28 January 2010

Bar Basics ~ Creating Your Signature Cocktail

To enhance an entertaining occasion, consider introducing a signature cocktail. Whether this drink is your “house specialty” or something tied to the theme of your event or menu, signature cocktails can hallmark your gathering at the get-go.

Want to be creative?  Think color, country of origin, what might complement the food, and/or the ability to go non-alcoholic ~ these guidelines help to channel your cocktail creativity into results just right for your event. 

Looking for a place to start?  Here’s our starter list of classic libations we consider perfect options for a "signature" cocktail for your next gathering.  Easy to make ~ definitely easy to drink ~ we think these are classic cocktail fun.  Consider tweaking these to your own tastes and preferences with specific brands, varying juices, unique garnishes, or whatever your style might dictate!  And, if a Mocktail is more appropriate to your gathering, don’t miss Mocktail Mondays with our favorite Intoxicologist for creative non-alcoholic options.
  • Bellini - 1 oz. pureed peaches, 1/4 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, sparkling wine or champagne.  Pour puree and lemon juice in bottom of flute. Add sparkling wine to taste. Stir and garnish with a peach slice.
  • Cosmopolitan (traditional) ~ 3 parts Vodka, ½ part Triple Sec, ½ part fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 part Raspberry-infused sugar syrup. Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, strain and serve in a martini glass.  Try variations on this classic from The Intoxicologist… 
  • Kir - Dry White Wine in a wine glass.  Add 1/4 oz. Cassis (for Royale) or Framboise (for Imperiale). Garnish with a lemon peel. 
  • Kir Royale/Imperiale - Champagne or sparking wine in a flute, add 1/4 oz. Cassis (for Royale) or Framboise (for Imperiale). Garnish with a lemon peel.
  • Long Island Ice Tea - ½ oz. Gin, ½ oz. Vodka, ½ oz. Rum, ½ oz Triple Sec, 3 oz. sweet & sour mix.  Add ingredients in the order listed over a tall glass of ice.  Top off with cola to taste. Garnish with a lemon slice.
  • Manhattan - 1.5 parts top quality Bourbon, .5 parts Sweet Vermouth, 1 tsp maraschino cherry juice, cherries to garnish. Fill shaker w/ice add liquid ingredients. Shake, strain, and serve. Garnish with a cherry.
  • Martini – (vodka or gin ~ dry or dirty ~ fruit flavored, coffee/chocolate enhanced...) for the basics, start with excellent vodka or gin, Dry Vermouth, and add either lemon twists, wedges, olives (blue cheese, or...).  Be sure to take note of how “dry” your guests prefer their martinis…
  • Margarita - 2 oz. excellent tequila, 1 oz Grand Marnier, 1 oz fresh lime juice. Combine ingredients in shaker over ice - or blend. Garnish with a salt rim and lime wedge.
  • Mojito - 2 oz. Light Rum, 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, 8-10 mint leaves, Club Soda.  Add a mint sprig garnish.
  • Old Fashioned - fill glass with ice, stir in favorite scotch whisky for several minutes. Add a dash of bitters, sugar. Stir again, and then serve.
  • Negroni - 1 oz. Gin, 1 oz. Campari, 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth, orange twist for garnish. Fill glass with ice. Add liquid ingredients. Garnish with orange twist.
  • Screwdriver – 2 parts Vodka, 4-5 parts fresh citrus juice (try other citrus blends such as tangerine if you’re in the mood!). Fill glass with ice. Add liquid ingredients. Garnish with citrus.
  • Tequila Sunrise - 1 ½ oz. Tequila, 4-5 oz. fresh orange juice, grenadine, orange twist for garnish. Fill glass with ice. Add tequila and juice, top with grenadine to taste. Garnish with orange twist.
A closing savvy tip ~ we rely on these savvy sources not only for the cocktail recipes above but for all of our Bar Basics 411!!

The Intoxicologist

Food Network – Cocktails 

Epicurious – Drink Recipes

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