Prohibition did a lot of damage to drinking well in America. When it was lifted, we tried starting all over again but were in such a rush to get drunk, we couldn’t get it right. All quantity, no quality. And even when a great new drink arrived, modern industry, quick to turn a buck, would step in and mess things up. Only recently have bartenders started to give a damn and make things right. Here are some of the best redemption stories behind the stick, plus how to mix them yourself.
Somewhere along the line, this drink started getting thrown into a blender and made out like Steve Buscemi in Fargo. Thankfully, the most popular drink in the world is being made in its original tart glory again. No blender, no slushie machine, and please God no margarita mix! It’s only three ingredients, and if you need it a tad sweeter, add some agave syrup, but that’s it. No mangos, no strawberries, no dyes, just delicious. And yes, it’s supposed to taste like tequila!
Do It Right
2 oz of good silver tequila
1 oz of a good triple sec (Cointreau or Combier)
¾ oz of fresh lime juice (Key lime is best)
Shake, strain into a cocktail glass and serve with a smile.
The Old Fashioned
Many people mistakenly believe that the muddling of fruit or fruitlike substances (red dye cherry) is necessary, but that’s not an old-fashioned cocktail, that’s a Barney French. Just pick a quality spirit and watch how Ryan Gosling makes it in Crazy Stupid Love (only reason to watch; OK, that and Marisa Tomei). And remember, it can be made with any spirit. Try rum or even gin.
Do It Right
1 sugar cube
2 to 4 dashes of bitters
Splash of soda (maybe ½ oz at most)
Muddle and break down sugar until its completely dissolved.
Add one large cube of ice and stir.
After a moment, add 2 oz of your chosen spirit.
Stir some more, taste, and when you’ve achieved proper dilution, stop.
Use a knife or vegetable peeler to peel a strip of lemon zest and/or one of orange zest.
Squeeze zest so that the oils land on drink (it’s called “expressing the oils”) and rest both strips of peel in drink.
Marvel at your awesomeness.