Making a proper drink can be a pain, but if you practice and get good at it, it’s an incredibly smooth way to romance a woman. So set up a bar area, procure some tools and a few good spirits, and make it look like the most interesting man in the world hangs out there. (This handy cocktail poster might not hurt.) Then pick one of the following drinks and master it. When you and your lucky lady end up back at your place, show off your skills. There’s not a woman in the world who isn’t turned on by watching a man do something he does well. And if there is, we haven’t met her yet…

Old Fashioned

If she’s a bartender or just really liked that Ryan Gosling movie with Steve Carell, this is the drink for you.  Here’s a step-by-step guide for making it like a badass.

Mixing Glass, Muddler, 2 Old Fashioned glasses, Barspoon, Y Vegetable Peeler, ice

Sugar Cubes, Angostura bitters, Good Whiskey, Lemon, Orange, Soda

Make It
Get an Old Fashioned glass.
Put a sugar cube in it.
Add three dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters.
Add a splash of soda.
Crush sugar with your muddler.
Hand crack ice into the glass.
Stir with your fancy barspoon  for a few seconds (extra points if you stir both drinks at the same time).
Add 2 oz. of a fine spirit like, say, a Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old Rye.
Stir a little more.
Cut a piece of orange and lemon peel and express the oils over the glass.
Dump peels in glass.

Love 75

In the “keep it simple, stupid” category of drinks, this is just a pink variation on a French 75, which just about everyone on earth not in Al Qaeda loves. Great backup if whiskey is not her thing. Beside, it’s got bubbles. Who doesn’t like bubbles?

Boston shaker, Barspoon with disc, 2 Champagne Flutes, Hawthorne strainer, Ice

Dry Champagne, Dry gin, Grenadine, Lemons

Make It
1.5 oz of Dry Gin (Martin Miller’s works well here)
.75 oz of grenadine (homemade if you really want to impress—see bottom of next page for recipe*)
.75 oz of lemon juice
Shake and strain into flutes.
Top with a dry Champagne. (Be careful here—you will either look like a stud or she will tweet #epicfail.) The most impressive way to do this is by getting a barspoon with a disc on the end of it made for layering ingredients. Just lay the disc onto the surface of the mixed ingredients and pour the Champagne down the handle onto the disc, then slowly raise the disc as the level of the drink rises. When full, the two portions will be separate. Gently use your spoon to mix these two together and tah-dah! You look cool!

El Floridita

This drink has more of an aphrodisiac component, with chocolate and pomegranate being involved. It requires the allocation of a few ingredients you might not already have, but shows planning, and girls like to know you made an effort.

Boston Shaker, 2 cocktail coupes, Hawthorne strainer, Ice

Light Cuban style rum, Grenadine, Sweet Italian Vermouth, Limes, Crème de Cacao.

Make It
1 1/2 ounces Light Rum (Matusalem works best here)
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth (Dolin works well as does Martini and Rossi)
1/8 ounce grenadine (again, homemade if you really want to impress)
A dash or half a barspoon of Crème de Cacao
Shake and strain into cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime twist.

Sparkling Rose

If things are going well and you don’t need to impress any longer, have a bottle of sparking Rose chilled and ready to go. I don’t care how great you look making that Old Fashioned, if she’s ready, don’t wait. There’s always next time…

*To make Grenadine…

Take equal parts by volume pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful works best) and superfine sugar (measure separately—can’t just keep putting sugar into a cup of grenadine until it equals two cups). For each half-liter of grenadine, add a barspoon of orange flower water and an ounce of pomegranate molasses (both are readily available from Middle Eastern or Mediterranean grocers).