Tagged With 3 ingredient happy hour

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I don’t know if I can speak for everyone, but 2019 was a year that required--nay, demanded--I consume more than a few cocktails. This was bad news for my liver, but great news for my readers, as all that drinking resulted in a lot of cocktail-related pondering and testing, as well as some truly great cocktail hacks.

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The screwdriver is not a bad drink, but it isn’t a great drink. The combination of orange juice and vodka isn’t hard to swallow, but I’ve never been like, “You know what I really crave right now? A freakin’ screwdriver.”

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Peach liqueur is a tough sell. With a cloying, trite image and lolly-like flavour, it requires a delicate hand. (A sense of whimsy doesn’t hurt either.) But if you can press the reset button in your brain and forget any negative Sex on the Beach-related nightmares, you’ll find that it works quite well in certain situations, especially if those situations involve sour, funky shrubs.

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I have been celebrating my birthday since Sunday, and it has involved a not insignificant amount of drinking. I’ve had margaritas in Mississippi, a Viuex Carré at Carousel Bar and a really dank grasshopper here in Portland. And now — in typical Leo fashion — I’m asking you to continue celebrating with me with a few of my favourite things.

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Alcohol is not known for its sleep-promoting qualities. In fact, nothing ensures I have a terrible, unrestful night like a parade of high-proof cocktails. But a little bit of alcohol — a scoach — can calm the mind and relax the muscles. Pair that with melatonin-rich sour cherry juice (and maybe a glass or two of water), and you have a nice little cocktail to help you unwind.

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My favourite nightcap is 30ml or so of Fernet, over ice, with a pinch of salt, but that drink signals the end of a good evening, not the start (or even the middle) of one. I want to be salty all night long — from beginning to the bitter end — so I decided to take that flavour profile and make it into a martini.

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It’s Negroni Week — at least, for a few more days. If you aren't familiar with this week, a bunch of different bartenders at a bunch of different bars put their “spin” on the classic cocktail to raise money for charities around the world. It’s nice.

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Some pretty decent recipes can be found on the backs of boxes, bottles, cans and other packaging, and the piña colada recipe that’s printed on cans La Preferida cream of coconut is a good example of the genre.

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I am not against simply sipping on an amaro or five, as they are usually so full of flavour that they don’t need much. I also enjoy them with a little carbonated water. But my amaro-focused worldview sometimes makes me forget that these sweet and herbal little numbers go great in full-fledged cocktails, particularly those made with darker spirits.

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“Something and Coke” barely qualify as cocktails. But you can’t deny that they are delicious, particularly when you pair cola with a complex, herbaceous liqueur such as my good friend Cynar.