Lately I’ve been posting most of my cocktail activities on Twitter – you can find out what’s going on by searching for #consumatorium. And I encourage all of you to use the same hashtag to post your own adventures!
I’ve been mostly playing with the three-ingredient improvised cocktail. It’s really enjoyable and a great way to learn what goes together well and what doesn’t. Very few of these have been hard to drink, though of course some I will make again and others I won’t.
The general formula is simple:
- 2 oz hard liquor
- 1/2 oz sweet liqueur
- 1/2 oz bitter liqueur
- 2 oz hard liquor
- 1 oz moderately sweet liqueur
- 2-3 dashes of bitters
All of these are prepared by putting the ingredients in a shaker over ice, shaking or stirring as you see fit, and straining into a cocktail glass. Garnish or not, depending on how motivated you’re feeling. While you’re drinking it, come up with a name and post it on Twitter.
For hard liquor, there is in the whiskey category rye, bourbon, blended scotch, and Irish whiskey; in the gin category there is dry, Old Tom, and plymouth style, there is rum in dark, light, and spiced, tequila in a normal reposado or a mezcal, and even vodka if you’d like the other ingredients to shine through. This is just a partial list, of course, but I’ve listed thirteen base liquors.
In the bitter liqueur category I would include Amaros, Campari, Cynar, Lillet, and maybe dry vermouth. There are fewer of these which is why I mention the alternative formulation, and for starters you can use Angostura and Orange bitters. That’s seven.
The sweet liqueurs are almost limitless, but here are a few I use: Benedictine, St Germain, Domaine de Canton, sweet or blanco vermouth, Drambuie, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, AppleJack, Port wine, and Chartreuse. I’ve only included a couple of flavored brandies but there are many more of those. In any case, that’s eleven, and if you multiply it out we have 1,001 different cocktail ideas. I would be surprised if very many of these are not drinkable, though I’m a little suspicious of the mezcal combinations.
Try it tonight. It’s a great way to get started with your own creative bartending.