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In the grand tradition of coffee snobbery and the snooty tea thread, and in the interest of not messing up the scotch thread, this is the thread where I (and others) can enthuse about their favorite cocktails. This is a snooty Scooby beverage thread, so just be prepared to be mocked the first time you mention anything with Red Bull. As Peggy Olson would say, "that's not a cocktail, that's an emergency."I'm a lover of rye-based cocktails, particularly in the winter. The first time I had a properly made Manhattan—so often awful when made with bourbon, a mediocre vermouth, and bargain basement maraschino cherries—was a revelation. So at the risk of giving a recipe that you can probably find anywhere, here is the recipe for a proper Manhattan.3 parts rye whiskey (Rittenhouse is a very good affordable rye for cocktails)1 part (good) sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica, with it's awesome vanilla notes is the gold standard, IMO)bitters to taste (Angostura is fine. I use Fee Brothers Barrel Aged Bitters or even Cherry bitters if the mood hits)Combine in the glass part of a Boston shaker with ice. Stir for about 45 seconds. And strain into a chilled martini glass or a highball glass if you don't want to feel a bit more masculine. If you want a cherry garnish, splurge for Luxardo cherries or make your own cocktail cherries (in the summer). Otherwise, a lemon twist is also quite nice.Other great rye cocktails are the Remember the Maine (I'm going to a Mexican restaurant that does a cocktail substituting the rye in this drink with blanco tequila tonight, will report back), the Boulevardier (basically a Negroni made with rye or bourbon, credit to kutta), the classic Sazerac, and even an Old Fashioned (old style Old Fashioneds without the muddled fruit are particularly good with rye).

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Here's one we discovered a couple of years ago:

The Aviation

Aviation Cocktail

Glass Guide- Cocktail Glass

Aviation

The Aviation Cocktail is one of those with a mysterious past. We really don't know who first created it but, according to David Wondrich's Imbibe!, it was first printed in a 1916 book by Hugo Ensslin called Recipes for Mixed Drinks. The drink has remained popular over the years and recently became one of the classics for aficionado imbibers. Until recently the creme de violette was often left out of the mix but even the smallest amount of the liqueur adds depth and color to the cocktail.

Ingredients:

2 oz gin

1/4 oz maraschino liqueur

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

dash of creme de violette

flamed lemon peel for garnish

Preparation:

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

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The Aviation is the favorite cocktail of one of the partners I work with. Definitely one I enjoy when out. I have not tried to make it at home as I'm not sure I can even find creme de violette.I enjoy gin cocktails a lot, but there is so much difference between gins that certain cocktails almost need a particular gin and might not work as well with the Plymouth I use for martinis. Also, there is literally nothing like a gin hangover. Good God.

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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

I like it with a little lime juice on the rocks. It's just enough to make it taste good to me.
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

I enjoy white russians any time of the day. /dude
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

I enjoy white russians any time of the day. /dude
You mix a hell of a Caucasian, Jackie.
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inspiration is from the combo of pear and ginger i used to use in some desserts..... i haven't named it:2 parts grey goose pear vodka1 part pear juice or nectar1 part ginger aleedit: I made a ginger simple syrup for it, but it wasn't needed

Edited by bierfiend
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

My go-to beverage for home is vodka and a 50/50 split of club soda and Diet Hansen's Tangerine Lime. It's ridiculously refreshing.
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).

But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

If you like D&S you'll like the moscow mule. first vodka cocktail consumed in the USA btw
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Stoopid name, great drink:Kentucky Waffle 2 oz. Bourbon1 oz. lemon juice1 oz. maple syrup½ oz. apple ciderCinnamon stickCombine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (including cinnamon stick), add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass, and garnish with cinnamon stick.

