Drink Like a Mad Man: The Essentials for a Respectable Home Bar

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Drink Like a Mad Man: The Essentials for a Respectable Home Bar

manhattan.jpg 2 1/2 parts whisky
3/4 parts sweet vermouth
1 dash bitters 
1 maraschino cherry 
1 twist orange peelCombine whisky, vermouth, bitters and 3 ice cubes in an old fashioned glass. In a separate cocktail glass, add an orange slice. Strain whisky vermouth mixture into cocktail glass. 
1 part whisky
3/4 part triple sec
lemon twistShake whiskey and triple sec over ice. Strain and pour into an old fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.3 parts gin
2 parts lemon or lime juice
1 muddled sugar cube
1 splash club soda
1 maraschino cherry
1 lemon or lime wheel

In a shaker add gin, lemon or lime juice and a sugar cube
Add ice and shake well (please see Rule #2).
Strain into collins glass filled with ice.
Add club soda and stir well.
Garnish with maraschino cherry and lemon or lime wheel.
2 dashes bitters 
4 parts rye whisky or bourbon 
1 sugar cube
orange slice 
maraschino cherry

In an old fashioned glass (who would have guessed?) shake bitters onto a sugar cube. Add a small amount of water and stir/muddle the sugar cube until dissolved. Add ice, orange slice and cherry. Add whiskey, stir well and enjoy.
3 parts gin 
1 part Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
In a shaker combine gin and lime juice.

Add ice and shake well (please see Rule #2).
Strain serve with lime twist.
2 parts vodka 
1part Kahlua 
1 part half & half

Pour vodka, Kaluha and cream into an old fashioned glass. 
Stir well and serve with ice.

Gin: Leopolds or Tanqueray 
A few years ago, I decided to leave my beloved Tanqueray in search of the best gin on the planet. It didn't take me long to realize that I was right the first time. My boss (and occasional drinking buddy) Josh Jackson contends that Leopold's may be a better product, but considering its price and ubiquity, I'll stick with the pine green bottle.


Vodka: Tito's
Yes, some of the best vodka around is made in Texas. Smooth, clean and slightly citrusy, Tito's is great in your martini, with tonic or straight out of the freezer.

Surprise! Was there really any other option? 


Angostura Bitters
Look for the ugliest looking bottle in the liquor store with a comically oversized label.

Sweet & Dry Vermouth - Martini & Rossi
Go with namesake of the martini. Whether you're getting the sweet or dry variety, there's a reason Martini & Rossi has been the industry standard for decades: it's tasty.

Limes - Preferably green, round and no more than a couple of days old.

Sugar cubes - Preferably white and square.

Maraschino cherries - It's better not to think too hard about why a cherry is that color red. Just remember it's key to a great Manhattan.

Tonic Water - Sure, tonic water is good, but for an even cleaner and more refreshing gin & tonic, go with diet tonic water. It's not about eliminating the 30 grams of sugar per can (although that is a bonus) as it is about the texture. The sugar-free version eliminates the syrupy feeling that sometimes comes with a gin & tonic, and makes for a much tastier drink.

Now, the gear...


Old fashioned glasses: Crate&Barrel - "Buzz" 

While far thinner and more curvaceous than a traditional old-fashioned glass, this variation on the bar room classic screams 1960's.


Martini glasses: Crate&Barrel- "Viv"
Clean, classic and at 1962 prices. Neato! 


Shaker: Target - "Norpro Stainless Steel Penguin Cocktail Shaker

This shaker may not be Don Draper's first choice, but Peggy couldn't resist. Neither can I.

Finally, the drinks...


Sadly, the drink was named for the island, but in my mind, it's the other way around.


Just because it's simple doesn't mean it's less than delicious. 

T om Collins
Apparently the namesake for this drink wasn't a real person, which is just as well, because he wouldn't have lived up to the summery deliciousness of this drink anyhow. 


Old Fashioned
It's thought by many that the old fashioned was the very first widely mixed cocktail. 
Don't let the name fool you. This drink is just as good now as it was 130 years ago when it was first gaining prominence.


Such an ugly name for such a lovely drink.

White Russian
It's odd to think that in the Cold War Era people were drinking anything with the word "Russian" in it, but then again, it took the war on terror to bring about the explosion of the hookah bar...