Some cocktails are ridiculously simple to make. A Cuba Libre (rum and Coke) is so widespread in large part because of the ease of preparing it. While these simple cocktails have their place, the increased effort involved in making more complex cocktails is usually worth it. At the same time, there are also some drinks that may seem easy or simple, but are actually some of the hardest cocktails to make. It's not enough to follow a recipe with these cocktails: they can only be conquered through frequent practice.
When my grandma was in college her nickname was 'Giny' because she drank so much gin. Which is good news for me, because if my grandma used to drink like a fish once... then it must be okay to enjoy being young.
When I first started drinking, I bought a bartending book so I could learn how to mix drinks. It was very effective at teaching me great wine cocktails as well as a number of my favorite low-calorie vodka cocktails. It also gave me awesome bartending tips to help me up my mixology game.
Stores often like to hype up the prices of their flavored vodka, as if infusing your alcohol were somehow difficult. There’s no need to pay extra for cucumber vodka though, as you can make it on your own. It’s actually shockingly easy, and the result is something that you could happily serve over ice, or use to make a wide range of refreshing drinks like Moscow Mules, Bloody Marys, or Negronis. In fact, it’s no more difficult than infusing water, and follows just the same principles—though there are a few differences. Once you know how to infuse vodka, you can do it with a range of flavors, including berries, fruits, and even peppers (ew, I know, but it’s a thing).
I love making cocktails for my friends, but things can get a little out of hand at birthday parties and other large gatherings. Between measuring and pouring ingredients, slicing limes and lemons, getting ice, cleaning out the shaker, and everything else that goes into running even a small home bar, it is all too easy to let bartending obligations overtake the fact that I actually want to spend time hanging out with my friends! When you have a dozen people, all of whom will be having at least two or three drinks, take my advice and skip the made-to-order cocktails by making a delicious punch instead. You can make it ahead of time, it is just as delicious and impressive as a single serving cocktail, and there's even some interesting history that you can use as a conversation starter!
Amaretto is a classic Italian dessert liqueur that tastes phenomenally good when mixed with coffee or just on its own. Its deliciously nutty-spicy taste makes it a favorite for chocolate pairings, not to mention delicious dessert cocktails, too.
Gin is a liquor that is oftentimes under appreciated, misunderstood, and downright disrespected among social drinkers from all walks of life. Perhaps the most cultured of all the spirits, this drink has an expansive history dating back to the 17th century, and even earlier on some accounts. Originally utilized as a medication, it was augmented with juniper berries to not only increase its health benefits, but also its palatability. Ever since, innovators and mixologists alike have flocked to the possibilities that gin offers purveyors of taste. Indeed, the best gins today are almost all derivatives of a "cultured" growth, regardless of its sketchy history with the sailors, wretches, and prostitutes of the English docks. This growth has yielded itself to the evolution of versatility, making premium gins a staple in eloquently prepared classic cocktails, as well as simple after-dinner drinks. With such a range of possibilities, its hard to snuff gin as a top contender among other liquors; and if you're already well-versed in the language of gin, you know you want to be making sure your drinking the best gin you possibly can be whenever you are drinking.