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After Work Cocktail Compendium


Choirgirl21
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I'm not much of a cocktail drinker when at home. Usually I wait until I'm cooking dinner to open a bottle of wine, but lately I've been more inclined to cocktail beforehand and have found myself without inspiration. I have a decent collection of liquor, but little to mix them with and even less knowledge about cocktails. So what is your favorite after work cocktail - quick to whip up, doesn't require extravagant ingredients, and takes the edge off? Recipes appreciated. :)

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Being a lightweight myself, that early in the day I prefer something simple, bitter, aromatic and effervescent. Campari or Cocchi Americano (or Dolin blanc) on ice with club soda and a wedge of citrus. Skip the citrus if using Dolin, which is frankly plenty delicious and delicate served cold all by itself.

Equipment required: none. These ingredients won't break the bank either.

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Besides vodka, gin, tequlia, whiskey and rum, what other bottles do you have? (name the liqueurs and bitters, please). Give me something to work with here :-)

I love sloe gin fizzes, and they are crowd-pleasers but they can be a pain to make. Note how they are NOT served over ice.

Sean-Mike is right, a Negroni is easy and you can stir one on the rocks in your drinking glass. Ditto with an Old-Fashioned. Plus you don't necessarily need any citrus with those two.

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Besides vodka, gin, tequlia, whiskey and rum, what other bottles do you have? (name the liqueurs and bitters, please). Give me something to work with here :-)

Oh lord, that might be tough. I wasn't really looking for people to work with what I have, figured people could just share their preferences and then I'll go buy a whole lot more alcohol :) but since you asked:

Black rum

Coconut rum

Spiced rum

Grey Goose Le Poire

Campari

Triple sec

A grand marnier knockoff

Limoncello

Bailey's, probably some really old kahlua knockoff in there somewhere

Butterscotch Schnapps (just a little bottle, for hot chocolate :))

Creme de cassis

Luxardo maraschino liquer

Regular bitters and orange bitters

I think I have some cheap brandy, cognac stuff like that that I've bought for cooking

I don't actually have any gin, have never been a huge fan but probably mostly b/c I've only had cheap stuff.

I know there must be a lot of other stuff I'm forgetting. A lot of this stuff is old too, from back in the day when I liked sweeter stuff or suffered through cheap liquor. Like I'm pretty sure there's some of a bottle of Schmirnoff Green Apple vodka left. blech. Hmm, maybe cleaning out my liquor cabinet will be my task tonight.

I used to love sloe gin fizzes when I was in college btw. Haven't had one in ages.

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An easy cocktail: The Dark 'N Stormy. 2 ounces black rum (Gosling's Black Seal if you want to minimize litigation risk) and 4 oz of your favorite ginger beer (Reed's Extra Spicy or what have you). From what I can tell, an industry no-fuss fave.

Haven't had too many cocktails with coconut rum before. But in my Food & Wine Cocktails '09, our very own Todd Thrasher shares a recipe for the "Carrot Colada"

1 oz white rum

1 oz coconut rum

1.5 oz coconut water

1 oz carrot juice

1 oz clementine or orange juice

1 or 2 halved baby carrots, for garnish (optional)

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients except the garnish. Shake well, at least 12 seconds. Strain into ice-filled highball glass and garnish with baby carrots.

So, one easy and one fancy.

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I don't see Vermouths (sweet and dry) on your list, so here's your excuse to go buy something:-) Oh, and pick up some Green Chartruese while you're out.

Some of my faves, among many:

The Last Word: 3/4 oz of each - Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

Here's a simple aperitif: 2 parts Pellegrino Aranciata soda to 1-2 parts Campari, depending on your taste. Mix on the rocks in a highball glass.

I second the vote for the Negroni, too.

