Congratulations to everyone who made it to the end of 2018, I dare say you deserve a drink (or seven). If you’res till looking for a way to toast the beginning of 2019, gaze upon the many good three-ingredient cocktails we made and enjoyed last year. There are a lot to choose from.
First developed by Laura Bellucci of New Orleans’ SoBou, this drink is a juicy, fruity play on the sidecar cocktail which, as we well know, is very riff-able. Good, sugar-sweetened apricot jam is the key to making this baby sing, so skip the cheap stuff and treat yourself.
If that jar of boozy citrus looks familiar to you, it’s because you follow Eating Trash With Claire, and you know that it contains blood-orange-infused vermouth. You could honestly sip the stuff straight from the jar and be completely happy—I did and I was—but I think Valentine’s Day calls for something a little stronger.
Instead of white sugar cubes—which I don’t have anyway—we’re going to be using a tiny dollop of maple syrup. If you think about it, maple syrup is a ready-to-go cocktail sweetener that requires absolutely no prep work or boiling on your part, and has a bit more depth than the stuff made with sucrose.
Rather than using a whole bunch of mint leaves and sugar, Jason’s drink gets both its sweetness and bracing, minty flavour from Branca Menta, the more accessible cousin of Fernet. Jason tops his with soda water for a truer mojito experience, but that would put us at four ingredients, so we adjusted the ratios slightly to make a drink that is somewhere in between a mojito and a daiquiri, and it is delicious.
[Note: A lot of people did not like this bitter and bracing take on the classic minty beverage, but I tried it again recently and am happy to report it is still extremely my shit.]
Though America invented cocktails, England invented the bramble, and the world was the better for it. The drink is usually made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and blackberry liqueur, which is fine, but it’s too many ingredients. Also, I didn’t want to buy another bottle of liqueur, so I reached for a jar of jam, and omitted the syrup entirely. (Don’t worry, I upped the gin to compensate for the lack of liqueur.)
The Irish Goodbye, which was created by Clyde Common’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler, contains Powers Irish whiskey, Lillet Blanc, and Cynar. Rather than battle it out for dominance, the three work harmoniously to create a cocktail that’s kinda fruity, kinda woodsy, and quite stiff.
[Note: I took a flask of these to a Halloween party and shared it with a man dressed like The Rock.]
I want something I can eyeball, and I want it to be fun. This kalitmotxo—which is made with the burgundy-hued, cherry flavored soft drink, Cheer Wine—is all of that. To play up the cherry factor, and keep the drink cold without diluting it, I added frozen cherries as our third ingredient.
Both Petraske’s parents and grandparents were communists and, according to his obituary, this caused him to possess both “a distrust of capitalism and a sympathy for the laboring classes.” Though there isn’t really anything Russian about this cocktail—it’s more of a riff on the ubiquitous-at-the-time Cosmopolitan—I’m still very into the idea of sipping these tart, very slightly sweet gin-based beauties rather than pounding light beer after light beer.
This cocktail allows me to combine my love of this perfect meme and my love of Concord grape juice, a childhood staple that brings me great comfort and makes my mouth happy. (Warning: Anyone who shit talks Concord grape juice will runs the risk of being blocked.) Rather than try to find a spirit that complements or enhances the juice, I decided to use vodka, a neutral-tasting spirit, because grape juice needs no enhancement.
All you need is a bit of creme de cassis, some sort of sparkling wine, and a strip of lemon zest for garnishing purposes. If you want to treat yourself, grab some capital-c Champagne and make a Kir Royale, but I’m not a huge fan of mixing anything into good champagne.