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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

Make a Moscow Mule with cucumber infused vodka, cucumber garnish and quality ginger beer with muddle fresh mint and cucumbers.To make cucumber infused vodka, peel, seed & dice a cucumber and put it in a bottle of vodka and wait a couple of days. Its really best in the summertime, but its so good you can drink it in January.
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

First, get some decent vodka. Like all liquor the quality of the spirit makes a huge difference. But for some reason Vodka doesn't get this kind of treatment since it is typically so absent of taste. People think many vodkas are the same and any bottle over $20 is near equivalent. Poppycock! I like Grey Goose or Tito's myself. I know people who swear by Kettle One and some who like Ciroc. Second, learn to enjoy vodka without a bunch of crap in it. I will drink the hell out of a greyhound (vodka/grapefruit) or cape cod (vodka/cranberry). No, I don't care if people think it's sissy - it tastes good. People who drink things with more than three ingredients annoy me, primarily because they are ignoring the quality and taste of the alcohol in an effort to cover it up with stuff. Pick a good vodka. Mix it with ONE THING. Garnish with one thing if you have to. You'll either like it or you won't. But cramming it in a glass with milk and coke and Kahlua and a cherry isn't going to help you learn to like vodka.
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This is a bit labor intensive but well worth it.

2oz bourbon

3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

splash Grand Marnier

2 or 3 tsp jalapeno simple syrup

5 mint leaves

15 cilantro leaves

squeeze 1/2 lime

3 dash bitters

Muddle the mint and cilantro with the lime juice, Lillet Blanc, simple syrup and bitters. Add the bourbon and Grand Marnier. Shake and strain into high ball glass with ice. I like mine a little hotter so I use 3-4 tsp of the jalapeno syrup.

Jalapeno simple syrup:1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 3 chopped jalapenos; Bring all to a boil long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Cover, remove from heat and sit 30 min. Strain the peppers out. Then chill. It'll be good for a month in the fridge.

Edited by The Dreaded Marco
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

I like it with a little lime juice on the rocks. It's just enough to make it taste good to me.
Yeah a Vodka Gimlet is a perfect vodka delivery device.
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

First, get some decent vodka. Like all liquor the quality of the spirit makes a huge difference. But for some reason Vodka doesn't get this kind of treatment since it is typically so absent of taste. People think many vodkas are the same and any bottle over $20 is near equivalent. Poppycock! I like Grey Goose or Tito's myself. I know people who swear by Kettle One and some who like Ciroc. Second, learn to enjoy vodka without a bunch of crap in it. I will drink the hell out of a greyhound (vodka/grapefruit) or cape cod (vodka/cranberry). No, I don't care if people think it's sissy - it tastes good. People who drink things with more than three ingredients annoy me, primarily because they are ignoring the quality and taste of the alcohol in an effort to cover it up with stuff. Pick a good vodka. Mix it with ONE THING. Garnish with one thing if you have to. You'll either like it or you won't. But cramming it in a glass with milk and coke and Kahlua and a cherry isn't going to help you learn to like vodka.
Tito's is...... well, just remove the o' if you want to know what I think Tito's is.
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Another good syrup to make, especially around the holidays. Very versatile - see variations below recipe:Cranberry Shrub12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries1 c sugar3/4 c red wine vinegar1 tsp lemon zest2 Tbsp lemon juiceBring all ingredients to a simmer with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes until most cranberries have burst. Strain mixture, pressing liquid out of pulp using the back of a spoon. Discard pulp. Chill at least 1 hour. Store for up to 3 months.Variations:1. Virgin Shrub - Pour over ice and top with club soda.2. Bubbly Shrub - Mix with sparkling wine.3. Southern Shrub - Muddle with an orange slice and ice. Add bourbon and top with club soda.4. Border Shrub - Fill a tall glass with ice, layer in a splash of shrub, then add equal parts orange juice and tequila.5. City Shrub - Shake with ice and equal parts shrub, gin, and sweet vermouth. Strain into a glass.6. Cape Shrub - Vodka, shrub, club soda, lime

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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

I like it with a little lime juice on the rocks. It's just enough to make it taste good to me.
Yeah a Vodka Gimlet is a perfect vodka delivery device.
:goodposting: Love some Vodka Gimlets.If you like White Russians, try a Colorado Bulldog.Along these lines, has anyone tried Crystal Skull? Is it worth the price? I went in to pick some up the other day and the guy actually talked me out of it. Said you're paying more for the bottle then anything else.
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People who drink things with more than three ingredients annoy me, primarily because they are ignoring the quality and taste of the alcohol in an effort to cover it up with stuff.