Boulevardier: 1.5 oz bourbon, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 1 oz Campari, lemon twist. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

Scofflaw: 1 oz Rye, 1 oz dry vermouth, 3/4 oz green Chartreuse, 3/4 oz lemon juice, dash orange bitters. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

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In the last year, I've gone from being a simple gin and tonic man to being a complete cocktail hound. I place the blame fully on the shoulders of Adam Bernbach and Jake Parrott. Anyhow, my favorite cocktails are:

Manhattan - bourbon, sweet vermouth, and angostura. Classic and classy. Still my "go to" drink after a long day.

Corpse Reviver #2 - gin, cointreau, cocchi, lemon juice, absinthe. Especially on a warm evening.

Sazerac - rye, simple syrup, peychaud, and absinthe. Mmmmm....

Martinez - gin, sweet vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and angostura.

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I place the blame fully on the shoulders of Adam Bernbach and Jake Parrott.

Seconded! :)

My favorite after-dinner drink/aperitif isn't really a cocktail: Dubonnet rouge on the rocks with a twist. It's the drink of choice of one of my dearest friends, and it always reminds me of her ... but if I had a better-stocked bar, I'd probably try to recreate some of Mr. Bernbach's better quinquina creations instead.

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Oh lord, that might be tough. I wasn't really looking for people to work with what I have, figured people could just share their preferences and then I'll go buy a whole lot more alcohol :) but since you asked:

Black rum

Coconut rum

Spiced rum

Grey Goose Le Poire

Campari

Triple sec

A grand marnier knockoff

Limoncello

Bailey's, probably some really old kahlua knockoff in there somewhere

Butterscotch Schnapps (just a little bottle, for hot chocolate :))

Creme de cassis

Luxardo maraschino liquer

Regular bitters and orange bitters

I think I have some cheap brandy, cognac stuff like that that I've bought for cooking

I don't actually have any gin, have never been a huge fan but probably mostly b/c I've only had cheap stuff.

I know there must be a lot of other stuff I'm forgetting. A lot of this stuff is old too, from back in the day when I liked sweeter stuff or suffered through cheap liquor. Like I'm pretty sure there's some of a bottle of Schmirnoff Green Apple vodka left. blech. Hmm, maybe cleaning out my liquor cabinet will be my task tonight.

I used to love sloe gin fizzes when I was in college btw. Haven't had one in ages.

Please, get yourself some brown liquor and gin. And sweet and dry vermouth. Then you can go to town.

As SeanMike mentions, the Negroni is one of my favorite pre-dinner cocktails too. And leaning more to the apertif side, an Americano is a fine starter too.

Half Campari and half sweet vermouth (if you make it with Antica, you'll be doubly happy) - built on the rocks and topped with club soda/seltzer and an orange slice for garnish. Can't be beat.

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The Maraschita (Italian spelling; Marasquita in Spanish):

A Margarita variant. 2 oz tequila, 1 oz lime juice, 1/3 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo preferred), 2/3 oz Cointreau. Shake with ice. Rub rim of chilled cocktail glass (not silly margarita glass) with lime, dip in salt. Strain drink into salt-rimmed glass.

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The Maraschita (Italian spelling; Marasquita in Spanish):

A Margarita variant. 2 oz tequila, 1 oz lime juice, 1/3 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo preferred), 2/3 oz Cointreau. Shake with ice. Rub rim of chilled cocktail glass (not silly margarita glass) with lime, dip in salt. Strain drink into salt-rimmed glass.

An intriguing twist on the margarita. Must try this sometime.

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To swing this back to less esoteric cocktails, I think it's pretty essential to know how to make a daiquiri. Just in case you end up at a friends house and inherit cocktail-making duty. All you need is rum, sugar, water, and a lime, all of which are readily available within a 5 minute walk of pretty much any urban setting.

If you are at home, I'm all for Negronis. But outside the comfort of your own home, where you may be far from decent and/or reasonably-priced bitters/aperitifs, your best bet for a guerrilla cocktail strategy is the daiquiri.

