Complex cocktails with five or more ingredients are certainly very popular, but you can get big flavour with just two ingredients by making what's called a "50/50". Photo by Geoff Peters.
The 50/50 is pretty much what it sounds like: Equal parts of two different spirits, with one or both of them being liqueurs. Though 50/50's started out as shots, they're a great way to pack a ton of nuance into a sippable, tasty beverage. My favourite is the Ferrari (equal parts Fernet Branca and Campari), which is bracingly minty, bitter and herbaceous, but Punch has a couple of other tasty suggestions via the upcoming book Amaro (click the link below for the complete list):
- The Jimbo — Old Overholt rye and Meletti
- Nar Nar — Nardini and Cynar
- Maserati — mezcal and Ramazzotti
Some of these are kind of fancy, but the 50/50 philosophy can be applied to almost any (decently stocked) liquor cabinet. Just pour equal parts (eyeballed is fine) of two different spirits, over a big rock and stir, aiming for at least one of the spirits to be a taste-packed amaro or vermouth. Just be careful though; 50/50's are easy to make, and easy to drink, and they pack quite the punch.