wonka

The challenge here was to make a 20th Century when I had nearly none of the ingredients. It has a interesting, candy-like flavor without the cloying sweetness of a chocolate bar.

½ creme de cocoa (dark)
2 gin
½ triple sec
1 lemon

If what you have on hand is light creme de cocoa, I’d suggest increasing the amount of it while decreasing the amount of triple sec.

tuscan screwdriver

A simple, bitter orange drink created from bar boredom and the need to use a three-year-old bottle of Aperol. Tastes like a clear, purified screwdriver.

2 oz Aperol
1¼  oz Gin

For a sweeter version, add a splash of triple sec.

Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass, or serve in an old fashioned glass over ice.

sealback

Based on the Seelbach, a classic cocktail from the namesake Louisville bar, discovered nearly simultaneously in Mother Jones and in a book on bitters. My version eliminates the extraneous champagne, which simply waters down the drink.

2 oz bourbon
1 oz Cointreau or triple sec
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Combine all ingredients in shaker over ice, and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Or, you can try the original Seelbach:

1 oz bourbon
½ oz Cointreau or triple sec
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Chilled champagne or sparkling wine

pegu club

A classic cocktail from the namesake Burmese lounge, discovered in a book on bitters, a gift from friends. Subtly citrus. Delicious.

2 oz gin
¾ oz curacao or triple sec
½ oz lime (half  lime)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Combine in shaker over ice, and strain into cocktail glass.

martini

Of course you must have a martini, always gin, never vodka. Most people use vermouth. If so, add just a splash of sweet–not dry–vermouth. Use the best quality gin you can afford, such  Dry Fly.

2 oz gin
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Combine in shaker over ice, and strain into cocktail glass. Serve ice cold, with slivers of ice floating on top. Maybe add an olive.

gingerbread martini

Friends in Copenhagen brought this over in a mason jar, on their bikes.

2 oz vodka
½ oz gingerbread syrup

Combine in shaker over ice, and strain into cocktail glass.

To make the syrup, simmer for ten minutes a cup of water, two cinnamon sticks, a teaspoon of whole cloves, and 4-5 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger. Add one cup of sugar, and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat and strain.

modern fashion

A classic example of a simplified cocktail. A quick pour of bourbon, a splash of luxardo, drop in a few ice cubes, and you’re ready to relax. This is a fresh, simple take on the old fashioned from The Back Door at Roxy’s.

2 oz bourbon or whiskey
¼ oz luxardo maraschino
orange peel
cherry

Combine in shaker over ice, and strain into cocktail glass. Spritz orange peel over glass. Garnish with cherry.

lavendrop

Created especially for a friend who loves lavender.

2 oz gin
½ oz lavender syrup
½ oz lemon juice
lavender sprig

Combine in a shaker over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lavender sprig.

Alternate: use lime juice rather than lemon juice.

nuevo cuban

Starting with a back-of-the-box recipe based on the Cuban, I left out the champagne float (what are you going to do with 730ml of left-over champagne?). Tastes like fall candy.

1½ oz dark rum
¾ oz lemon juice
¾ oz mint syrup
6 drops Scrappy’s cardamom bitters

Combine in shaker over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

Recommendation: Diplimatico Reserva Exclusiva rum

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