Bright, fruity, savory, spicy and everything in between -- seemingly endless ingredient combinations exist for mixing a drink. Those made with gin, rum, rye whiskey, vodka and coffee liqueur are the top five you should try next time you're ordering or mixing a drink.
This refreshing classic mixes 1 ounce of gin with 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, all topped with club soda in a tall-and-narrow straight glass with ice. Add a lemon slice for garnish and a hint of simple syrup if your taste is more sweet than sour.
Dark & Stormy
Deriving its name from its resemblance to dark storm clouds over Bermuda, the classic Dark & Stormy is three parts ginger beer to one part dark rum. You can take it up a notch by muddling a fresh lime wedge with 1/2 teaspoon of white sugar and a piece of fresh ginger in your glass before mixing.
This drink -- also referred to as an Old Fashioned -- was first concocted in the 1800s in New York City. Shake to combine 2 ounces of rye whiskey, 1 ounce of vermouth and two dashes of bitters with ice and strain the mixture into a martini glass. The traditional garnish for a Manhattan is a cherry; however, any citrus wedge will also pair nicely.
A perfect brunch companion, the Bloody Mary should be seasoned to each drinker's personal spice preference. Tomato juice is transformed by adding:
- a pinch of salt, pepper and celery salt
- hot pepper and Worcestershire sauces to taste -- start with a dash of each and increase as desired
- 1/2 ounce of lime juice
- 1 ounce of vodka
Mix before pouring the drink over ice in any large glass. Optional: mix in horseradish or add a spicy pickled bean as garnish for extra spice.
Try this 1970s favorite as a sweet treat: Mix two parts of vodka and heavy cream and one part of coffee liqueur, shake the mixture with ice and pour it over a short glass full of fresh ice.