I usually alternate between Manhattans, ginger ale with bourbon, and red wine. But, I’m getting bored. Any recommendations for easy to make drinks with easy to find ingredients that don’t take a lot of time to make? I live in Pennsylvania which has state owned liquor stores which means I don’t have easy access to anything too exotic.
I live in PA as well, but the selection isn’t that horrible (more brands of mezcal would be nice, but ya can’t have it all). The amaro selection could also be bigger.
I’m a big fan of scotch (easiest drink out there) and gin – which I realize not everybody likes. I find it works fab in many very simple drinks: gimlets, G&Ts, martini, French 75, gin rickeys, etc.
Old fashioned, martini, bourbon and coke, Irish whiskey and 7, vodka with anything. I like to make cappuccino martini’s. 3 shots of vodka, 2 shots kahlua, 1 large cappuccino. Shake over ice and poor. Makes two.
I’m a huge fan of the flavored Pellegrinos. They have a grapefruit (I usually dislike grapefruit but this one isn’t bitter), an orange, a lemon and a few other flavors. They all mix nicely with lots of different things for quick and easy cocktails.
Orange and bourbon or rum
Lemon and cognac or bourbon too
Grapefruit and gin
Of course they all go with vodka. I use them all the time. If you have different bitters they always add an interesting twist as well.
If you can get campari and some sort of sweet vermouth, you can make a negroni (suggest Plymouth gin) or a boulevardier. Assuming you have or can get simple syrup (or honey, agave, maple syrup etc), you can make a drink with 1 oz rum, 2 oz of your favorite brown ale/porter/oatmeal stout, 1/2 oz rye, sweeten to taste, stirred and served as you would a Manhattan
If you like Manhattans, the Boulevardier has your name on it, because Campari should be available. Recipe is up to you: bourbon, sweet vermouth + Campari. We dial back the vermouth and Campari, actually way back so the Campari comes through without taking over as it does a Negroni. Slainte’
+1 to Negronis and Boulevardiers. Really easy 1:1:1 ratio of gin/bourbon/rye : sweet vermouth : Campari. On the rocks. Add an orange twist if you want, adds a nice citrus touch. If you have some seltzer water you can make an Americano as well, which is about one ounce each of Campari and sweet vermouth, topped with seltzer water on the rocks. Very refreshing.
I like Carpano Antica Formula for sweet vermouth. It’s good by itself on the rocks as well.
Haha, the Americano was one of the few drinks we could get regularly in italy, at least in Venice (usually with punt e mes as the sweet vermouth). Bellinis also. If you can find punt e mes where you are in Pennsylvania, make a Red Hook or a Martinez. (Don’t forget to keep any vermouth tightly capped in the fridge as it is easily oxidized if left out. Also be aware that some of these drinks are best stirred with ice for a while before straining and drinking, to allow the drink to become sufficiently waterized, so you may need to experiment to your taste. Also, per Mr Happy, an orange or lemon (or grapefruit, even) peel, creased quickly over the glass to “spray” it with the oil of the fruit, and then rubbed around the rim, can add some nice brightness to the drink)
Thanks for all of the ideas! Campari is now on the shopping list.
Gin & ginger, rum & coke
I bought Campari and Bombay sapphire gin. I’ll be experimenting next week.
Just don’t put them
Lingua, I was going to make a negroni. Is Bombay not good for that?
It will be fine in a negroni. Mix away.
Musta been drunk when I wrote that
Absolutely fine for a negroni.
A bartender in boston used to make a negroni then whisk liquid nitrogen into it to turn it into a negroni sorbet…then there’s the smoky negroni served at hakkasan
Grapefruit Perrier and Hendricks Gin is quite nice, sometimes with a splash of Campari added. LaCroix Coconut water with rum, especially spiced rum, or with tequila is another combination we like for a quick sort of cocktail.
Now that you mention grapefruit, I wonder how a paloma might taste with gin instead. Tho I’d probably go for more citrusy brands than Hendricks in that case… Starlight or Rangpur Lime.
Had a very nice grapefruit drink the other day with rye, falernum, grapefruit (at Progress in SF ). They added some lime, lemongrass and ginger to kick it up a notch
Hmm, I’ve never put tequila into my grapefruit perrier. Might try that one tonight.