resulting in a low-alcohol drink that’s perfect for sipping on a lazy afternoon. By playing around with the ratios of ingredients, you can create a drink that’s tailor-made for your mood and the occasion.
It’s a great way to showcase high-quality mixers
One of the key components of an upside-down cocktail is the mixer. By featuring high-quality mixers like tonic water, soda water, or fruit juices, you can create a drink that’s both refreshing and delicious. For example, an upside-down Tom Collins could feature a premium brand of soda water, resulting in a drink that’s fizzy, refreshing, and perfect for a hot summer day.
It’s a conversation starter
Let’s be real, an upside-down cocktail is a bit of a novelty. When you order one at a bar, you’re likely to get a few curious looks from other patrons. But that’s part of the fun! Ordering an upside-down cocktail is a great way to strike up a conversation with the bartender or the people around you. And who knows, you might even inspire someone else to try one.
So, now that you’re convinced that your next classic cocktail should be an upside-down one, how do you go about making one? Here
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