Get Your Cocktail On
What good is that great at home bar without the accompanying fancy-schmancy cocktail? For a long time, I thought that good tasting, homemade cocktails were unattainable. I always stuck to the simple things like rum and coke and gin and tonic. While those “classics” have their time and place, they do get old after while. Making cocktails at home might seem intimidating at first, but once you have a few bar essentials, there’s really no limit to the creative possibilities.
Specialty drinks are making a comeback, bartenders are calling themselves mixologists, and if you go to the right place, even your ice-cube will be specially chipped to compliment your drink. Skip the hefty bar tab (and cab fare) and try making these impressive sounding drinks at home. I promise, it’ll be easier than you think!
The cocktail above is named the Sybil, after one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite shows, Downton Abbey. I love this cocktail in particular, because it includes Elderflower liqueur – an ingredient with note-worthy, yet subtle floral notes. Seriously, any drink with Elderflower in it feels very impressive. Oh and don’t worry – if Sybil isn’t your thing (or Elderflower for that matter), there are Lady Mary and Lady Edith drinks, too. Perfect for those of us going through some serious DA withdrawal.
The Great Gatsby. First off, who doesn’t want to drink something called the Great Gatsby? The name alone conjures up images of swanky dinner parties by the bay, dapper gentlemen, enchanting women, and legendary extravagance. (Let’s just forget about that whole car accident part…) For an added bonus, the recipe calls for orange and grapefruit, both of which are in season now.
Okay, deep breath. This little number is called the Beautiful Red Bell cocktail. And when I came across it, I was so excited, because my favorite drink at a great bar in Kansas City, Manifesto, goes by the same name. As I continued to read, this cocktail was in fact inspired by that very same drink! I love when things line up so perfectly. Anyway, if you haven’t already deciphered it, this drink is flavored by red bell peppers. Yes, it might sound weird right off the bat – especially, if you’re not a huge vegetable fan. But it is delicious. Red bell peppers happen to be one of my all time favorite vegetables, so it was a no brainer for me, but for those of you with doubts, I promise. I promise. You won’t be disappointed.
The Honey Badger also calls for Elderflower liqueur (go back up to the Lady Sybil cocktail). And, it requires you to make your own honey syrup, which is supposed to be easier than it sounds. I don’t mean to pull a Martha Stewart and tell you you need all sorts of over-the-top things for your kitchen/bar, but just a few quality ingredients will make all the difference in the world in your bartending capabilities. Seriously. It’s time to leave college behind and invest in a few nice liquors/liqueurs. An entirely new (and delicious!) world of sophisticated beverages will open itself up to you.
What do you think? Will you try these at home? Would you rather just go to a bar? What’s your favorite cocktail?