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The Maraschita (Italian spelling; Marasquita in Spanish):

A Margarita variant. 2 oz tequila, 1 oz lime juice, 1/3 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo preferred), 2/3 oz Cointreau. Shake with ice. Rub rim of chilled cocktail glass (not silly margarita glass) with lime, dip in salt. Strain drink into salt-rimmed glass.

Definitely am going to have to try this sometime.

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The Mary Tudor, a Bloody Mary Re-Imagined as a Cocktail

For two cocktails:

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 5.5 ounce can tomato juice
  • salt to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • hot pepper sauce to taste (I like Tapatio)

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for fifteen seconds. Strain into chilled, salt-rimmed cocktail glasses.

33cb4d39-22c0-4fc8-bc1c-d90edc7dd166_zpsGarnish each cocktail with freshly ground black pepper.

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The Mary Tudor, a Bloody Mary Re-Imagined as a Cocktail

Thanks for bringing this thread up again. It was funny to go back to my 2010 post and read the liquors I had on hand. I feel ashamed. :P Weinoo will be happy to hear that my liquor shelf is now predominated by whiskey and gin.

I'm such a fan of anything with Luxardo in it so here's a more recent favorite of mine:

Bourbon Crusta  

2 ounces bourbon whiskey 

1/2 ounce triple sec 

1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur 

1/2 ounce lemon juice 

2 dashes orange bitters 

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Bourbon Crusta  

2 ounces bourbon whiskey 

1/2 ounce triple sec 

1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur 

1/2 ounce lemon juice 

2 dashes orange bitters 

Is it really a "crusta" without a sugared rim? I looked up the word crusta in the OED, and while they don't give the cocktail-related meaning, they do helpfully inform me that a crusta is "The ventral part of the cerebral peduncle." Do you suppose a cerebral peduncle is a very smart "funny uncle"?

If you're using cheap triple sec, this drink would be much improved by using Cointreau instead. What kind of orange bitters do you use? It's so great that there are now a number to choose from. Fee Brothers orange bitters are my current favorite. Bittermens makes an "orange cream citrate" that's very nice but their products are outrageously expensive. It seems like there are new bitters-makers popping up all the time. Ten years ago one had to be content with Angostura, which for some reason was available in every supermarket in America, and still is. They make an orange bitters now that I also like. They carry it at Giant, or at least some Giants.

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Been drinking alot of Tabard cocktails lately at home.

1.5 oz reposado

.5 sherry (amontillado)

.5 Drambuie

orange bitters

Stir, strain, orange twist (with a sprig of thyme for authenticity)

when I "used to drink"  (a lot)  I loved adding drambuie to scotch with some variations...(rusty nails).   Always strong..always sweet.

The above appears to be a nice sophisticated but quite sweet drink.  Got to give it a try.

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The above appears to be a nice sophisticated but quite sweet drink.  

It is sort of sweet but not super so.  If you like margaritas then you'll love this.  Of course, I get sentimental, remembering the great times I had at Chantal's bar drinking these and getting into great conversations with random hotel guests.

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It is sort of sweet but not super so.  If you like margaritas then you'll love this.  Of course, I get sentimental, remembering the great times I had at Chantal's bar drinking these and getting into great conversations with random hotel guests.

Over the years I think there have been a lot of tasty cocktails made with combinations of citrus, honey, etc.  The sherry component seems terrific.  Have to give it a try.

On a different note, some years ago I was in Phoenix with family.  I saw a tempting looking cocktail with honey, lemon, it was either quality scotch or whiskey, some other ingredients (I forget what).

I ordered it and found it delightful.  My sister tasted it and declared it tasted like cough medicine.  To each their own.  :D

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Anyone doing anything fun with tequila lately?  I rarely make tequila cocktails, but have found myself with a healthy portion of a bottle leftover from a party.

I always found it fun to try pairing falernum or orgeat based drinks with tequila.

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Anyone doing anything fun with tequila lately?  I rarely make tequila cocktails, but have found myself with a healthy portion of a bottle leftover from a party.

