Don’t get me wrong, Cosmopolitans make delicious status sippers. It’s just nice to have another drink handy to energize your taste-buds.
And we have three suggestions for you.
Gin. The new gins are so mild you’d never know you’re drinking gin. Most have a slight citrus fruit flavor as opposed to the herbal burn of older versions. Try it mixed with lemonade, Cosmo style — shaken with ice, strained into a cocktail glass and served with a sugar rim garnish and a twist of lemon or lime peel. You might also enjoy this on the rocks, served in a Collins glass, topped with sprite and garnished with a slice of orange or piece of tangelo. A top-shelf vodka, like Grey Goose or Mezzaluna, will also work with these recipes.
Amaretto. You like sweet? You may try mixing with amaretto. It blends especially well with cranberry juice. To cut the sweetness you may need to add a squeeze of lime or split your spirit with vodka. Mix it by pouring all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stirring. Then strain into a cocktail glass or serve on the rocks in a Collins glass topped with a splash of club soda or seltzer. Garnish with some raisins.
As a general rule, drinks served before a meal are supposed to be tart. Still if you want sweet I have one last suggestion: pineapple and bourbon.
Bourbon. Look for a small-batch bourbon like Bookers, Knob Creek or Makers Mark. Fresh pineapple juice is the best and can be made ahead of time by juicing two or three pineapples in a blender and straining the pulp. Save the outer shell for garnishes. Combine in a shaker with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with chunk of pineapple or strip of pineapple shell.
Mix. When mixing, don’t forget that cocktails are 2 ounces, Collins glasses filled with ice usually hold 2 to 4 ounces. If your glasses are larger or you prefer to mix by the pitcher, please keep these spirit to modifier proportions: cocktail 2:1 ; Collins 1:1.
[Photo credit: George Goodman]