We love our local craft cocktail bars! When we started our craft cocktail kick we quickly realized we couldn’t afford to spend $10 to $20 per drink every time we go out. That’s when I decided I needed to learn to mix real drinks and make my own craft cocktail bar at home. Turn on some Edison lamps, pony up to your reclaimed wood bar, and get ready to wet your mustache with these ultra easy drinks anyone can make.
The Old Fashioned
Ahh the Old Fashioned. America’s drink. The classic. The standard. It’s so simple yet it’s been ruined by every convention center and wedding bar you’ve ever been to. You can read more about the history on Thrillist. The Old Fashioned is whisky forward, and tastes great with a simple bourbon like Jim Beam or Old Grandad. It’s simple enough, though, finer spirits come through so don’t be afraid to try one with that special bottle you have.
- 2oz. Bourbon (or any whisky)
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- A pinch of turbinado sugar (e.g. sugar in the raw) or simple syrup
Combine the ingredients in a glass and stir until the sugar is dissolved or you get bored. Add a few ice cubes and stir 20 seconds or until everything is nice and cold. Enjoy!
Combine the ingredients in a glass and stir until the sugar is dissolved or you get bored. For a much easier time, make simple syrup and store it in a mason jar for you next dozen drinks. Add a few ice cubes and stir 20 seconds or until everything is nice and cold. Strain over a giant ice cube because you deserve it. Twist a lemon peel over the drink to expel the oils and add a Luxardo Cherry.
Just the name makes me wish I could swing dance. After a few of these I probably
can think I can! Sara thought she hated gin, but when I started mixing drinks we learned she only hates bad gin. Give this a try even if you don’t think you like gin. We got this recipe from close friends after making them “The L Train” from our favorite cocktail book Shake. Combine the following ingredients in a glass or shaker. Use a mason jar for a shaker if you don’t have one.
- 2oz gin
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir the ingredients for a stiff drink or shake for something lighter and more refreshing. Strain over fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist, and enjoy! Now tell me you still hate gin.
I went through a creative streak in college, and decided I wanted to start making Manhattans. What I had in ambition, though, I lacked in skill. What I’ve learned since is that the vermouth matters a lot. I hesitated to include a recipe with vermouth in a post about simple cocktails, but it’s in so many of my favorite cocktails that I encourage you to pick up a bottle and give it a try. I use Carpano Antica, at the suggestion of my local liquor store Divino, which comes in convenient 375ml bottles. Without further ado:
- 2oz rye whisky or bourbon
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters (noticing a trend?)
Combine the ingredients in a shaker or mason jar and stir with ice for 20 seconds. Strain into a martini glass for a traditional presentation, or into a rocks glass with ice for a modern chilled twist. Garnish with a Luxardo Cherry.
Here are a few bar tending accessories from Amazon to get you started. Most are not necessary, but can help you class things up a bit. Luxardo cherries are expensive anywhere you go, but they last a long time. If I were to buy one thing, it would be the strainer. Next is the swizzle spoon. It’s hard to explain how a different spoon makes stirring a cocktail so much more pleasant but I promise it does. Please remember that I get a small commission from sales through these links.
Let me know what you tried and how it turned out! More simple cocktail recipes yet to come!