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

perfect storm

Just don’t go fishing while drinking.

2 oz dark rum
1½ oz hard cider
1 oz ginger beer
vanilla sugar

Rim an old fashioned glass with sugar. Combine ingredients over ice in the glass.

Suggestion: add a few dashes of cardamom bitters.

mojito

I got a bottle of mango rum as a gift. Who, I wonder drinks such an oddity? Turns out, it makes a rather nice mojito.

2 oz mango rum
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz mint syrup
soda water

Combine in a collins glass. Add soda water. Fill with ice.

godfather

The epitome of a simplified drink. Two ingredients, combined in glass. No thought required. Go easy on the amaretto, or you’ll have cough syrup.

2 oz whiskey
splash of amaretto

Combine over ice in an old fashioned glass.

For the godmother, substitute vodka for the whiskey.

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