emerald city daquiri

I discovered this one at Barrio, on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

2 oz rum
½ oz chartreuse
1 oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

bertoux

Basically, this is a whiskey sour, but smoother.

2 oz rye whiskey
1 oz triple sec
1 oz lemon juice

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

jockey club

2 oz gin
¾ oz amaretto
¾ oz lemon juice
2 dashes angostura bitters

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

evensong

I removed the vodka from the Vesper (because, really, does any drink need vodka?), and added a hint of citrus.

2 oz gin
½ oz lillet
slice of lemon
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Pour the gin and lillet over ice, add the orange bitters and slice of lemon.

brandy sazerac

This of course, is based on the sazerac, substituting the rye whiskey with brandy, making it slightly less spicey.

2 oz brandy
2 drops absinthe
2 dashes peychaud’s bitters
¼ oz simple syrup, or 1 sugar cube

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

chauchat

This one’s based on the French 75.
1 ½ oz cognac or brandy
½ oz lillet
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz lemon juice

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

papa doble

Hemmingway’s drink of choice.

2 oz white rum
¼ oz luxardo maraschino
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz fresh grapefruit juice

Combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.

scottish guard

2 oz scotch whiskey
¾ lemon juice
¾ orange juice
2 tsp grenadine

combine in shaker over ice, strain into cocktail glass.
garnish with maraschino cherry and orange slice.

tequila mockingbird

This was a name, suggested by my daughter, in search of a drink. Of course it needed tequila. And it had to be dark. Initially I drizzled the cassis into the bottom of the glass. But to avoid a margarita flavor and an overwhelming sweetness at the end, I stirred the drink with my finger.

2 oz tequila
1 oz lime
½ oz creme de cassis
½ oz triple sec

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

the gypsy

A drink that’ll cause your parents to fret.

1½ oz gin
¾ oz st. germain
½ oz chartreuse
½ oz lime juice

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

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.

margarita

Never, never serve one slushed.

2 oz tequila
1½ oz triple sec
2 oz lime juice

Combine over ice in an old fashioned glass.

Alternate: combine in a shaker over ice, and strain into a cocktail glass.

sazerac

I first tried the Sazerac at a packed New Orleans bar in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle called Toulouse Petit. The bartender spent a while slowly building the drink, and the result was unexpected. You can achieve 90% of the effect with much less effort. Just go easy on the absinthe.

1 ½ oz rye whiskey
1 tsp sugar
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
¼ oz absinthe or herbsaint

By tradition: Pack an old fashioned glass with ice. In second glass, dissolve the sugar in rye and bitters. Discard the ice, and coat the glass with absinthe; discard the excess. Pour the whiskey mixture into the chilled glass.

Or, dissolve the sugar in the whiskey and bitters, add a couple of ice cubes, a few drops of absinthe, and call it good.

jersey soda

Because every cocktail list needs a crazy drink. A friend discovered this in eastern Washington. Tastes like an Italian soda.

2 oz Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka
3-4 oz diet cherry 7Up. Maybe more.

Combine over ice. Add a straw.

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bourbon crusta

Two options for this one. The first is simple, and fruity. The second is more citrusy and complex.

Option #1
1 ½ oz bourbon
½ oz triple sec or curacao
¼ oz luxardo maraschino
¼ lemon juice

Option #2
2 oz bourbon
½ oz triple sec
½ oz lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 drop cardamom bitters

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

kir normand

We discovered this in Normandy. It replaces the champagne in a Kir Royale with cider as is fitting Normandy’s agricultural specialty. The splash of calvados (apple brandy) gives it a little extra kick.

2¼ oz hard cider
½ oz crème de cassis
½ oz calvados

Combine over ice in an old fashioned glass.

Alternate: Chill ingredients, and serve without ice in champagne flute.

greyhound

Some people will tell you that greyhounds demand vodka. There’s few vodka drinks that cannot be improved with gin.

2 oz gin
2 oz grapefruit juice
splash of triple sec

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

Alternate: vodka