With the sunny climes of the past few days, porch sippers and refreshing cocktails keep the good times rolling. While rosé is perfect for quaffing (you heard me - quaffing), how about teaching yourself a few cocktails to have in your arsenal for guests or yourself? You should totally make one for yourself, you’ve earned it. Here are a few cocktails that are easy to make and guidelines for making a batch cocktails to have a big jug waiting for that cookout you’re hosting.
All the below cocktails can be made with stuff on hand with a modest at-home bar setup. For the most part, all can be made with a freewheeling devil-may-care hand, but you should know the ratio to make the classic version of these drinks. If you’d like, most of these could be batched too. Just make them in a pitcher, pour over ice, and you’re good to go.
If you haven’t tried the Aperol Spritz, you’re about to have your new favorite drink. It’s simple to make; three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, a splash of soda water, pour over ice and add an orange rind as garnish. Cheers. Aperol is an aperitif, a pre-dinner drink that will rev your engines for the meal ahead. When in a spritz, the Aperol’s notes of bitter orange, rhubarb, and herbs play well with the fizzy hit of the prosecco. If you’re looking to try it around town, visit Capitol Hill’s Rione XIII for your intro to the Aperol Spritz.
Classically, the Gimlet is a lime and gin-based cocktail, but if you’d like to sub the gin for vodka, feel free. Personally, I think the distinctive notes of gin harmonize with the tang of lime. Word off the street is that the gimlet was invented by sailors to word off scurvy, so toast to your health by making a gimlet. Take about 2.5 ounces of gin/vodka (about five tablespoons), add half an ounce of lime juice and half an ounce of simple syrup, mix well and serve over ice and add lime rind or a lime segment for garnish.
Gin and Tonic
Depending where you are in the world, the classic Gin and Tonic is also known as a 'Gin Tonic.' The ratio is basically one to three parts gin to three parts tonic water. But don’t sweat that, just do it to taste. And then add a squeeze of lime juice for some citrusy brightness. If you want to next level your gin and tonic, add some juniper berries or edible flowers. With a drink like the G&T and the Gimlet, the quality of the gin stands out. Seattle has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to distilleries, just grab a bottle from your local favorite and let it fly. For gin, I like Copperworks Gin and the Kur Gin from Wildwood Spirits (learn more about this Erik Liedholm project when I drank with him a few years ago).
Often served in its distinctive copper mug, the Moscow Mule is as refreshing as it is delicious. The ingredients are vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and ice. You can do this all to taste, but for guidelines, take about four ounces of ginger beer and mix with a shot of vodka, squeeze about a half ounce of lime and add some ice. When I make Moscow Mules at home, I like a ginger beer with some zing and Seattle’s own Rachel’s Ginger Beer hits the spot. Heck, RGB is perfect by itself. And if you want to make it a Montana Mule, just sub out the vodka with whiskey.
Those are just four cocktails to tipple with this summer. There are a ton of others to make at home or to try at your favorite. The Pimm's Cup, Greyhound, Pisco Sour, French 75... the list goes on and on.