Shake up your cocktail routine this summer with these mixed drinks
Try these alternatives to your usual Negroni, Espresso Martini or Piña Colada, courtesy of Adrienne Stillman's book Spirited
For many of us, cocktail making is a seasonal pursuit, rather than a year-round activity. And, as the mercury rises, so does our attention to the ways in which we make those cooling, heady mixed drinks. Only problem is, after a few months in hibernation, your Mai Tai might not be to your tastes, your Old Fashioned might have gone out of style while your ability to make a good Rusty Nail is, well, a little rusty.
At moments such as these, it’s wise to turn to Spirited, our ultimate guide to cocktails for every home and host. The book is packed with fascinating historical detail as well as more than 600 fail-safe recipes, including many authoritative variations on old favourites, which should broaden the skills of even the most talented of amateur barkeeps.
A White Negroni
To update your take on a popular mainstay, try a white Negroni. This version of the (conventionally dark) Italian drink was created by Wayne Collins in Bordeaux, France, and popularised in the United States by Audrey Saunders at Pegu Club in New York City, explains author Adrienne Stillman, who characterises this drink as a “herbal and distinctly lighter-coloured take on the classic.”
To create it you’ll need 1 oz (30 ml) of Plymouth or London Dry gin; 1 oz (30 ml) of Lillet Blanc; and 1 oz (30 ml) of Suze, as well as a grapefruit twist, to garnish. Combine all the ingredients in a rocks glass. Add large ice cubes and stir for 10 seconds. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
A Mexican Carajillo
Had too many Espresso Martinis? No, obviously you can never have too many, however you still will probably want to try a Mexican take on coffee and liquor, by mixing a Mexican Carajillo. “Spain’s traditional working-class coffee cocktail has become a staple in Mexico City where it is served on the rocks with Licor 43, an orange and vanilla flavoured liqueur,” writes Stillman. “It is most often served puesto—that is, with the Licor 43 over ice in a rocks glass and the coffee on the side for each guest to combine themselves.”
To mix it in the conventional way, get together 1/2 oz (45 ml) of Licor 43 and 1 oz (30 ml) of espresso. Pour the Licor 43 into a rocks glass filled with ice. Pour the espresso into the glass and stir.
A Goombay Smash
And finally, a new take on a Piña Colada,try a Goombay Smash. This drink was developed the same time as the Piña Colada, a few miles north west, at Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas, in Miss Emily’s Blue Bee Bar. The exact, original recipe remains something of a secret, but it certainly leaves out the heavy coconut cream of a Piña Colada, but keeps all the tropical zest.
To make it you’ll need 11/2 oz (45 ml) of aged rum; 1/2 oz (15 ml) of coconut rum; 3 oz (90 ml) of unsweetened pineapple juice; 1/2 oz (15 ml) of fresh lime juice; 1/2 oz (15 ml) of triple sec; and a pineapple wedge and lime twist, to garnish.
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 15–20 seconds, until frosted on the outside. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with that pineapple wedge and lime twist. For more on these drinks and hundreds of others, order a copy of Spirited here.