Cocktails are about contrasting flavors. Sweet with bitter. Herbal with fruity. A good cocktail should have a bunch of stuff going on. Not too much stuff, but it shouldn't be one note. Which I suppose sums up my frustration with vodka. Vodka brings very little other than the flavor of alcohol itself to the party. So while I've enjoyed an occassional vodka tonic with lime and an excellent quality tonic, it usually just makes me hanker for a gin and tonic. Which has, IMO, more character.
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Pick my cocktail tonight!

My sister-in-law and her husband are taking me out for a delayed birthday dinner tonight. Here are some candidates that intrigue me.

The Naranja -- House infused "30 spice ginquila" with homemade sour orange and epazote tonic over lime ice.

The Ricardo -- Hendrick's Gin, cucumber infused Siembra Azul blanco and lime soda. (gin + cucumbers = a winning combo, IMO)

Martinez y Jalisco -- Chinaco "Verde" blanco, Carpano Antica, absinthe, Angostura bitters, and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (this appears to be a Remember the Maine, or McKinley's Revenge with tequila instead of whiskey)

Riviera -- Suaza Tres Generaciones, Lillet blanc, Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters, absinthe mist (this this appears to be a Sazerac with tequila instead of rye).

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So I found much of what I had at Oyamel a bit disappointing.I started with the Martinez y Jalisco and the drink was just unbalanced. The blanco tequila was so mild as to bring very little of its own character to the drink. The bartender also appeared to have a pretty light hand with the vermouth. So the drink tasted entirely of anise (from the absinthe) and cherry. I love absinthe as a rinse in cocktails with the chops to hold up to it, but without other flavors, it was just a one-note taste. A bit disappointing.So then I tried the Ricardo, and it was even more unbalanced. The problem was the lime soda, as near as I can tell. The drink tasted like a lime rickey. There was maybe a hint of cucumber and a hint of gin botanicals, but not much. This was huge disappointment, IMO.Somewhat saving the evening, I finally had a "Sangre y Fuego" which was made with mezcal, Dolin sweet vermouth, Cherry Heering liquer, and the house Sangria. This was a decent cocktail, although I'm sure the smokiness of the mezcal was not for everyone. I thought it contrasted nicely with the citrus in the sangria. Even it could have probably used one more accent, but I'm not sure what that would be.Others at my table had more luck sticking to the house margaritas, which were good.

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Created the Silver Streak

1.75 ounces Nolet's Silver Gin

1.5 ounces St Germain

.5ounces fresh Lemon Juice

.5 ounces fresh Sage infused Honey Simple Syrup

Tasteded fantastic now but in the summer it will be outstanding

Edited by Jules Winnfield
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My wife loves a classic sidecar. Any variations on that?

if i recall, a sidecar has some lemon juice and either cointreau or triple sec in there. play around with the citrus: blood orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit juices and liqueurs.
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Here is a project for the FFA. Help me find a way to enjoy vodka. I occassionally enjoy a Bloody Mary (although they are far more often kind of terrible, so I only get them from one or two brunch spots).But I just generally don't enjoy vodka cocktails much at all. What should I try? A Moscow Mule (I do like Dark and Stormys, so maybe this is similar)? Go full on Dude and have a White Russian?

Not sure if this counts as regular old vodka, but try this with a splash of apple juice. They carry it at Russia House.
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My wife loves a classic sidecar. Any variations on that?

Well, isn't the margarita pretty much the most famous sidecar variation of all time? Both are generally part of the "sour" family as I understand it.
That's possible. A traditional margarita that is. The sugar vs. salt rim is an interesting twist.I've made a few blood orange sidears and reduced the sugar to compensate. Pretty good, but my hand squeezer produces too much pulp and I don't want to strain it.Hadn't thought about the Calvados though. Sounds interesting.
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Best tasting cocktail for a chick who hates pretty much all alcohol? Go!

anything-tini.
The Chocolatini:2 shots vanilla vodka2 shots kahlua1 shot creme de cacao1 shot chocolate syrupShake vigorously and serve in a chilled martini glass.
yeah...can go in a lot of different directions with chocolate, vanilla, coffee flavors.... and even through in some marshmallow vodka too
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