Sometimes you’re at a friend’s house, it’s cocktail hour, and all he or she has in the back of a bottom kitchen cabinet is the most random collection of liquor you’ve ever seen. You should view this not as a disappointing debacle, but rather as an opportunity to practice your skills.
I have this evening simulated that situation by clearing out some of the almost-empty bottles in my liquor cabinet. In the first photo you see what I had to start with. Just for perspective, that Triple Sec is 13 years old.
I felt like a highball, so I cut up some leftover fruit (apple and lemon, plus a Luxardo cherry, which I admit is cheating), added a shot of bourbon, and muddled it aggressively. Then I added a half shot of the triple sec and a quarter shot of Benedictine. I added ice to the glass, filled with club soda, and stirred thoroughly.
I don’t want you to think this is some amazing craft cocktail or anything, but it was quite refreshing and fun to make. It’s rare that the resourceful home bartender can’t come up with something drinkable, even if your friends’ sensibilities are not as refined as yours.