You can go upstairs to this post of mine for my excellent Maraschita, which I've been having after work almost every day for the last couple of years. I don't remember if I didn't originally include orange bitters or just neglected to mention it, but I add orange bitters to this. Also, I always use Camarena tequila reposado, which is quite good and very reasonably priced. A picture of the cocktail can be viewed over here.

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You can go upstairs to this post of mine for my excellent Maraschita, which I've been having after work almost every day for the last couple of years. I don't remember if I didn't originally include orange bitters or just neglected to mention it, but I add orange bitters to this. Also, I always use Camarena tequila reposado, which is quite good and very reasonably priced. A picture of the cocktail can be viewed over here.

I think a bottle of Luxardo is going to be my next addition.  There have been a few interesting looking recipes that include it.

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Would any forum hosts want to be responsible for this thread, putting a list of all of these in the first post, like I do with the "Oldest Restaurant In ..." threads? Or perhaps more accurately, like I do with individual restaurants in the "Dining in Alexandria" thread, etc.

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Anyone ever experiment with ice?  I came across this video from The Aviary using hollow ice spheres to chill an Old Fashioned, and an at home version for a Negroni.  I recently picked up the ice molds from the negroni link, and might take advantage of this rainy day to see what kind of damage I can do with them. 

I've used those same spheres to freeze de-seeded strawberry and other fruit juices, which then became the ice in a sparkling-wine cocktail.  Beautiful, dramatic, and outrageously flavorful.  Hollowing out the spheres sounds interesting, too, will be good to hear how it goes!

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...Hollowing out the spheres sounds interesting, too, will be good to hear how it goes!

post-3189-0-53899200-1396141284_thumb.jp

So this was crazy fun, and I suggest it for everyone.  I put the ice molds in the freezer with a toothpick sticking out from the top.  There's a little hole in the top of the mold, so it makes it very easy.  Then after an hour or so, I drained all of the water from the inside of the frozen mold and stuck it back in the freezer.  In a cocktail mixer I stirred up a manhattan-esque cocktail, measurements are approximates:

2 oz Bourbon (weller antique 107 proof)

1/2 oz Dolin Blanc

1/2 oz Luxardo

dash of Scrappy's orange bitters

Then put that in the freezer in a measuring cup to keep it cold.  When the ice was frozen, I took it out, got a plastic syringe and filled the sphere with the Manhattan, and then dubbed it the Day After Tomorrow, a Manhattan encased in ice.  Anyway, great fun and everyone enjoyed it.  I can definitely see making a habit of this, and keeping spheres in my freezer for any old cocktail night.

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Then put that in the freezer in a measuring cup to keep it cold.  When the ice was frozen, I took it out, got a plastic syringe and filled the sphere with the Manhattan, and then dubbed it the Day After Tomorrow, a Manhattan encased in ice.  Anyway, great fun and everyone enjoyed it.  I can definitely see making a habit of this, and keeping spheres in my freezer for any old cocktail night.

I love everything about that idea other than putting Luxardo (I'm assuming maraschino) in a Manhattan.

(Or was it the bitters, or Fernet, or something else?)

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I love everything about that idea other than putting Luxardo (I'm assuming maraschino) in a Manhattan.

(Or was it the bitters, or Fernet, or something else?)

It was the maraschino, as noted above everyone was throwing out cocktails with it so I felt obligated to buy some.  I went with the Luxardo Maraschino in lieu of actual cherries for garnish due to space constraints and freezing concerns.  I found after messing around a bit, a room temperature cocktail thrown into the sphere would almost instantly melt through the bottom and water things down. Having a full alcohol mix, then placed in the freezer, allowed for little to no melting other than the slow melt in the glass.  I did make a sphere or two with cherries frozen into the ice, but didn't get to use them on Saturday.

