We here at Esquire are at home. Just like you, we're not used to it. Our free time, when we're not checking emails and updates and push alerts, stretches on and on. And so we've figured out a few ways to fill it that we can't recommend enough. Here's one.
I am lucky enough to have a well-stocked bar cart. It’s got depth. My roommate and I have been known to plop down next to it on our kitchen floor and test tiny pours from every bottle, just to take inventory. Yes, I'm bragging. And this wouldn't be the first weekend in the past two weekends that I've leaned on it. Do I think alcohol will be a comfort in these fraying times? Sure do! Did seemingly all of New York City briefly spiral on Friday afternoon when it momentarily appeared as if the governor was going to shut down liquor stores as a coronavirus preventative measure (which he is not), leading me to believe that I am not alone in my hankering for booze? You bet.
This weekend I plan to get crazy with the bottles and ingredients I have on hand, and invent something delightfully weird to drink, and you can too. You can even pull it off with the dregs you have at home right now. (Although, next time you make a grocery run, get limes. Also, make simple syrup. One part water, one part sugar, boiled, stirred, and cooled.)
A caveat: I am no bartender. But as long as you accept that, here are my hard-and-fast-but-also-loose-and-chill rules for crafting a palatable cocktail with whatever the heck you have. Cheers, but in a way that doesn't make the edges of our glasses touch.
1. A basic cocktail template calls for spirit + citrus + sugar. Add club soda or ice, or don't.
2. Skip the jigger and eyeball everything so that you keep your drink sizes small. Your end result might taste like rotten cantaloupe, so there’s no need to suffer through a full four ounces of liquid.
3. Do not skip stirring or shaking with ice for a good and long time. Remember: Shake if it has fruit juice, stir if it doesn’t, before straining into a nice glass.
4. All those random amaros and liqueurs and vermouths you bought to make that one cocktail that one time? If you want to pair them with liquor, go by color: Dark goes with dark, light goes with light. Add a third element, like bitters or citrus, if you can.
5. If you don't want to pair your amaros and liqueurs and vermouths with liquor, try one on the rocks or with some fizzy water. A Campari soda is an actual drink that actual people order at actual bars, after all. Plus, it’ll have a lower ABV than a mixed drink, which is probably smart.
6. Olive juice, canned pineapple juice, hot sauce—all on the table. In my apartment we're suckers for pickle juice cocktails especially.
7. You can make a passable Old Fashioned out of simple syrup, a splash of water (carbonated if you have it), two dashes of bitters (Angostura is preferred, but what the hell, try whatever), and any dark-ish spirit.
8. If you have, say, three out of the four ingredients you need to make a favorite cocktail, just try drinking it without the missing component. It might be bad, but it also might be not-bad.
Do not be afraid of failure. Do watch the hangover.
You Might Also Like