So here you see a lot of classics, a lot of three and four-ingredient drinks. Nothing wrong with that.
Mix it up
If you want to bring your liquor bill down, keep your cocktails simple. Make three ingredients your limit; four if you must. Happily, many tasty classics fall within this realm. Here are a few using the recommended budget liquors.
Many require dry or sweet vermouth, long one of the great bargains of the drink world. Opt for the dependable Noilly Prat, not the pricier new boutique vermouths. Simple syrup can be easily made at home, dissolving equals parts water and sugar over a low flame under the sugar is dissolved, then chill.—Robert Simonson
2 oz. Rye
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
(vary gin-vermouth ratio to suit your tastes)
Stir ingredients over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist or olive. For a Gibson, garnish with cocktail onion.
2 oz. Bourbon
3 dashes Angostura bitters
bar spoon of water
Muddle sugar cube, water and bitters in rocks glass. Add bourbon. Fill with ice. Stir. Garnish with large orange peel
1 1/2 oz. Bonded Lairds Applejack
1 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes grenadine
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry.
1 1/2 Pimm's #1
Pour Pimm's in ice-filled highball. Top off with ginger ale. Garnish with cucumber slice. Many opt for 7-up or lemon soda instead of ginger ale. Follow you own tastes.
3/4 oz. Cynar
4 1/2 oz. sparkling lemon soda (Rieme Sparkling Limonade, if you can find it)
A dash of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
Mix ingredients with ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint. Fee Brothers' new rhubarb bitters (only $6) can be found at Astor Wines & Spirits.
1 1/2 ounces light rum
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wheel.