Also, I did say Manhattan-esque, and it didn't end up being too sweet.  I originally made a Fancy Free, when I realized I didn't have the triple sec needed for the bourbon crusta recipe.  I then used Dolin Blanc instead of the Triple Sec, and ended up with our cocktail for the evening.

Fancy Free

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur 
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
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I tentatively call this the Havana Manna, but surely there's a better name for it (suggestions warmly welcomed), especially since one cannot easily obtain Cuban rum in the U.S. (I've been using Flor de Caí±a Aí±ejo Oro from Nicaragua, and by the way that embargo on Cuba is bound to work any day now. Give it a chance. Sure, it's been in place for almost 54 years, but it's bound to bear fruit when it turns 55.)

I've had one of these after work every day since yesterday, when I first fashioned it.

For one cocktail:

1 oz lime juice

3/4 oz Cherry Heering

2 oz rum (not cheap crap)

Fee Bros. Cherry Bitters to taste

Shake vigorously with ice for fifteen seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. I've been garnishing this with fresh pitted sour cherries, but that's only an option for a week or two out of the year. Fresh bing-type cherries of varying appeal are available pretty much year round, and would be better than nothing. Good maraschino cherries, such as those from Luxardo, would also be an option, but they're so intensely sugary that they would probably throw the cocktail into imbalance. You might increase the lime juice and/or decrease the Cherry Heering if you use them.

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I've been garnishing this with fresh pitted sour cherries, but that's only an option for a week or two out of the year. Fresh bing-type cherries of varying appeal are available pretty much year round, and would be better than nothing. Good maraschino cherries, such as those from Luxardo, would also be an option, but they're so intensely sugary that they would probably throw the cocktail into imbalance. You might increase the lime juice and/or decrease the Cherry Heering if you use them.

So the lime juice and Cherry Heering is more of an aid than a prime ingredient. I don't know, maybe something like a Heering aid?

Sing to the tune of The Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina":

I am, the funniest person in the world.

If you don't think so, then you can go

and get entrapped in a revolving door,

until you get tired from walking 'round

and decide to cut hard toward the exit.

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So the lime juice and Cherry Heering is more of an aid than a prime ingredient. I don't know, maybe something like a Heering aid?

Maybe a Heering Ade?

I loved "Pretty Ballerina" when it started coming out of the radio in 1967. I actually bought a copy of the single. The Wikipedia article on the group makes fascinating reading. Especially notable in this context is the story of a dispute among the group members about a song called "And Suddenly" that the leader had recorded without the other members of the band and released under the Left Banke name.

"And Suddenly" was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.

You see? Everything falls into place! Cherry Heering -> Cuban rum -> Nicaragua -> Left Banke -> Cherry People. The circle is complete. I think I'm starting to feel the Rapture.

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Aperol spritz are the drink of choice when we need a cocktail in the late afternoon but have an evening event/obligation with students.  

After my trip to Italy in April, Aperol and Campari spritzes are now a common occurrence here when the weather is nice enough to sit on my deck pre-dinner. Absolutely love them.

By the way, when I went into Total Wine to pick up more Aperol and Campari I noticed Luxardo Aperitivo next to them. Has anyone had it? I'm wondering how it compares - it sounds a little more similar to Aperol by the description although one review I read mentioned it was even a bit sweeter than Aperol, but this one says it's a nice compromise between the two. Mostly wondering if it offers anything the other 2 don't, or what you might put it in except a spritz?

Luxardo Aperitivo

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 Luxardo Aperitivo next to them. Has anyone had it? I'm wondering how it compares - it sounds a little more similar to Aperol by the description although one review I read mentioned it was even a bit sweeter than Aperol, but this one says it's a nice compromise between the two. Mostly wondering if it offers anything the other 2 don't, or what you might put it in except a spritz?

Luxardo Aperitivo

I find the Aperitivo a bit innocuous.  Of all the Luxardo products, the two most dissapointing are this and the Limonsardo.  On the other hand, their bitter is wonderful.  Lighter and less sweet than Campari.

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