It can be fun to watch a bartender carefully add a lot of of ingredients to a mixing glass - layers of different spirits, unusual liqueurs, custom tinctures, and unique bitters. At home, though, most of us want a drink we can assemble with what we have on hand, nothing that takes an overnight infusion or 12 different bottles. But there’s really no need to be afraid to grab a shaker and get mixing on your own. Some of the most famous and delicious cocktails require no greater skill than being able to measure in milliliter and squeeze the juice out of a lime. With the right alcohol in hand, you’re all set to tackle these 10 classics in the comfort of your home bar or kitchen. Bottoms up!
The Spicy Manhattan is a wild variation of the classic Manhattan drink. An orange coloured drink made from Knob Creek bourbon, DeKuyper ginger liqueur and bitters, and served on the rocks.
30-15ml Bourbon (Knob Creek)
30ml Ginger Liqueur (DeKuyper)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a rocks glass full of ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Recipe: Debu Mishra (D’bartender)
If you're into cocktails at all, you've probably had a Negroni or twenty. It's a cocktail that spawned a million easy variations, but you can also play around with the classic itself.
30ml Gin (Beefeater or Tanqueray or anything available)
30ml Sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi Rosso or Cinzano Rosso)
Add all of the ingredients to an Old Fashioned glass and fill with ice. Stir until cold, and garnish with an orange half-wheel.
Recipe: Jacques Bezuidenhout (http://www.liquor.com/)
When done right, sangria is a true crowd pleaser. It’s not as potent as drinking a plain glass of wine or as dry as a glass of certain champagnes. Rather, it’s light, sweet, and vibrant. Not to mention sangria’s visual appeal.
1 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
10 large strawberries, sliced
1 cup orange juice
1 750ml bottle sweet white wine
1 750ml bottle your favorite champagne
Place all fruit and orange juice in a large pitcher or bowl, add wine and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 3 - 24 hours. Right before serving, add champagne. Taste; if you'd like it to be sweeter, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, honey, or agave. Serve and enjoy!
I first tasted Daiquiri when my bestie, Runa, took me out for a meal at ITC, Delhi. We ordered Daiquiri. I had no clue what it was like but it blew me away!
15ml simple syrup
30ml lime juice
60ml extra dry white rum (e.g., Brugal Especial Extra Dry)
Combine simple syrup, lime juice, and rum in a mixing glass. Add chipped ice and shake well. Strain into a glass and serve with a lime slice.
Dark And Stormy
A slight variation on the classic highball, as served at The Spotted Pig in New York. Lime juice cuts the sweetness of the ginger beer and Gosling's Rum, while heightening the ginger's sharp bite.
22ml fresh lime juice, from 1 to 2 limes
100ml ginger beer
60ml Gosling's Black Seal Rum
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add, in layers, the lime juice, then the ginger beer, then the Goslings. Serve with a straw.
This cocktail is dedicated to my dad who only likes to have old monk!
Old Monk: 45 ml
Pineapple juice: 90 ml
Fresh lime juice: 10 ml
Sugar syrup: to taste
Few Sprigs of Basil leaves
A pinch of black pepper
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve, over ice, in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and an oblong, slit green chili.
Recipe: D’bartender (Debu Mishra)
This strawberry martini is utterly, mouthwateringly fruity and perfect for parties.
150g (5oz) strawberries, hulled
1 tbsp caster sugar
A splash of dry vermouth
250ml (8fl oz) gin or vodka
Place the strawberries, sugar and 3-4 ice cubes in an electric blender and blend until pureéd. Transfer to a jug or cocktail shaker. Add extra ice, a splash of vermouth and the gin or vodka. Stir gently and then strain into four chilled glasses.
Cointreau Fizz Tea
This sparkling drink, infused with tea, is a perfect cold tea cocktail to make at home when you have guests.
1 mint tea bag
20ml fresh lime juice
100ml sparkling water
Pour Cointreau and drop the tea bag in a glass. Wait 30-60 seconds before adding lime juice and some ice cubes. Top with sparkling water and stir together.
This is a light and refreshing alcoholic drink perfect for a warm winter afternoon. It is certain to be a hit with the ladies!
150ml lager beer
Pour well chilled beer into tumbler. Gently pour in well chilled Sprite.
Note: Since the portion of all the ingredients are equal, you could make this as small or as large as you like!
Jammie Dodger Shot
So, this is not really a cocktail, but is the best tasting shot that you will ever have. You won’t be grimacing when you knock this one back.
A bottle of Chambord (blackberry liqueur),
Some sugar (available from all well stocked cupboards).
Pour 3 quarters of the Chambord into the shot glass and fill the rest with the cream. Add a little bit of sugar on top, then knock it back and enjoy it!
If you still haven't decided on what to make this Diwali, then here are a few delicacies you could try. And for the health conscious people, here are some healthy recipes you could make.
Which of these cocktails are your favourite? And which one do you plan to make at home? Tell us, in the comments below!